What is Forest Bathing? Understanding Shinrin-Yoku


Remember those days when you were younger and you walked through the woods and waded through streams? You might have not known it then, but you were actually practicing the art of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing. Now, as we get older and spend more time behind computer screens answering emails, taking time to step outside and walk with the trees has never been more important.

Micah Mortali is the Director of the Kripalu Schools and recently contributed an article to MindBodyGreen.com, The Magic of Forest Bathing + How To Incorporate It Into Your Self-Care Routine, where he discusses how forest bathing may be beneficial to our lives:

Studies have since shown that forest bathing can lower blood pressure and heart rate, increase subjective feelings of well-being and relaxation, decrease anxiety and fatigue, and lower stress hormones such as cortisol and noradrenaline.

Although it may sound intimidating—especially if you’re a city dweller—forest bathing can be easy for urbanites. All it takes is a 20- or 30-minute walk in a grassy park with trees.

Here are a few tips to get started on the powerful art of Shinrin-Yoku:

Go for a picnic

This is particularly helpful if you’re a parent looking to bring your children into the woods with you.

Take a digital detox

We all could use this from time to time. Many of us turn to Instagram to share that special moment. But why? Try to enjoy a sunset or nature without having to take out your phone or camera.

Ever try sound meditation?

The outdoors are flooded with wonderful sounds. Wind in the trees; birds singing; a babbling brook. Use those sounds to your advantage: close your eyes and focus your attention on the sounds you can hear. Even one minute of sound mediation can calm the mind and body, says Mortali.

Looking for more ways to propel your self-care regiment? These articles might help: 

Tips for increasing focus and awareness and decreasing stress at work

Remaining True to Your Yoga Practice While You Travel


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