Step into the enchanting world of forest bathing and unlock the hidden treasures of nature. Forest bathing, also known as Shinrin-yoku in Japan, is the practice of immersing oneself in the natural environment of a forest. It involves engaging all five senses to fully experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and even tastes of the forest. It's not about rigorous physical exercise or reaching specific destinations; instead, it's about slowing down, being present, and connecting with nature on a deeper level.
Time-Out in Nature
Lay down, take a deep breath and relax. You are five years old again, strolling through the woods, exploring the woodlands with all your senses, taking in the different smells and sights. In the summer, you can lay on one of the barks, watch the leaves moving in the wind and listen to the birds and squirrels jumping from one tree to the other.
Things to do in the forest
Looking for fractals
Fractals are geometrical patterns that repeat themselves in ever more minor scales. You can find fractals everywhere in nature. Our brain finds fractals particularly soothing to look at. Research shows that our brain produces relaxing alpha waves when we look at fractals. The environment is full of it.
Wander and Wonder
Look around in the forest. Look at trees, leaves, nuts and berries. Walk around and look at the differences between two particular leaves. Explore the way the trees have grown. Once you start looking around, you will find all sorts of things. Maybe there is a bird's nest or a badger hole. You may discover mushrooms growing out of the bark or pretty flowers. No matter how much time you spend in the forest, you make discoveries every time.
Explore the forest with all your senses
Take a leaf and crush it between your fingers. What can you smell? Have a look
at different leaves. Maybe one is hairy, and one is smooth or even waxy. How are the colours different? When we look at the forest with all our senses, we see the woodlands from an entirely new perspective.
Find a place to sit in the forest. Sitting on a tree is super grounding. Take your shoes off and look up at the canopy.
Forest Bathing and Yoga
Yoga and forest bathing are the perfect combination. It gets you into the right mindset, so you can start your experience feeling relaxed and stretched out.
Research on the effects of forest bathing on mental well-being
Dr. Qing Li, a pioneer in the field of forest medicine, has dedicated his career to studying the physical benefits of forest bathing. As an immunologist, he was particularly interested in how spending time in nature affects our immune system. He conducted numerous studies, exploring the relationship between forest bathing and our overall health.
His studies have shown that spending time in the forest can increase the activity of natural killer cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a crucial role in fighting off viruses and cancer cells. These findings suggest that forest bathing can boost our immune system and help protect us against diseases. In addition, Dr. Li's research has demonstrated the positive effects of forest bathing on reducing inflammation, improving sleep quality, and even increasing anti-cancer protein production in the body.
Our wellness days are a mixture of well-being, exploration and fun. It is also the perfect day out for hen parties, team away days or celebrating a special occasion with your friends. If you are interested in Forest Bathing, check out our events calendar and come along.