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The promise

A 30-minute session in a solo sauna to relax, recharge and reinvigorate.

The reality

When calling to book, I ask what I’m in for and the owner, Symee, says I will be alone in a private room for 30 minutes. “Oh, I’d better bring a book, then!” I say, thinking this is a clever idea. “You’ll be lying down in the sauna,” says Symee. “No phone, no reading – nothing.” It takes me a second to compute this.

Once there, I slip into my personal sauna, which is a horizontal, dome-shaped contraption. Rainforest sounds play in the background. My body is immersed in the 58-degree, towel-lined interior while my head stays out. It’s a dry heat that feels like lying in the sun (but without the harmful effects!). I start to sweat profusely about 10 minutes in and at one point I take my arms out to give myself a break. Somehow I’m surprised when the timer starts beeping to signify that 30 minutes is up.

The pay-off

Immediately afterwards I feel endorphins running wild in my body. I sleep like a baby that night and notice my skin is super smooth the next day. Also, the Sunlighten system claims a 30-minute session can burn up to 600 calories while I lie there.

The Infrared system. Photo: Supplied


The pain factor

On my first visit, I had planned to meditate but I found myself unable to focus on anything but the heat, which was strangely liberating – I was forced out of my head and into my body. The second and third times, however, the heat felt less oppressive and I was able to totally zone out.

Who should try it?

Those who like it hot, want to release toxins or are experiencing poor circulation or pain.

The bill?
It’s $35 for a casual session and there are discounted monthly bundles.

Would I do it again?
Yes – I went three times!