"Nature is imagination itself"
Rather than telling you what I think the session will be like for you, better that you hear it from someone who's been and tried it - and even better still - someone who didn't know anything about it in the first place! The huge benefits and growing importance of connecting with nature has started to become mainstream, so try to overcome any preconceived ideas of tree-hugging and just come along and try it for yourself. As journalist Olivier Guiberteau recently wrote, he realised that Shinrin-yoku had begun to “nurture a link I hadn’t even realized needed repair”.
When my friend suggested we go Forest Bathing one Saturday morning, I admit I had no idea what that was. Thoughts of hippies hugging trees popped into my head, and actually, if the past ‘plugged-in’ year working from home was anything to go - I thought I for one could benefit from getting back to nature, whatever that entailed.
But forest bathing is so much more - it’s a modern form of preventative medicine developed in Japan in the 1980s to address the rise in burnout and depression among Japanese executives. The morning promised to be grounded in science rather than folklore!
So I decided to leave my worries in the car park and ventured on this mini adventure through a still and dappled forest with Justine as our wise and wonderful guide. I don’t want to spoil any surprises for the uninitiated, but the experience was holistic and enriching. I left feeling reconnected with a sense of contentment and renewed optimism that had faded during the craziness of the past year.
Thank you, Justine, for introducing me to forest therapy - nature’s gift to us all. Mandy Cooper - Nower Woods
I had a visit recently from a journalist from my local newspaper, the Caterham Independent. Here's what Rosalind had to say about her experience with Shinrin-yoku, as well as my other passion, breathwork:
Did you know most people spend their lives breathing incorrectly? Babies do it perfectly: taking big belly breaths that oxygenate their blood, and expel carbon dioxide. As we get older, most of us end up taking shallower chest breaths, leaving us utilising only around 30% of our total lung capacity. Breathing is fundamental to creating the energy we use so, by not doing it properly, we’re making it harder for our body to function at its best.