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Forest Bathing

What is this interesting phenom? Forest Bathing is about being and not doing. It's a mindful meditation practice of sorts. Studies show that spending time in nature, especially with trees, improves your immune system function. To start, all you need is yourself and the trees.

  1. You can be in a forest, wooded park, or your backyard. You can plan to be in this space for an hour, a day, or a few days. The more time you spend in the trees, the better. Meaning you will reap more benefits. But to begin, start smaller.

  2. Start walking and make sure you can find your way back to the start. Find somewhere that you can lean or sit and be still for 10 or more minutes. Then, just be, just sit and be still.

  3. Bring awareness to your breath moving in and out through your nostrils. Listen and just be still bringing awareness to sounds around you. Notice if there are any scents and just be in this still awareness.

  4. When your mind wanders bring it back to your senses and where you were focusing your awareness before. Notice how your body responds to the stillness. If you feel safe, close your eyes and notice your senses heighten. The forest is bathing you - washing away stress and anxiety and bringing about a sense of calm and balance. Sometimes you might feel an energy connection.

  5. When you are done being in stillness you can arise and start walking. Feel the forest breeze and imagine anything that isn't serving you positively, being released into the forest, bathed away by the forest trees.

What can you take away from this experience? Do you feel calm, balanced, and serene? This is a beautiful practice that you can do anywhere there are trees. Enjoy the practice and repeat often.

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