Rimba Sweat: Lux Nomade tries Sydney’s hottest infrared sauna
Traditional saunas are out and infrared studios are in – but are the two forms of wellness truly that different? LUX Nomade set out to answer the question at Sydney’s ‘best destination infrared sauna studio’.
It was late June, around the time Sydney’s weather made a snap overnight turn from short-sleeved autumn to cosie-up winter, when an invitation arrived for a 50-minute infrared sauna session at Rimba Sweat in Manly, NSW.
Described as a ‘first of its kind’ consciously curated infrared sauna studio, it promised ‘healing, restoration, and tranquility’ as well as a boost to the immune system. Although sold by the marketing spin, we naively signed up believing it was just a regular sweat session designed to promote perspiration.
So we slipped into a swimsuit, packed a spare pair of clothes, and headed to the studio.
Located five minutes from the iconic Manly Beach, Rimba Sweat sits fittingly next door to a clean eating cafe and an organic retail store and distinguishes itself with floor-to-ceiling windows exhibiting a warm, earthy reception area detailed with plants, cushioned seating, a small product display, and a studio puppy.
Inside the large, white-framed doors, the Mediterranean-inspired décor was complemented by relaxing, instrumental sounds and an ambient scent. It felt like we were checking into a mini wellness retreat and Hannah, at reception, would be our guide for the next 50 minutes.
“The studio is nearing its two-year anniversary,” explained the receptionist whose white blouse and matching pants coordinated perfectly with the studio’s aesthetic. “We opened in 2020 and will expand in the coming months to two new locations – Cronulla and Neutral Bay.”
We learned that the studio has attracted a flurry of local health enthusiasts and become a regular wellness routine for various sporting groups from legendary pro-surfers such as seven times World Champion Layne Beachly to running groups.
Hannah talked us through the next hour, explaining that we’ll receive a mix of short and long-term benefits including a sense of refreshment, a boost to the immune system, and more. She then convinced us to take an orange and ginger shot (sold behind the desk) before walking us through a Grecian archway to the large two-person sauna.
We received a quick tour of the room and the Rimba Sweat differences were quickly becoming clear. The state-of-the-art room was fitted with a full-spectrum cedar wood sauna equipped with an iPad and adjustable colour therapy lighting (chromotherapy) – each colour providing a unique healing power from red for increased energy to yellow for a creative boost and green for peace and harmony. There was also generous spacing for clothing and other belongings as well as a shower.
“The temperature will slowly increase over the next hour, allowing your body to adjust to the changing climate. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water,” Hannah advised as she placed two bottles by the sauna door.
We settled in for the first 30 minutes with a ‘red light’ and chatted over Jhene Aiko’s discography. Just as Hannah described, our bodies, inside and out, adapted to the temperature increase with ease. As we entered the last 20 minutes, we switched over to the ‘orange light’ which promised to free the mind, remove inhibitions and assist with the repairing of sinuses – which I’d suffered from since catching COVID earlier in the year.
At 37 minutes, as the heat well exceeded 60 degrees, our chatter slowed and we focused on our breathing. As the final minutes ticked over, the towels beneath us had become catchments of sweat and we were ready to step out into a cooling shower.
It was as we changed into our clothes that we realised (and welcomed) the immediate effects of the infrared sauna – we were feeling simultaneously energised and relaxed, any muscle aches had dissipated and my sinuses had completely cleared! Weeks later, they remain clear.
Although it may share a name with regular saunas, Rimba Sweat’s infrared sauna studio is a standalone experience that fuses light technology with modern and spacious sauna settings and iPad entertainment to provide a relaxing, detoxifying, healing, and affordable 50-minute escape.
Book a session next time you’re headed to Manly or keep an eye out for new studios coming to Cronulla and Neutral Bay in 2022. Rimba Sweat is having a special birthday sale with 4-week sweat packs in a standard sauna available for $132 ($33 per session, normally $45 per session). For more information, visit the website https://rimbasweat.com.au