Around the globe, nature and forest therapy guides are taking the Japanese art of Shinrin Yoku (a.k.a. forest bathing) to soaring new heights, offering countless health benefits for both body and spirit.
The practice of nature and forest therapy as taught by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy includes a standard sequence of invitations led by a certified guide. It’s important to note: the forest is the therapist; the guide opens the door. Invitations are opportunities to connect more deeply with the natural world in your own unique way. It’s amazing what nature reveals when we quiet our minds and awaken our senses.
Next time you’re out in nature, follow your heart to a place that feels right, then try out this “sit spot” invitation:
Take a seat in nature's theater. Make yourself comfortable and notice that this theater is equipped with vivid 360-degree views, surround sound, even smell-a-vision. Today’s featured film is viewer's choice and lasts roughly 20 minutes or more. (Silence your phone and set a timer so you won’t be distracted by checking the time.) It will begin whenever you’re ready. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
After 20 minutes (or more), take a moment to reflect. What are you noticing? Share your thoughts with a friend or jot them down in a journal.
About the Author
Kelly Bruce is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide/Trail Consultant and the founder of Natural Wanders. She leads forest bathing and nature therapy walks in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. Subscribe to her e-newsletter for more inspiration from nature and to learn about upcoming walks, workshops and retreats. Each Wednesday, she’ll provide inspiration to help you wander into wellness, naturally. In the meantime, follow along on Instagram and Facebook.
Photography by @zailaffitte.
Welcome! I'm Kelly Bruce, a certified nature and forest therapy guide. Read on for inspiration to help you improve your overall wellbeing, naturally!