A key part of forest bathing is meditating while concentrating on the sounds and smells of the bush. (ABC News: Tom Fedorowytsch)
Our small group stood still to meditate, concentrating on the sounds and smells of the bush, like the birdsong and the crisp winter breezes.We then took a deliberately slow walk, running our fingers through leaves and branches, and focusing our eyes on the eucalyptus trees and mountain scenery.”This is a way to really delve right down to say, ‘good grief look at that seed, look at that little dead leaf, look at that amazing insect, look at all the things that go on here’,” Ms Gaut said.”It really concentrates the experience right in that moment of feeling and sensing … Stressed? Tired? The Japanese art of forest bathing or “shinrin yoku” may be the cure for the ills of your urban life.There are no bath towels, soap or candles in sight, because this involves slow and tranquil walks through pristine wilderness.Australia now has three accredited guides in forest bathing, including Alex Gaut from SA’s Conservation Council.”[The Japanese] have this word, karoshi, which means death by overwork,” she said.”It was so bad they started working on ways to deal with the problem, so they were really the first to start developing this practice.”The ABC joined a session at Belair National Park, outside of Adelaide. (ABC News: Tom Fedorowytsch)
In bushland there is no need for phones and social media updates, and the walk finishes with a simple tea ceremony.Our fellow first-time forest bathers, despite being well-versed in hiking, picnics and bushwalking, said this was something unique.”This just really lets you stop and I think getting away from the material world helps that happen,” Palitja Moore said.”It’s the slowness, it’s the stillness, it’s the deep attention to being in the place, so I was noticing shapes, and colours, and sounds,” Jana Norman said.Researchers in Japan have linked forest bathing to a drop in blood pressure and stress levels.But Australian bushwalkers have known for generations that spending time in the great outdoors is good for the body, the mind and the soul. (ABC News: Tom Fedorowytsch) and everything else peels away.”
The shinrin yoku experience ends with a tea ceremony. Photo:
The art of forest bathing means taking in all the park’s surroundings, including its wildlife.
By Tom Fedorowytsch
June 18, 2017 11:52:26
Video: The art of forest bathing can combat modern-day stress