As forests begin their dazzling autumnal colour transformation, Sarah Dawson explores our ancient connection with woodland and how trees really can enhance your wellbeing.
The Ancient Art of Forest Bathing
Another way to connect with trees this autumn is Forest Bathing, the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates as, “bathing your senses in the atmosphere of the forest”.
Sonya Dibbin, an accredited Forest Therapy Guide and mindfulness and meditation teacher in-training (www.adoreyouroutdoors.co.uk) is a huge advocate of the practise: Forest Bathing is an evidence-based, therapeutic practise that connects people to their natural surroundings, using gentle sensory-based ‘invitations’ (relaxation exercises). Similarly to a meditative walk, Forest Bathing focuses on turning off the inner chatter and bringing your attention to the present moment.
“My job as a guide is to help you activate your senses“, explains Sonya. “As you slow down and relax, you’ll move into the state of ‘least excitation‘. It’s then that you reconnect with nature in a new way, enabling you to let your guard down and process emotions. Your problems might seem easier to handle with this clarity of mind“.
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