A lot of recent media articles and new offerings from retreat centres seem to be spreading the message that Forest Bathing is no different from any other walk in nature. To me, the Art of Connecting with Nature, something I facilitate on my guided Nature Connection (Forest Bathing) Walks, is quite different to a regular bushwalk. It is certainly something we can cultivate the awareness and skills to do on our own, but like any other practice it takes time, and it is first helpful to practice and learn with a guide.
We know from nature-based cultures around the world that moving slowly in nature is a valued practice and way of being. Moving slowly, taking the time to listen deeply, helps us to track ripples of movement on landscapes around us and inside of us. It connects us with our intuition, our deep inner knowing. In our modern world we’ve lost touch with these practices and tend to devalue them. On Nature Connection Walks we invite curiosity, play, imagination and awareness. We remember these innate ways of being.
Many people seem to think that Forest Bathing involves taking a bath or shower or in some other sense being nude in a forest. Here is a post to clarify some of the misconceptions you might have about Forest Bathing. I also include a bit of the science and research behind the practice, which indicates why it really is so important for our health!
The word yoga means connection. The process and practice of yoga is a journey to knowing our true nature. It involves exploration of internal landscapes, with non-judgement, curiosity and ever-expanding awareness. The same occurs on a nature connection walk, where you find you explore internal landscapes just as much as you explore external ones.