Thursday, April 21, 2016

Forest Bathing....

I had a Forest Bath the other day.... a walk in the woods....something we should all try to do as often as we can:) I always feel better in myriad ways after a walk under the trees but did not realize it is a "thing." Shinrin-Yoku is the Japanese name for it. 

 Time spent in the forest has been proven to lower stress levels by reducing cortisol, which elevates your mood and strengthens your immune system.   All you have to do is visit a forest for a short stroll in the green and living space or just sit a bit and soak it all up.
While in the forest we breathe in volatile substances, called phytoncides (wood essential oils), which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from trees; we listen to the wind in the branches, birds and streams if nearby. All things which are calming...  We move with gentle purpose, soaking up the living energy. It is a real form of meditation in which we unknowingly participate. In Japan there are now 44 accredited Shinrin Yoku forests. I love this idea.

Sleeping In The Forest

I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

 -Mary Oliver
Pictures were taken in Hemlock Ravine with the exception of the first pic which was in Alberta.

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