The Art and Science of Forest Bathing

Shinrin-yoku, or literally “taking in the forest atmosphere”, popularly known in U.S.A. as “Forest Bathing” can be described as immersing ourselves in the special qualities of the forest. We walk slow and mindfully, (at times in silence) so we can focus our senses on the myriad of ways the more than human world surrounds and affects us. We notice the breeze on our skin, listen to the sound of a brook, the call of birds, and the rhythm and movement of the trees. By becoming present and centered in the moment we turn down the cacophony of inner thoughts and allow the forest to support our natural ability to heal and become well.

Forest Bathing is not the same as hiking, the destination is “here,” not “there” and the pace is slow with the focus on connection and reciprocation (we need nature and it needs us).

A Mindful Outdoor Experience may include the following:

  • Welcome
  • Context
  • Mindful breathing
  • Gentle warm up
  • Centering to place
  • Gratitude
  • Walking with awareness
  • Nature immersion – “sit spot”
  • Council practice-share circle

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