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 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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