The sweat lodge (also called sweat house, medicine lodge, or medicine house) is a ceremonial sauna and an important ritual used by some North American First Nations or Native American peoples. There are several styles of sweat lodges that include a domed or oblong hut similar to a wickiup, a teepee, or even a simple hole dug into the ground and covered with planks or tree trunks. Stones are typically heated in an exterior fire and then placed in a central pit in the ground. Often the stones are granite and they glow red in the dark lodge.This past weekend my boyfriend, Michael, and I took part in a sweat lodge in Ojai, CA. It was probably one of the most exciting, incredible and hardest experiences I've had. To be apart of something that has taken place for centuries by the people who first lived in this country felt very special. My interest for Native American culture and tradition does not come from my upbringing even though I have Navajo blood, but rather something that peaked my interest a few years ago after reading so much about the culture and the people and feeling that their way of respecting the earth was something that I wanted to emulate. Michael is part Cherokee and feels the same. It was such an honor to be apart of this.
Read more about the sweat lodge HERE. I recommend it for health reasons and spiritual growth. You can be of any religion to partake in this ceremonial tradition, but I must warn you, it's intense. Learn as much as you can to see if it's really for you.
Here's a little amateur footage from our experience: