How to Forest Bathe

meditation self-care Jun 16, 2020

A couple of years ago, I read a book called, Forest Bathing by Julia Plevin based on the concept of shinrin-yoku. Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese practice of relaxation through the immersion of nature. It brings one out of the material world, into our natural habitat.

The benefits of spending time in nature are endlessly and heavily backed by scientific research. Yale's ecopsychology studies show that spending just two hours of time in nature per week helps lower blood pressure, stress hormone levels, reduces nervous system arousal, enhances immune system function, increases self-esteem, reduces anxiety, improves mood, lessons aggression, lessons effects of Attention Deficit Disorder, helps speed the rate of healing, reduces feelings of isolation, and promotes an overall sense of calm.

In Hawaiian Healing there is philosophy: like heals like. Apply that to humanity and nature and you will find it makes perfect sense: like heals like. We are of nature – we breathe the air, we eat the plants, we drink the water and we warm by fire. We are nature, nature heals us.


So how do you forest bathe?

You don't need a forest (and you don't need to get naked). In fact, you can find just as much healing in the desert, the jungle and the prairie. The point of "forest-bathing" is to simply get out in nature with no distractions.

How to Forest Bathe:

  • Get out as far as you can into nature and away from civilization (buildings, roads, etc).

  • Turn your phone on airplane mode.

  • Indulge in your five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, sound.

  • Be still - or walk ever so slowly.

  • Breathe.

  • Observe.

  • Look up, look down, look north, look west, look east, look south - experience all dimensions and directions.

  • Trust your intuition.

  • Ask nature for guidance.

  • Connect with the elements: water, fire, air, earth.

  • Let thoughts pass.

  • Be.

That's it. Notice how you feel before, during, and after. There's a great chance you'll understand how medicinal nature can be. There's a great chance you'll set your spirit free.


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