Forest Bath (Shinrin-Yoku)

Japanese practice a wonderful healing technique called “Forest Bath”. In Japanese it is called “Shirin-Yoku” which literally means “Forest Bath”.

It is a very simple methodology. You just have to go in a forest and be with the trees ! Yes, that’s it. There is no walking, jogging or special exercise or breathing technique required. Just be with the trees. Feel the atmosphere and connect with the trees around you through your senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. This will connect you internally with Mother Nature. People living in urban areas live in an artificial environment surrounded by glass/ concrete walls, air conditioners, electronic gadgets and they consume unhealthy food. This creates a strong disconnect between man and Mother Nature. The average American spends 93% of his or her time indoors. But spending time with Nature can greatly improve your physical and mental health. 

How to do Forest Bathing:

  1. Leave behind all your gadgets like mobile, camera, etc.
  2. Wear loose comfortable clothing made of natural fibre like cotton.
  3. Go to a nearby densely green area covered with lot of trees.
  4. Relax and walk amongst the trees. Walk slowly or stand if you wish.
  5. Feel the forest through your five senses.
  6. Experience nature through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet.
  7. Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees.
  8. Enjoy the variety of trees and their green color.
  9. Feel the sunlight on your skin.
  10. Trees emit various odours. Inhale and smell these odors.
  11. Feel the air against your skin.
  12. Place your hands on the trunk of a tree and tell the tree to fill you up with positive energy.
  13. Talk to the tree and feel connected with it.
  14. Lie down on your back on the ground and stare at the blue sky, green trees, birds and butterflies.
  15. Listen to the chirping of birds
  16. Connect with the forest and feel a sense of joy and calm.
  17. When you are doing all of the above and enjoying it, suddenly a connection will be built with the “spirit of forest” and you will feel deep inner joy, happiness and relaxation. You will feel energised and healed.
  18. Savour this feeling as much as you can

You can use a guide to explore a dense forest if you wish. While in the forest, you can do many things like meditation, yoga, walking, mantra chanting, breathing exercises, aromatherapy etc. But simply avoid electronic gadgets and external aids. Look for a place where there are trees, and go for Forest Bath periodically.

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