Sauna Q&A / Jan Seepter

The Jan behind Iglucraft sauna rituals

30 Dec 2022

Jan is a human geographer who grew into the sauna culture already in early childhood, being constantly involved in the traditional sauna and healthcare rituals by his grandparents, parents, and later his education as well as a deeper personal interest towards the sauna. Today, he is valued for his almost shamanic sauna rituals and amazing effects on sauna indulgers’ mental and physical health. He has worked with people from all over the world – Estonia to Finland to Belgium to Brazil – and earned the unofficial title of Jan the Sauna Shaman. This name was coined last spring after a visit to a sauna ritual at Iglupark by journalists of CNN, Reuters and EuroNews. Ever since nobody wants to miss Jan’s sauna experience

Read more about Jan here:

I consider the summer of 1988 to be the first time I got to experience the true sauna tradition. It happened when my aunt and uncle shared the basics of two-hand whisking massage. Later in the same year, on a summer night in August, I tried out the newly-learnt skills on my childhood friend. I got it right: beginner's luck, enthusiasm, the joy of discovery, 'good' stellar positioning, and God knows what else. After the sauna, diving into Lake Peipus, beneath the light of a billion stars, we tasted an unforgettable cosmic' trip' of post-sauna-effects - something I have been in constant search and practice for since then. My quest to discover the further benefits of sauna will never seize to exist.

At first, I only shared my newly developed sauna skills with a small circle of friends. However, as some of my friends were on their way to their doctoral studies, it was important to showcase something peerless to the professors who came to visit our home country from all parts of Europe, and that is when I was put on to a spotlight. That is how my sauna ritual's well-kept secret gradually became international.

I am a human geographer by education. I majored in innovative environments, institutional economics and project management. Thus, the starting point for my search for sauna activities has been the link between direct practice and a scientific outlook. However, the feedback from sauna aficionados, my own personal experiences, and the post-sauna dreams and feelings I experienced manifested more questions, more than the answers from scientific literature could satisfy me.

Sauna sessions have played an increasingly important role. When a saunateour returns from a self-indulgent sojourn without uttering a word (commonly, sauna trips' takeaways remain with its indulger) whilst their eyes speak of an experience one cannot yet formulate, then the result is a legion in comparison to what I invested in my academic development.