Forest Bathing

Sep 29th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles, Yvonne Ryves

I have been doing a lot of walking in forests recently. Where I live the ‘forests’ have very limited species, consisting of a lot of quick growing pine. This I am sure has its place but for me forests should be home to many varieties of native trees and so when I am in need of connecting and replenishing I take myself off to other parts where their forests have more of what my body and spirit crave.

When I wander through a forest or wood I love to be able to take my time, to let my energy seek out the right trees for me to connect with and work with. Sometimes I find myself in easy reach of the tree I need to connect with and having asked permission can physically touch the tree, rest my forehead against its bark and rest there, opening up the energetic connection between us. At other times I can cast my energy out to meet the tree, connecting in a completely different way but none the less equally powerful. At other times I may simply sit, lay or even wander and soak up the energy around me from all that are nearby. I always try to walk barefoot where possible, although at times this is difficult I always feel it is always more beneficial when  I can.

In my own garden I have Ash, Hawthorn, Apple, Plum, Willow, Beech and Fir, so when I am in the forests I tend to find my energy seeks out different species such as Oak, Holly or Birch; trees whose energy I cannot connect with in my day to day life except for when I am journeying. I really love how sometimes when walking in forests I meet a tree whom I have met in a recent journey and then it is like greeting and spending time with an old friend.

I always feel better, cleaner, clearer, more energised after being with the trees. Sometimes it is fun to open my awareness so that I can watch my energy change as I move from being surrounded by trees and into open space. Through communication with the trees to which I am drawn I can also gain insight or knowledge that I previously did not have which is always a bonus.

Knowing how much I gain myself by walking on forests it has been interesting to read about the Japanese practice of ‘Forest Bathing’, a practice which has been part of the Japanese national public health programme since 1982 and one that has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as reduce stress and promote well being. You don’t have to be pagan, shaman or anything else to benefit from Forest bathing, simply ‘be with the trees’.

Rather than me try to paraphrase the art of Forest Bathing and the findings of the research if you are interested you will find an article that you can read here 

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