When one hears forest bathing, the first visual that might come to mind is one swimming in water. Although, a good forest bathing location includes water, it usually does not include swimming in water. The concept of “bathing” comes from the idea that the air in the forest is like an ocean where one completely immerses themselves. Although the term forest bathing is a relatively new term, coined in 1982 by Tomohide Akiyama, this practice – also known as Shinrin Yoku – is an ancient Japanese practice. One that has many health benefits when practiced regularly.
It's not a hike
Another misconception about forest bathing is that you are going on a hike through the wilderness, which also is not the case. The pace of forest bathing is much, much slower and much more relaxed. In fact, at times, you will be asked to sit in the same spot for 15 or 20 minutes, or even longer. The distance is also very different than a hike – most forest bathing experiences include walking ½ a mile or less.
It's not an intellectual endeavor
Although there is much to learn in the forest, scientific facts about nature is not the point, in fact just the opposite is true. During Shinrin Yoku, you immerse your senses in the special characteristics of the forest. The forest will invite you to receive sounds, sights and energies. Speaking of energies, being with and a part of nature has many health benefits (seen here).
Reciprocity is one of the most important aspects to understand about forest bathing. Its not about “taking” from the forest for our healing; its about starting a relationship and a connection to all living things through continual inquiry. These inquires are referred to as invitations in Shinrin Yoku (some examples here).
The forest is the healer - the practice opens the door
Learn and prepare for your experience with a 30 minute intro workshop before the practice
Be guided on a 2 hour experience ending with a tea ceremony and sharing circle
Each experience will include a partnership with another high-vibrational activity