Mindful Mondays: Forest Bathing

M I N D F U L ☼ M O N D A Y S
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Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is a mindfulness technique promoted as medicine by doctors in Japan. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” It involves paying close attention to our sensual experience of nature.

How does one take a forest bath?

  • First, find a place to sit or walk – in the forest, at the marsh, or in your backyard (remember to practice physical distancing in public spaces).
  • Begin by taking some deep breaths in and out through your nose. Maybe release a big sigh out of your mouth.
  • Choosing one sense to work with at a time, focus on what you are receiving. For example, See the way the light reflects on the water. Hear the birds chirping. Smell: fresh cut grass. Taste the salty air. Touch cool, damp soil beneath your feet. Perhaps connect to your sixth sense – Intuition. What arises in this moment of stillness?
  • Spend some time with each sense, sipping in the experience. Once you feel complete, begin to integrate your senses once again, painting a complete picture of your surroundings.
  • Take a final deep breath, release, and relax.

Read more about the origins of Forest Bathing from this article: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2018/05/02/our-lives/stressed-bathing-woods-just-doctor-ordered/

Photo Credit: Brittany Kleinschnitz, NEC Office and Event Support Staff