Many native cultures practice shamanic healing, working in tune with nature to biohack the body. And, the Sweat Lodge is one of the most powerful (and intense) Indigenous rituals to purify the mind, body, and spirit, as well as promote overall longevity. On the latest episode of Biohack-HERS, HigherDOSE Founders Lauren Berlingeri and Katie Kaps meet with Patrick Harbula, the founder of Living Purpose Institute, to see what it’s really like to step inside of a Sweat Lodge and experience the sensory deprivation heat of a Temazcal ceremony.
What Is Sweat Lodge?
Also known as an Indigenous prayer ceremony, Sweat Lodge is a ritual that involves sweating out what no longer serves you and reconnecting with Mother Earth and spirit to experience a rebirth. This occurs through three hours of profuse sweating in temperatures that reach three to four times hotter than a modern sauna.
The ritual begins by connecting around a fire pit for an opening ceremony. At this time, participants smudge themselves with sage to cleanse the aura, and then pass around a talking stick to acknowledge their intentions for the ritual. Before they enter the Sweat Lodge, participants take a pinch of tobacco and speak their intentions into the sacred plant before releasing it into the fire pit. Participants then line up at the entrance of the Sweat Lodge and are blessed with sage and feathers before entering.
The Sweat Lodge ceremony consists of four rounds of intense heat. The first round is the longest with the mildest temperature (although it is still incredibly hot), and each round that follows gets hotter and shorter throughout the three-hour ritual. “It’s not about pushing beyond our limitations, it’s about being in harmony with our bodies [and] in harmony with Mother Earth and Father Sky,” Patrick says of the intense heat inside the lodge. “You can leave anything that no longer serves you in the Sweat Lodge,” Patrick adds.
Sweat Lodge Benefits
The Sweat Lodge ritual has been used in Indigenous cultures for centuries to promote longevity, mental clarity, and a deepened connection to spirit. And, because it involves three hours of intense sweating, it’s also an incredible detoxification process that increases the heart rate.
While in the Sweat Lodge, participants connect to ancient affirmations and chants which, combined with the sensory deprivation of the dark hut, help take them out of their physical bodies and connect them deeper to a more spiritual experience. “When people surrender, they can open and embrace whatever challenges come up,” says Patrick, adding that these challenges tend to be magnified in the sweat lodge and “come up to be healed.”
As owners of an Infrared sauna company, Lauren and Katie are no strangers to sweating. But, can they handle the oppressive heat of the Sweat Lodge? Find out on the latest episode of Biohack-HERS.
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