Watch CBS News

'Embrace The North': Sauna Culture Growing In The Twin Cities

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- What some Minnesotans are doing to heat up their winter fun is evolving.

In a portable sauna outsider her St. Louis Park home, Jennifer Chenoweth is seeking serenity -- and it's steamy.

"We really like to have the sauna during the coldest weeks of the year, so that we can sort of embrace the north," Chenoweth said.

This is her family's second year renting a mobile sauna. She says it's a warm retreat without the road trip or plane ticket.

"The sense of well-being we get when we do this really makes it worth it," Chenoweth said.

She rents the sauna from Roam Sauna Company. Co-owner Joe Henry said that this year business has been booming.

"The craze kinda came as a surprise to us," he said.

Roam has been booked out since October, and business hasn't cooled off. The next opening isn't until late March.

Roam plans to expand its fleet of mobile saunas next year.

At Embrace North in south Minneapolis, the heat isn't the only thing Minnesotans are seeking.

Outside the sauna at Embrace North are cold tubs, where users take ice baths before or after using the sauna.

Some 300 monthly members cycle through Embrace North, and sometimes they do the sauna-and-ice-bath routine on a frozen lake.

"We are a community of people that love the elements," said Embrace North founder Luis Leonardo. "It's just like medicine for the body these days."

At Embrace North, the sauna is kept at 120 degrees. People generally sit in the wooden chamber for about 15 minutes before taking a dip in the cold tubs outside.

"You're not fighting with the cold, you're making friends with the cold," Leonardo advised.

The experience is a journey but without the travel time.

"I like to say we are a community of embracers," Leonardo said. "It's a very powerful thing."

Embrace North recently opened a smaller version of their setup at the Lululemon store at the Mall of America.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.