Everyone knows that being in nature is good for us. In fact, having a connection with nature has been an important part of cultures across the world throughout history. Research tells us what we know intuitively: spending time in nature can reduce stress, boost immunity, and improve our moods. The practice of forest bathing is about purposefully tapping into that restorative energy and goodness.
“Shinrin-yoku” originated in Japan in the 80s, and translates to “forest bathing.” The goal of this exercise is to offer an eco-antidote to tech overload and to help practitioners reconnect with nature. Our bodies, after all, are built for the natural world. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 93% of his or her time indoors. And even when we’re not indoors, we’re often still chained to our technology and devices.
Fortunately, even little bits of time spent in nature are proven to be restorative. A true forest bath will help you unplug, relax, and bring you into the present moment. Forest bathing isn’t about hiking – it’s about using your five senses to connect with the outdoors. You can absolutely do it on your own, but many people find it incredibly valuable to go with a guide.
Guided Forest Bathing
Amos Clifford, is a former wilderness guide with a master’s degree in counseling. Clifford is also the founder of the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy, the body that certifies forest guides. He explains simply that a forest guide “helps you be here, not there.”
Want to dive in and try forest bathing? Then register for Wholistic Women in the Woods, an exploration of being whole using all your senses in nature.
You will start your day with yoga dance with Founder Kelye and Wholistic Coach Kat. Then Wholistic Coach Kim will nourish your soul with healthy living. Kim will provide picnic tips as we venture outdoors to enjoy lunch in the community.
In the afternoon we will pause and be still in nature, wander and connect more deeply with expression and creative writing with animal lover/tree hugger Elayne Bond Hyman, a friend of the Thorpewood forest. Director of Thorpewood, Katie Guth, will guide us in forest bathing to soothe, relax and meditate in nature.
Your day will wrap up in love and gratitude as you go into the world better and whole. Off we go!
Dress comfy, bring a yoga mat, leave your phone behind and hear the real sounds of nature.
Holly Christy is a local small business owner, wife of 20+ years, mother to tweens, and an entrepreneur. She holds an MBA, and uses her talents for writing, event planning, and making connections to grow her own business as well as those of her clients.