The healing energies of the natural world have been known about for centuries. Forest Bathing is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, which can be loosely translated to “taking in the medicine of the forest”. This practice was established in the 1980's in Japan as a direct response to declining health in the population. It is a simple yet profound way to tap into natural healing powers that are readily available to all of us.
Extensive research shows that Forest Bathing can offer relief from anxiety and depression, provide a deeper sense of mental relaxation, better sleep and an increased feeling of gratitude and overall sense of well-being.
HOW DOES FOREST BATHING WORK?
"Bathing" does not refer to water or swimming but to being fully emerged in the flow of the forest air and its natural components including phytoncides, chemicals released by the trees, which studies have shown to have a beneficial anti-microbial effect on human bodies and boosting the immune system.
During Forest Bathing we respond to a series of invitations - suggestions from the forest itself to slow down and to experience the natural world primarily through our senses and in a variety of ways.
Forest Bathing is not an outdoor exercise or ramble in the woods but rather a slow, deliberate, and mindful encounter with nature meant to increases our awareness of our surroundings, eventually leading to a reciprocating relationship with the forest. The aim of aim our “bath" is to achieve downtime with a meditative feel.
Each session offers the possibility to experience yourself as part of the web of life and gain new perspectives on ways of transformation. The insights and guidance you’ll receive are based on your own felt sense — you will feel whether what the forest shows you rings true and is authentic for you.
WHAT TYPE OF ACTIVITIES WILL I ENCOUNTER?
Forest Bathing typically lasts about 2 hours and doesn't cover much distance (less than 1/2 mile) on a level and unobstructed path. We will mostly be in silence. Each session closes with a brief tea ceremony and time for sharing and reflection on how to integrate your experience into daily life.
A session of forest bathing might consist of becoming aware and moving through a series of Invitations like these:
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