The Art of Forest Bathing

If you were one of the wonderful people who joined us at our Festival of Learning then you would have had the chance to experience some Forest Bathing (or Shinrin Yoku, as the Japanese call it)…

Essentially the art of Forest Bathing is a practice which enables an individual to both connect with the non-human world externally and connect with themselves internally, as such this chimes with both our pursuit for a sustainable mindset and the development of our own wellbeing. In essence it is a simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around you whilst breathing deeply. When guided it can also extend to co-breathing with the trees around you (which I like to do), exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide between you and the forest. Also you can go tactile, feeling the wood on your cheek, the roots underfoot, grounding yourself through ‘feeling’ the forest.

Educators at Cymbrogi HQ

Here are a few top tips for beginners, courtesy of Forestry England:

  • Take in your surroundings using all of your senses. How does the forest environment make you feel? Be observant, look at nature’s small details.

  • Sit quietly using mindful observation; try to avoid thinking about your to-do list or issues related to daily life. You might be surprised by the number of wild forest inhabitants you see using this process.

  • Keep your eyes open. The colours of nature are soothing and studies have shown that people relax best while seeing greens and blues.

  • Stay as long as you can, start with a comfortable time limit and build up to the recommended two hours for a complete forest bathing experience.

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"Thank you so much for such a fantastic day on Monday! We are going to hold our first changemaker club next week!"

Young Changemakers Participant