Jena Robinson is crowned winner of second UK Aufguss Championships

The elite therpist from Rudding Park Spa claimed her title at the event held at Galgorm Resort in Northern Ireland


By Wendy Golledge

08 May 2024

Jena Robinson, an elite spa therapist at Rudding Park Spa, has been crowned winner of second Aufguss UK Championships.

The competition took place at Galgorm Resort in Northern Ireland. Second place was awarded to Melissa Little of Anada Spa and Wellness. Third place went to Dan Lawson of Nomadic Sauna.

The event saw competitors from across the UK showcasing their skill and aptitude in aufguss – ancient European sauna rituals that involve infusing essential oils into the sauna air, creating a sensory journey.

Taking place across two days in April, the event was sponsored by Finnmark and Beach Box.

“This year was all about taking the learnings from last year and building on that to make the event even bigger and better. It’s been awesome to see our competitors blossom, and the rituals being so well-received by the guests. It’s been a really wonderful, positive experience.”

Deborah Carr

British aufguss trainer and founder of the Aufguss UK Championships

Robinson will now proceed to the Aufguss VM World Championships, held in Holland in September.

Runner-up Melissa Little will participate in the play-offs at Infinit Sen in the Czech Republic in August, in the hopes of securing a place at the World Championships.

“We are at the start of a long aufguss journey in this country,” said Liz Watson of Beach Box, an off-grid Sauna Spa on Brighton beach.

“I believe this event will start to put aufguss into the toolkit of spas and saunas around the UK as a valid and beneficial ritual that shows skill and understanding of steam and aroma.”

Group of people in blue shirts smiling at the camera
Back row from left: Aufguss-WM vice president Lasse Eriksen; Japanese International Aufguss Jury member Miki Tokairin; competitors Zak Moore, Dan Lawson, Hannah Goodger, Melissa Little, Jena Robinson and Alessandro Lanna. Front row from left: president of the Japanese Sauna Association Heonsok Kim; six-time Danish Aufguss ChampionOng Lay Pang

About aufguss

Aufguss is a multi-sensory sauna ritual where an sauna master works with water and a towel to circulate heat throughout the sauna.

Designed to enhance the benefits of a sauna session by heightening levels of endorphins and serotonin, the aufguss ritual leaves guests feeling mentally and physically revived.

There are two types of aufguss – performance and wellbeing. The Championships focus on performance, combining the key elements of heat, essential oils, lighting and music.

A practise initially derived from native American sauna rituals, aufguss was first introduced in spas in Germany. It is now widely recognised as a leading wellness practise across Europe.

Benefits range from a meditative state of mind to improving cardiovascular strength, boosting the immune system and alleviating pain.

“It means a lot to be crowned this year’s champion, especially after coming in second last year. A lot of preparation went into my performance – practising every day, working on music and making props. It feels amazing to be crowned champion. I’d love my win to inspire new aufguss masters.”

Jena Robinson

Elite spa therapist, Rudding Park Spa

“My hopes for the VM World Championships in September are to learn a lot more from other aufguss masters and meet a lot more people in the community,” said Robinson.

“Of course I hope that I do well in the final but am just going to enjoy the whole experience!”

A sauna movement gathering momentum

Lasse Eriksen, vice-president of Aufguss WM and one of this year’s judges, urged spa operators: “Give it a little bit of time, give it support and dare to give aufguss a try in the UK.

“Over the next few years, I believe the UK will evolve as a sauna and sweat nation, and embrace the social wellness concept of sauna, because you already have such a great spa culture.

“The dedication from UK masters is infectious and aufguss willjust continue to grow from its grassroots to something so much bigger. I would say in three years, we will see how big it really can be.”

Woman performing sauna ritual with towel
Jena Robinson in action during an aufguss ceremony

Tara Moore, head of spa operations at this year’s host venue, Galgorm Resort, added: “We were delighted to host the Championships this year, having offered aufguss for a number of years.

“Sitting in on some of the performances was just magical. We’re especially proud of our own Zak Moore for competing in his first ever competition.

“I would encourage any spa owners interested in aufguss to find out more.

“It’s a great way of offering something different to spa guests. It is also a revenue stream with low costs so a win win for any spa.”

Sign up here to receive our weekly news delivered direct to your inbox

European Spa supports the aufguss movement

The art of aufguss – or sauna ceremony – is extremely popular with spa goers in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries and the South Tyrol.


It delivers the transformative power of steam and heat, and the soulful service of the dedicated sauna master. To read about the Challenge as reported in European Spa magazine, click below.


Be inspired...

To read the Spring 2024 issue of European Spa, click below


Sign up to our digital edition

Sign Up Now

European Spa Magazine is published by Spa Publishing Ltd    |    Company registration number: 6293825

About    |    Contact Us    |    Privacy Policy    |    Terms & conditions    |    Disclaimer

© Copyright 2024 - Spa Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.