Pavel Poliacek - Fitness and Wellbeing Instructor & Sauna Master

Tell us a brief overview of your career to date

I am a Personal trainer and Sauna master with over 5 years experience working in Galgorm Resort.

How did you become a Sauna Master?

I walked past the sauna one day when my colleague was performing a ritual, and to be honest, I laughed at it, before he asked if I wanted to try. I gave it a go, but I wasn’t very good, so I then took it upon myself to learn to get better. I visited a few different countries to learn and 5/6 years later I am preparing to compete in the UK National Aufguss championships.

What does your role entail?

I am a personal trainer during the day, which means helping members improve their fitness in the gym either by taking classes in the gym or personal training them. In addition to this, I perform the Celtic Sauna Infusion rituals at 2pm, 4pm and 5pm. With two varied roles, there can be busy days and I am always on my feet, but every day is different, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to meet many different people every day which I enjoy.

How many hours would you say you spend in a sauna per week?

Between working in a sauna and sometimes using it for my own benefits, I would say I spend at least 10-12 hours a week in a sauna. The benefits are real!

Do you ever get used to the temperatures?

When performing the rituals, it gets warm and I get out of breath but using the towel I push the air towards the guests, meaning I push it away from myself. So yes, you do get used to the temperature over time. Having visited many different countries, the most recent being Romania where the sauna was 100 degrees, it’s safe to say I have experienced some extreme temperatures. The sauna in Romania was the hottest I have ever been in, but I am sure over time I would get used to that also.

Where is the hottest and coolest place to sit in the sauna?

When sitting in a sauna, the higher you are the hotter it is. The lower you are the cooler it is. Also, with my experience over the years the closer you are to the stones the cooler it is. This means the further away and higher up you are, the hotter it will be. But during the ritual, it doesn’t matter where you sit because the towel distributes the heat all around the sauna.

What is so unique about the Celtic Sauna Infusion experience?

The unique thing about the Celtic Sauna Infusion is that it is an immersive experience. It’s a treatment, but most importantly it’s a multisensory theatre show with the music and different tricks performed. It’s great to watch and a unique experience with benefits.

What are the benefits of the Celtic Sauna Infusion?

The benefits of the sauna infusion are endless. It’s very good for your skin and your breathing. It helps you sleep, and it helps if you have a cold or you’re sick in any way.

Where did you learn your towel tricks?

I have visited, Austria, Hungary, Holland, Romania, and England. In each country, I learnt different tricks and styles to use in my sauna rituals. It all takes time and dedication, I have spent hours practising my towel tricks, some of them took me a year to perfect.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I enjoy CrossFit. During lockdown, I watched a movie about the CrossFit Games, and since then I have worked very hard to improve my skills and training to become better at it. One day I will get to the CrossFit Games and compete.

Who inspires you?

That’s a very open question, but it’s me 10 years from now. If you know Matthew McConaughy you know what i mean.

What has been your biggest achievement?

Biggest achievement? There are two that stick in my head every day, one of which is getting into a boxing ring with over 500 people watching, the most nervous I have ever been. And the second in which I had a similar feeling was performing an Aufguss in Holland with over 250 people in the sauna.

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