An integrative approach to healing ourselves and our world: honoring people, plants, planet

Archive for the ‘Shinrin-yoku’ Category

Forest Bathing–A Mindful Experience with Nature, June 10, 10:30-12:30

In partnership with Crabtree Farms of Chattanooga, TN, I will be leading a Forest Bathing experience. Contact (in advance) Crabtree to register.

Forest Bathing, also called Shinrin-yoku, is a Japanese concept of immersing oneself in the rich sensory experience of the forest with open awareness and no expectations. The body and mind “bathes” in the smells, sounds, light, movement, taste and feel of the forest.

Through mindful experiences such as Forest Bathing, we can be present with the body and senses, simply resting in natural awareness, grounded. We will practice skills in how to work with difficult thoughts and feelings to reduce stress and anxiety.

Research in Japan is providing evidence of what nature-lovers have intuitively known for years: that reconnecting to the forest will heal us. Studies show, specifically, that intentional forest walking elevates the mood, reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, boosts the immune system, and reduces the heart rate.

Experience it for yourself.

Location:  Guild-Hardy Trail at Lookout Mountain Conservancy.  (The trail is located at the northern end of Lookout Mountain within the Chattanooga city limits.  Park in the far west end (gravel) lot at Ruby Falls where we will meet to start our walk.)

Why Wilderness?

Tellico Wild reconnects people with the wilderness.   http://wildsidetv.com/video/tellico-wild/

In August 2015, Tennessee’s Wildside adventured into the Tennessee Citico Wilderness to film naturalists and people seeking a day of reconnecting with their wild side. Bill and Laura Hodge organized the event, sponsored by Wild South and SAWS. I was honored to have Tennessee Wildside come along to film the edible and medicinal plant hike I led to Fall Branch Falls. This is one of my favorite areas in East Tennessee’s Wilderness region. Medicinal plants abound right at the trailhead and throughout the entire hike. In August, it is a cool, moist day in the 70s, a refuge in the southern heat.

It’s winter now as I post this, but at the end of February, the earliest of spring ephemeral wildflowers will soon emerge. Once the days start getting longer after the winter solstice, I’m already dreaming of spring wildflowers. I post this now to remind us of the beauty to come, and urge people to get out and enjoy our precious wilderness areas in 2017. I’ll be leading some edible and medicinal hikes this year. Stay tuned!

And PLEASE! contact TN Congressman Chuck Fleischmann to tell him to sign the Tennessee Wilderness Act. It takes an act of congress to protect Wilderness forever, which is a forever “thank you” to those who made it happen. Wilderness is where you can lose your urban worries, and find the wild heartbeat in your soul. Don’t you think we need that right now?

To watch the 5 minute video on Tellico Wild, including some of my hike, click this link:

http://wildsidetv.com/video/tellico-wild/

I hope you make it out into the wilderness this year. You can be transformed in just one hike.

 

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Spring Ephemeral Forest Bathing Retreat, Sat. April 12, 10-3

Spring Ephemeral Forest Bathing 2014

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