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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

June , 2023

Sauna, after swimming.
This is my favourite way to take the sauna.
I don’t find it so attractive just taking the sauna on its own. It always comes as a set with swimming.
To be more precise, performing, swimming and sauna are combined.
In the past, there was a time when I was too exhausted by constant practicing, performing and travelling,
and as I didn’t have the energy to swim, I just took a sauna and went home, but unfortunately, I didn’t feel refreshed.
For me, sauna is not just about sweating in good condition, or not sweating physically. Instead, it feels much pleasant taking a sauna after having done “things I needed to do”, in mental and emotional ways. Things I need to do means relax and reset my tired muscles after performances by the next day, or my muscle will remain tired and could end up causing a breakdown.
How pleasant it feels, having a sauna after a practice session, feeling pain in my shoulders and trying to swim one or two kilometers to please myself. The fatigue flows out of my body along with sweat, and I realize that I’ve “adjusted” myself!

Therefore, it means that I take saunas after swimming, and swimming means after playing my instrument.
When I was a student, the partial fatigue from playing the violin would fade away after a good night’s sleep, no matter if I played for 10 hours, or had concerts in a row, my muscles had no problem. But gradually, I realized that I had to take care of my muscles and started getting massages, acupuncture, and searched for various methods to heal them.
Then, I found out that the best way for me is to play, swim and take the sauna. It seems that the particular kind of muscle fatigue from playing the violin, is converted into total fatigue of the body after swimming, and then the sauna lets out the scattered fatigue out of my body, and I feel that my body is “adjusted”.

When I ‘m in the sauna, I get blurred out.
The time of “nothing”, not thinking about anything.
It feels like even my brain gets blobby, and relaxed.
It is indeed a very precious time that I need, for a person like me who is always busy, on the run.
But I do not take a sauna repeatedly, in a way that I have to endure something.
I usually get out after staying for about 10 minutes when I feel it is enough. And I don’t take a second round as it would feel like a kind of obligation. It might be because of my personality, after a second round, I don’t feel as refreshed as the first round, and I start thinking about something and feel uneasy. I guess I get bored.
So, I only take the sauna once, and I’m satisfied and feel that my body and soul get lighter.
On my way home, I enjoy imagining what to eat later.
Sauna is indeed, a part of my routine in my performing activities.