Last week a very famous boxer fainted after coming out of a sauna. Last year Vinaya’s “sauna” almost made me faint on the street.
Vinaya’s car-sauna is hotter than the hottest. It can kill the strongest man on earth. On that day we drove about ten miles in his car-sauna along my running course on Union Turnpike. After ten miles I got out. When I opened the door and stepped out onto somebody’s lawn, I almost fainted. I told him that the owners wouldn’t appreciate it if I fainted on the lawn, and I got back into the car.
When we reached my house, some boys had to carry me out of the car onto the lawn. One was massaging my head, one my feet. They put ice all over my body, and there were two fans. I couldn’t recognise anyone, and I couldn’t even get up.
My next door neighbour Mrs. Chino came out of her house in a panic. She said that she didn’t want to lose me. “I recently lost my husband and I don’t want to lose you,” she said.
Finally the boys took me upstairs. I closed the door-only to have a more serious attack. I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
The sauna can be very dangerous if you try to lose five or six pounds all at once. The sauna should be used only for ten or fifteen minutes-not for an hour or two. Eat less and run more: this is the only cure for weight problems. The only answer is to run and then to not eat, to not eat and then to run. In my case I also put weights on my legs and get very good exercise when I walk.
Those who say they don’t eat and still gain weight have to pray to the goddess of air: “Please don’t come near me.” As the Indians traditionally pray to Saturn, “Saturn, please don’t come near me,” they have to pray to the air goddess or the wind god, “Please don’t come near me, because if you come, I gain weight.”
-3 February 1982
[Source: "The Dangers of the Sauna" in Sri Chinmoy, Run and Become, Become and Run, Part 9, Agni Press/Aum Publications, Jamaica, New York, 1983.]