The баня Shower Methodology

When I lived in Hong Kong, I briefly converted to taking cold showers. The physical, but mostly mental, benefits are touted about the internet.

I appreciate the premise, but..

  • Getting out of bed is difficult enough sometimes, the prospect of an ice cold shower isn’t exactly a driving factor on such mornings.


  • Much like Uncle Eddy, I enjoy thinking, and some of my best thinking happens in the shower, so converting to full on cold showerer eliminated my daily time in the brain booster, as my thoughts during a cold shower are typically..
breath in… breath out… this water is cold… breath in… breath out…

As with many things in life, the phrase “Practice all things in moderation, including moderation.” can be applied here.

On New Years Day, I had my first Russian bath house ( баня — pronounced banya) experience, courtesy of the Bell bros.

Lake Michigan, January 2, 2017.

For those who haven’t had the cultural and bodily experience of a Russian bath house, essentially you rotate through various types of saunas, with ice cold plunges and dousings in between, for hours on end, with a bunch of Russian dudes — its great, trust me.

Recently, I accidentally discovered the method of Russian bath house showering — the perfect blend between brain boost time and cold shower therapy.

I’ve been trying to wake up before 5AM this year, which is tough for a myriad of reasons, mainly because the choice between..

cold, dark, world | vs. | warm, sleepy, bed one that is inherently not easily won, and one that requires more self discipline than 5AM Jason has on a majority of days.

To counter this, I’d set up a morning routine of warmth: hot breakfasts, hot coffee, and hot showers — something that is a much easier victory over previously will sucking comfort, but it was missing something. It was missing pazazz. That GOOD MORNING!!! that gets the blood flowing, the heart pumping, the brain firing. At 5AM, a warm shower can slowly turn into sleeping standing up.

Here enters, The Banya Shower Methodology

Obviously, it’s super simple, and exactly mimics the Russian bath house methodology:

  • Turn on the shower
  • Wait for it to warm up
  • Enter
  • Enjoy
  • Clean up
  • Do some thinking

(but then…)

  • You turn around and face the shower head, and handle and…
  • GOOD MORNING!!! The brain says “I do not want.” but you say “Too bad, watch this.” and you turn that sucker all the way as cold as it goes.
  • Now, enjoy, again, but different. Breath, deeply, you’ll probably need to. And don’t skimp. Let it linger. Make sure to soak it in on every part.
  • Let it get cold, real cold, all the way cold, full cold — multiple minutes of cold. You want to not think, about anything, except breathing, and cold. Enjoy the way your vision sharpens, the way your focus is easily perceived with each deep breath, and almost, the warmth of the cold…..
  • Then you’re done, you can flip it back to warm, let yourself warm up again, do a bit of thinking if you’ve got it left, get out, dry off, and get your day rolling, feeling a bit more rejuvenated and prepared than you otherwise would have.

Happy Monday all,


brought to you by a nice early morning fueled by the Banya shower methodology!