We bet you’ve never heard of a Loyly Master before, have you?
These masters of the sauna – hailing from Belgium – perform an energetic German style called ‘Aufguss’, so celebrated in the continent that they compete for recognition at the World Championships. For now though, they’re in Brighton – performing an intensely visceral and invigorating experience for those who visit them.
Now, I love a good sauna (sometimes a good sweat is all you really need to relieve yourself of the week’s sins, right?) but never before had I experienced one in which you enter and exit directly on to the beach. Changing rooms come in the shape of two horse boxes (the third being a smaller sauna – impressive), and then we wait outside, cucumber and lemon water freely available on tap. Hydration is important, I keep hearing. I soon find out why.
Our sauna experience is broken up into two halves: one to energise (with citrus oils), and the other to promote healthy breathing (with eucalyptus and rosemary), with a quick dip in the English Channel as a plunge pool encouraged in between. There’s salt scrubs and chest rubs involved – to exfoliate and encourage airway health respectively – plus fresh fruit and aromatherapy. But the main event here is indeed our LoylyMasters, who engage us with their graceful whirling of towels in calculated motions (not unlike a matador) which expertly and evenly distribute the hot steam around the sauna.
This experience gets extremely intense, and is certainly not for the faint hearted, yet the aromatherapy effect and natural surroundings are truly calming. I leave for the final time feeling like I’ve just come back from a long weekend in holiday. No wonder they’re at full capacity every week.
Lithuanian bathmaster, Birutė Lenktytė-Masiliauskienė will create a relaxing sauna using natural products, aromas, foods and leaf whisking to create a gentle and meditative space. Birutė’s approach is nurturing and conversational and she creates a softer heat whilst also taking time to explain every aspect of the experience. Guests are likely to leave feeling deeply relaxed and cared for, with any aches and pains a distant memory.