Last month, about 20 visitors joined us on Mother’s Day for a Forest Bathing walk. Participants were guided through a series of guided activities and meditations to help stimulate their senses and connect them to their natural environment. Some of the activities were as simple as touching plants or listening to the creek in silence, while other activities involved journaling, sketching, and sharing their experiences with others.
Forest Bathing, or Shinrin Yoku, originated in Japan in the 1980’s. More recently, however, many studies have been discovering the curative powers of the outdoors. A study released in 2011 examined participants walking in forest and urban environments. While both subjects used the same amount of physical energy, those in the forest environments showed significantly reduced stress hormones and blood pressure.
Humans have evolved outside in the natural world. But as a society, we’ve become increasingly dependent on indoor environments and have surrounded ourselves with technology. Thus, we’ve created barriers to those natural benefits our bodies have been adapted to over time. While you don’t need a guide to practice forest bathing, it’s important that we find ways to reconnect with the natural world in our daily lives. Would you be interested in another Forest Bathing walk? Let us know!