A sauna week with a very special guest
An honoured guest from far Malaysia paid us a visit along with his family in early February. We were very happy to welcome one of the best sauna masters of the world – Lay Pang Ong, who enjoyed not only the sauna world of Bešeňová but also the winter beauty of nature in Jasná.
Lay Pang Ong comes from the Far East, Malaysia, where he learned the secrets of aromatherapy. Then he went to China and stayed there for many years. Finally, he moved to Europe, Denmark and started as a lifeguard to work his way up to the position of a wellness manager and the president of the Danish association of sauna masters. He is still active as a sauna master and a member of the international jury at AUFGUSS WM despite of his age. Lay Pang Ong is a true professional in the field of aromatherapy on the human body and the effects of sauna rituals that use herbs. Visitors of the sauna world of Bešeňová had a chance to experience his mastery personally.
He came mainly to train local sauna masters and to add something special to the programme of sauna rituals in Bešeňová. But he admitted that he felt here like at home and his business trip changed to a very nice winter holiday in the Low Tatras. The wellness centre clients could enjoy his unique 45-minute-long sauna rituals that were divided in several parts. We tried one of his rituals too. The sauna needs to be aired properly before the ritual and the preparation took about 15 minutes. Lay Pang got a few buckets of clean water ready, one bucket with linden whisks and balls of ice with his special aromas that he had brought. The Sauna temple was full of people at 19:00 and the ritual could begin. It was introduced by local sauna master Marek and Lay Pang continued in English. He started by explaining what was going to happen. He poured water over the furnace and used linden whisks to swirl the air in the sauna. The aroma that was released from the whisks was excellent and we had no idea what other fragrances he had prepared. He was permanently walking around us and repeating “breathe deeply, breathe deeply”, which meant breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. This is how fresh air with pleasant aromas got into the body to oxygenate it better. Although the temperature in the sauna was rising, the air felt very comfortable because the water in the whisks was
Then the next phase followed when stones were poured over and ice balls with citrus aromas were melted. Once the fragrances could be smelled in the whole sauna, he explained to us how breathing, the body posture and the humidity in the sauna are important. This is when the second part ended. The door was opened and we were told to make a 5-minute break, drink enough water and cool down in fresh snow that was waiting for us in front of the Sauna temple. After the break, the air in the sauna was fresh again and the ritual could continue. In the last phase, a special aroma was used that Lay Pang had brought from Denmark. He didn´t want to reveal the composition, though. This time he used a flag and then 2 towels to swirl the air. Although his towel technique was something we hadn´t been used to with our local sauna masters, the overall feeling was great.
The rest of his sauna rituals were similar but every time he added something new and unique to make it different. One day was dedicated to an aromatherapy course and Lay Pang shared his long-time experience with local sauna masters. The first part was about theory not only regarding aromatherapy but also the sauna relaxation as such and its effects on the human body. Every participant could test new knowledge in saunas afterwards. Sauna relaxation should be amusing too and that´s what the practical course part was focused on. Lay Pang Ong offered a lot of practical advice to our sauna masters. He said: “Every sauna master must be himself or herself. We learn from each other but are also different when expressing ourselves through sauna rituals. An open heart and an open mind are crucial when learning and sharing our knowledge and experience, every day at work, at special events or even at contests.” And that is what makes each sauna ritual in Bešeňová unique.
And how does Lay Pang Ong feel about his time in Slovakia?
“It was the first winter holiday of our family and we enjoyed it to the fullest. I am glad that I and my family could stand on skis for the first time ever. I felt so happy, satisfied and amused when watching my family. We were lucky to have patient and professional help – a guide and a ski instructor. Thank you very much, Marek and Johnny. I was quite surprised by the strong wind on top of Mt Chopok. High mountains can be really windy. I enjoyed every moments of my time there. But let´s stop talking about snow and go back to Bešeňová. In spite of the cold weather, the hospitality in Bešeňová was great and brought a lot of sunlight to us. We liked the fish, pasta, buffets. I will remember them for long. The hotel and water park staff was very polite and friendly. We liked the cosy water park very much, not to mention the new and spacious sauna with amazing effects. This step will definitely increase the number of clients and boost the enthusiasm and spirit of your sauna masters.”
“I am astonished to see so many new and young sauna masters who have made so much progress in the sauna world. And that doesn´t go without passion, dedication, persistence and hard work. May your way to saunas be always blessed with your open heart, mind, passion and devotion and last but not least... with 3T – training, training, training.” To conclude, we would like to thank Mr. Lay Pang Ong for his theoretical and mainly practical advice in the field of healthy sauna relaxation and sauna rituals and for his enthusiasm that he shared with our sauna team.
Na záver tohto článku by sme sa chceli všetci poďakovať Lay Pang Ong-ovi za jeho teoretické a hlavne praktické rady z oblasti zdravého saunovania a saunových rituálov, samozrejme aj za jeho entuziazmus, ktorý priniesol medzi náš saunový kolektív.