Collectively, western society has become borderline hysterical. You can just turn on the TV and see how the world has become mad. Day in and day out, negative energy bombards us through our devices and media. It is exhausting, stressful, causes disease and interferes with out circadian rhythms. We get so caught up in the drama of being connected, that we panic when we cannot get a wifi or data signal. The sense of being all “up in our heads,” takes over, leading to anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and substance abuse. We just want the “noise” to stop, but we cannot imagine our lives without it.
Think back to a time where you were out in a forest walking at a relaxed pace. The air is clean, you are feeling the tension leaving your body and the birds are singing. You can taste the sweet air, feeling the breeze on your face. In The more time you spend here the more present you become. The chaos clattering about within quiets down that turns into a calm and grounded connection with the Earth.
Shinrin-Yoku is the Japanese word for “forest bathing,” the art of breathing in and enjoying the forest with all senses. It is no surprise that the Japanese came up with a word for this practice, since 68.5% of the land mass is covered in forests! Not to be confused with hiking, Shinrin-Yoku is a slow deliberate enjoyment of the forest. Typically, this can cover ½ to 1 mile of area and lasts 2-4 hours. Time is taken to sit, skip stones, and marvel at the different shades of green in the sunshine.
The benefits of this practice are immediate. With the constant barrage of information we are receiving through our many devices, being “off the grid” for a few hours a week can do wonders.
Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.
For more information about Shinrin-Yoku, check out these websites below.