Forest bathing

Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term usually translated into English by “Forest bathing”. It describes the practice of healing through being immersed in nature.
Quarter of a mile from our house lays a narrow path which marks the entrance into the woods. This is the largest private forest of the county, dedicated to hunting and timber cutting.

Everybody knows that going on a walk helps improve your overall health – a good walk is good for your cardiovascular health- Shinrin-yoku has been shown to lower the concentration of cortisol (the stress hormone), as well as pulse rate and blood pressure. Trees release compounds called phytoncides, which you’d inhale during a walk in the woods.
But what matters here is how you set your mind during this walk to make the practice of shinrin-yoku efficient.

dreamy

I like to wander in silence without having any fixed destination. The only purpose in this practice is getting me somewhere in my mind, not in my body. I can savor the moments and the stillness along the way.

Aware of all my surroundings I can enjoy every thing that catches my eye and identify most of the trees and plants around me.

Connecting with nature contemplatively allows getting a mental break, I can leave my emotional baggage at home and use this time as an escape. I take in the details I didn’t notice before, and take the time to observe everything in a new light.

After, you will be able to see things more clearly. Among Japanese words hard to translate into English, I want to mention “Komorebi”, which describes the light you see in a forest: the rays that are filtered through the leaves. Next is “Kogarashi”: used to express a cold wintry wind, when late fall becomes winter. It denotes the leaf-wilting process, more precisely the moment when the leaves fall off the trees. And the last one is “Kawaakari”, the way the gleam of last light (particularly moonlight) plays on a river’s surface at dusk.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: A day of my week.

8 thoughts on “Forest bathing

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