Forest Bathing-Shinrin Yoku
The medicine of the forest
It is becoming more common as a preventative health care measure.
Recently I took this video after meeting up with a friend
Time granted that I was able to spend a wee bit more time out in nature, to go off the beaten track, just off a lake and on the edge of a forest
It reminded me of a term known as Shinrin Yoku
Or what it’s more commonly known as “forest bathing”
what intrigues me about it and what I like about it, is the idea that it’s not a doing, it’s bathing,
so many people go do outdoor pursuits, out walking, power walking, arms swinging
but not a lot of time is often lead or left to sit back and relax.
Imagine a cyclist, going through a track on a mountain bike, at some point, they’ll sit back, pull out the water bottle and have a wee drink, and move on -whereas forest bathing is a different concept altogether
It is simply going for a walk or spending time in nature
rather be in the mode of doing and pursuing it’s the mode of
soaking up, bathing and basking in the atmosphere around
It is said to bring down, and reduce, blood pressure, stress levels
If you look into the more the scientific sort of side of it,
the trees are releasing pheromones
I think of the word ‘pheromones’ as like -in my idea, it’s kind of like endorphins
or happy chemicals and the effects that they have within our bodies.
What to ‘do’
When in nature just take time to sit
and notice the leaves, as the wind goes through them,
Listen and notice the sounds. Look and see the wee insects or the bugs that are about.
Listen to the birds.
And just be okay with doing nothing.
I would imagine for somebody that climbs mountains
or goes hiking and things like that,
the time where they would really bathe in it and
bask in it is the point where they reach the peak or as high or far as they would like to go and they just sit and look around and soak in the beautiful view around them
And so – it’s not something that
I would say you must go out and do this.
It’s one of those things that I would encourage
people to spend more time ‘doing’
Simply go out just for the walk and as you do every once
in a while just to pause and notice.
Spending time near rivers and streams
Now it’s fascinating walking right near where there’s water
where there’s a bit of a river flowing somewhere,
Even though it’s the same river that you’re walking around and along.
Have you ever noticed at different points the water changes
the current changes, the water might fly over some rocks for a bit
as it makes a ‘russelly’ noise
and other points that can be pure still.
While at other points you could just hear a wee bit of
a waterfall percolating down into the lake/stream or river
Notice just to be aware and notice the different things that are going on and just notice most importantly,
how you feel within the experience and afterwards after coming out of spending time in nature
and reflect on it compared to how you felt before going in
you might notice there’s a bit of a difference.
Is it addictive?
You might want to do it a wee bit more
and with it being the great outdoors
it might be an idea to wear suitable clothing
if its a cold day – layer up
if it is wet where you’re going -wear boots or
something amenable to where you going.
Even places like the beach and the seaside being able to walk bare feet and touch the very earth that you’re walking on is a form of bathing when done in a relaxed way.
Something that’s been very powerful
for me to recognise and notice at times is realise that
at some point
and turns into the very stuff we’re walking on
and being in it and walking around it.
At some point, we come out of the ground
in some way shape or form
and the body goes back in
sometimes it’s a reminder that
what really is the important things to look out for in life and notice if life is serving you and how you can we leave this place we are in, a better place for anyone else coming along because our experience of it is very short
The Ultimate timeline
If you look at the thousands
or billions of years that the world’s been here.
Many species that have come and gone
we’re a tiny tiny drop in that timeline.
And while the earth itself is still here still doing its thing.
Still going through cycles it’s seasons
This is just a nice wee place to be
so that’s a little bit about forest bathing or spending time in nature
Simply be comfortable sitting somewhere in nature
away from the usual distractions
to simply sit with it not trying to do anything
not trying to get something out of it.
Just being okay in your own skin.
Sitting around the skin of the planet
I hope this is helpful for somebody reading this
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