International Sauna Association (ISA)

The International Sauna Association (ISA) is an association of national and other sauna societies, organisations and private people. It was founded in 1958 with the office in Germany . After 20 years quite slow activities it was reborn in 1977 in Helsinki Finland and the office was agreed to be in Helsinki.
The founding members were Austria , Germany , Finland and Japan and they are continuously members. Besides those there are 20 other members including all the important sauna countries. The President has been all these years from Finland.

ISA and its members shall pursue the goal of publicizing the sauna and promoting its use on a global scale by rallying supporters of sauna activities in different countries.
This goal is served e.g. by acceptance of the Definition of Sauna recorded in Aachen , Germany 1999 as well as promoting the scientific studies of the sauna from e.g. such viewpoints as social history, folklore, medicine and technology. A particular emphasis is given to the collection and compilation in archives of the results of such scientific studies as well as other written material on sauna.

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Sauna aid


Sauna Aid is a multicountry initiative, sponsored by the International Sauna Association (ISA), to provide movable sauna facilities and supportive services to people facing natural and man-made disasters.

During the 2011 Fukushima tsunami and nuclear plant accident, ISA and the Japanese Sauna Society maintained a tent sauna for five weeks and used it for decontamination and cleaning of over a thousand locals.

Sauna Aid is now focused on the war in Ukraine. The sauna, or laznia/banya, as it is known among Ukrainians, is an important part of everyday life and provides a means of hygiene, stress relief, socialization, psychological comfort, and social identity. It is not considered a luxury, nor is it only about cleanliness. It is a social event that brings together the young and the old, the rich and the poor and promotes peace and a common sense of humanity. Ukrainians call the banya their “second mother”.


Global network of saunapeople

The International Sauna Association consists of four types of memberships.
We have the founding members, national members, supporting members and ou honorary members.

Gathering of all these dedicated sauna people is what makes it possible for the International Sauna Association to spread the important message of good sauna culture and continue the good work around the world.

It is also important for the International Sauna Association to protect the cultural history surrounding sweat bathing while also welcoming and supporting new sauna initiatives and ways to sweat baths.

All this is only possible thanks to our amazing members!

Saunaletter 1/2023

Saunaletter 1/2023

Dear ISA members and other sauna lovers ISA News The New Year has started quite actively for ISA. We had a general Meeting in last October where we accepted e.g.  the new bylaws. This was giving ISA an option to increase the amount of Board members totally up to...

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Saunaletter  1-2/2022

Saunaletter 1-2/2022

Dear ISA members and other saunalovers The year has started  with many strange  happenings including still COVID – 19 and the restrictions based  on that and then the war in Ukraina. Still the sauna events are postponed from the first half of the year...

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DEAR ISA MEMBERS AND OTHER SAUNALOVERS Year 2021 is about to end. It has been very strange year like the previous one , too, because of the Covid 19. We were hoping in the autumn that the situation is becoming easier but just now it seems to be worse than ever in most...

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Tartu 2024: Naked truth

Tartu 2024: Naked truth

Opinion festival in saunas, where the sauna benches are the discussion stages. The goal is a nice get-together, promotion of sauna culture and development of conversation culture based on the example of sauna. Saun helps us to be better version of ourselves. Mobile...

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Regarding the sauna and the coronavirus

There is a lot of misleading information circulating on the subject of the sauna and the coronavirus. Here is a statement the International Sauna Association drafted. It has been reviewed by medical experts for accuracy.

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