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Rudding Park to host first-ever UK Aufguss Championship in April 2023

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We’re keen to increase awareness of aufguss within the spa industry and to spa-goers throughout the country
Credit: Rudding Park

Aufguss, the communal sauna ritual from Europe, is becoming increasingly popular across the global spa and wellness industry. In 2023, the UK's first-ever national Aufguss Championship contest will be hosted at luxury hotel and destination spa Rudding Park in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

The aufguss ritual involves an aufguss master waving a towel to distribute the sauna’s heat and often essential oils, with corresponding music and lighting. The top sauna masters can get very creative, weaving in storylines, costumes and complex movements to enhance the experience.

Rudding Park was one of the first spas in the UK to introduce the practice, so the destination's head of spa Sarah Johnson feels the property makes for an ideal venue for the competition.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting this prestigious event,” she says, “We’ve been offering aufguss to our guests for several years now after Art of Aufguss Champion, Lay Pang Ong – well-regarded as a pioneer of sauna reinvention – helped train the Rudding Park team to allow us to bring a sense of theatre to the sauna.

“Together with the British Sauna Society, we’re keen to increase awareness of the ritual within the industry and to spa-goers throughout the country.”

Entry is now open to the UK championships to anyone employed as a Master of Aufguss in a spa facility and also to members of the public who’ve successfully completed the training course to master classical aufguss.

The winners from the competition will go on to represent the UK in the Aufguss World Championships in Satama Sauna resort, Germany, scheduled for 11-17 September 2023.

The 2022 Aufguss World Championship were recently held in the Netherlands drawing 68 participants from 13 countries to the sold-out seven-day event.

Deborah Carr, aufguss training provider from Anada Spa and Wellness, believes the new UK contest will help raise the profile of aufguss throughout the country.

She commented: “The prospect of seeing UK entrants at the World Championships 2023 is hugely exciting and will help increase awareness of the many benefits of aufguss.”

Designed to enhance the benefits of traditional sauna bathing and heighten levels of endorphins and serotonin, the aufguss ritual is claimed to leave guests feeling both mentally and physically revived. Benefits are said to range from encouraging a meditative state of mind to improving cardiovascular strength, supporting the immune system, as well as alleviating pain.

To enter the UK Aufguss Championships, click here, or for further information on Aufguss training courses in the UK, email Deborah Carr.

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Aufguss, the communal sauna ritual from Europe, is becoming increasingly popular across the global spa and wellness industry. In 2023, the UK's first-ever national Aufguss Championship contest will be hosted at luxury hotel and destination spa Rudding Park in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
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