15 Jun Forest Bathing or Shinrin-yoku
In the 80’s the Japanese term shinrin-yoku came up to give an ecological alternative after the exhaustion of the technological boom and to bring people closer to nature again. This term can be translated as Forest Bathing.
In the 90’s, scientific researches where proving the physiological benefits of this practice. To name a few like:
- lower blood pressure
- lower cortisol levels
- improve concentration and memory
- a chemical released by trees and plants, called phytoncide, was also found to stimulate the immune system, and that benefits even several hours after exposure to trees, the sky, birdsong are evident …
We believe that the benefits are not only evident a few hours later, but days and months. In our retreats it is one of the fundamental practices and we call it Meditative Hiking. And here are some of the instructions to practice it.
Everyone who has come to one of our retreats has experienced walking slowly barefoot on the grass and cultivating full attention to the sensations that arise in the body with each step we take. We also open our connection with nature through other senses, enjoying the smell of the earth, the smell of nature, listening to its song. We feel with each pore of our body the experience that gives us being submerged by the days of the retreat between the forests and the tops of the mountains that surround us.
There are people who write us their experience after few days of a retreat at Casa Cuadrau, explaining us how it has helped them generate transformations in their habits, in their lives. They even tell us that they have deeply embedded in their memory those images and sensations of nature, that appear in their meditations, in their space of inner refuge.
It is a great delight for anyone to return to nature, its origins, its essence. Enjoy the movement of walking and moving barefoot slowly on the land, rest by the river after an invigorating bath, walk in silence, contemplate the dance of a butterfly or the gentle movement of the clouds in the sky. It is not necessary to have read all these scientific researches on shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), to receive the vitality that nature offers us.
The experience of a yoga, meditation, and hiking retreat is a great gift to reconnect with Mother Nature, to reconnect with ourselves, and with what really matters in life.
How many times do we miss the simple gifts that come from the experience of the present moment by living as automaton, while ruminating on the past or worrying about the future?