Mikkel Aaland

"It's All An Adventure"

Book Description 1978


Sweat bathing--be it in the form of the Finnish sauna, the Russian bania, the Turkish hamman, or an American Indian sweatlodge-- is as common to the world as the baking of bread and the squeezing of the grape.


I spent three years traveling around the world, photographing, researching, and yes, enjoying many of these baths for my book Sweat, published in 1978 by Noel Young and Capra Press.(You can sometimes find a used copy of the original book at amazon.com.) If you are interested in building your own sauna or sweatlodge go to my How to Build Your Own Sauna & Sweat page where you can order a copy.


Personal Note


The cover of the original book was shot at the Richmond Sauna in California. I had everyone warm up in a hot sauna room and move over to cold room so I could get the shot without fear of condensation on the lens of my Hasselblad. Many of the people in the shot lived in a communal house I was living at in Berkeley. We lived behind Chez Panez, Alice Water's famous restaurant, and in exchange for herbs from our garden they gave us bottles of wine.  We also did sweat baths in a portable tent in the backyard on Friday nights. I have no idea what the patrons of the restaurant who saw us running around naked thought...on the other hand,  it was the 70s... and it was Berkeley.


Even though I wrote this book over 40 years ago it is still considered by others as relevant, and for that I am very proud. An ebook version is now available and Perfect Sweat, a serialized documentary based on Sweat, is now in production. You can also find most of the original text for free online, here.


©2024 Mikkel Aaland

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