The Restorative Powers of Forest Bathing

Every now and again, a reader writes something so perfect, it can be a post unto itself:

Forest bathing. Do you know of it? I stumbled across it on an online search last year. Looked powerful and highly accessible. So I did my own version of it, slowly walking one of my favorite paths in nearby woods. A woman passing by stopped me and said, “Well, look at you. You look like you have it all together…so relaxed, so peaceful.” And yep, that’s exactly how I felt right then.  There’s something about those trees.

And speaking of trees, I have September 15 marked on calendar. That’s when the book, The Hidden Life of Trees you told us about is available on Amazon. To hold us over, there’s a very recent and engaging TED talk on how trees communicate. But actually, they collaborate, which I consider that one step beyond communication, n’est-ce pas?

forest bathing ?

Shinrin-yoku — taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing was formally developed in Japan in the 1980’s although the practice has been around for eons. The Shinrin-yoku.org website describes the many healing effects of the simple idea:

 …if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved. 

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

We’ve long made a practice of doing it daily in the rather wild park across the way, not knowing there was a name for it. The benefits are palpable. Thinking of it as bathing adds a lovely dimension.

We wondered: What would happen if we reframed our wanderings through our day as bathing of various kinds: Cloud Bathing, Air Bathing, Star Bathing, Peace Bathing, Goodwill Bathing, Dream Bathing…

Stefan Herringslack

Stefan Herringslack

You can watch the TED talk “How Trees Talk to Each Other here. And/or read the transcript here.

With thanks to Z for the wonderful email.

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