FOREST BATHING EXPERIENCES – back for 2021!
Check our What’s On? guide for available dates and how to book or
“Go deep into the forest, reconnect with nature and your true self”
The practice of ‘Shinrin Yoku’, (translated into English as ‘Forest Bathing’) has been an integral part of Japanese healthcare since the 1980’s and is prescribed to treat a wide range of physical and mental health issues. This simple yet deeply nourishing practice has been scientifically proven to be effective in lowering stress hormones, reducing blood pressure and heart rate, improving concentration and memory and is also a powerful way to boost the immune system. Today, Forest Bathing is practiced all over the world and has gained popularity in the West as a gentle yet effective antidote to our ‘always on’ culture.
So, what exactly is it?
To Forest Bathe means to bathe in the atmosphere of the forest (so unlike the title may suggest, no swimsuit is required!). During a Forest Bathing Experience, you will be gently guided into the heart of the woods and invited to immerse yourself fully in nature using all of your senses. You will be offered various invitations to connect with Nature through simple mindfulness exercises, that will help you to develop present moment awareness and establish a deep connection with the forest and its wildlife. You will also have the opportunity to sit quietly and allow yourself to simply ‘be’ with yourself and Nature, a rarity in our fast-paced lives. Every Forest Bathing Experience is unique but offers a deep sense of calm and renewed connection to nature and yourself.
How is it different to just going for a walk in the woods?
When we go walking, our minds are often so busy that despite our best intentions it can be hard to stay in the ‘here and now’ for more than a few moments before we are off planning, worrying, remembering or chatting. When you walk with a Forest Bathing Guide, they hold the space and support you to remain in the here and now with mindfulness exercises and regular invitations to come back to your senses. In this way, you enjoy a deeper connection with nature and can start to access a stillness within that is so often drowned out by the mental chatter of our daily lives. From that point of stillness often comes a reconnection to your ‘true self’. It can be a very liberating experience and often one that brings a profound sense of wellbeing. But don’t just take our word for it…The Telegraph listed Badgells Wood in their top 15 places to experience forest bathing in the UK!
About your Guides:
Kate Benyon is an accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher and Forest Therapy Guide. Formerly a physiotherapist, she was inspired to retrain in Mindfulness and Nature Therapy after experiencing their transformational benefits for her own health. As the founder of ‘Wanderful’, a Nature Connection and Mindfulness Community, she regularly guides Forest Bathing experiences in the Kent countryside. She also delivers Mindfulness training for people suffering from chronic health conditions, pain or stress.
To find out more about Kate and Wanderful visit www.wanderful-life.com
Tansy Jane Dowman is a People Walker, Forest Therapy Guide and Rewilding Mentor. Her skills as a fully accredited life coach, combined with her Nature connection and therapy work, allow her to walk alongside individuals and groups to support them on their journey of personal evolution and well-being. Tansy holds events, retreats and walks all around the Kent, Sussex and Surrey countryside. She is deeply passionate about spreading the word on Nature connection and has been featured on both BBC Radio Surrey and Kent. She also has her own show on Wellbeing Radio titled ‘Journeys into the Wild’.
To find out more about Tansy and her work visit www.hershininglight.com
About our Forest Bathing Experiences:
Forest Bathing Walk (£20 – 1.5hrs duration) – A Forest bathing walk is perfect if you are seeking a short pause in your day to release stress and recharge yourself. It is a wonderful way to give yourself permission to switch off from the man-made world and find time for deep relaxation that also offers a sense of wonder and intrigue. You can choose to join us at either 9.15am or 11am. These walks are like a taster version of the full workshop, following a similar format over a shorter period of time. Check our What’s On page for available dates.
Forest Bathing Workshop with Tea Ceremony (£45 – 3hrs duration) – For those seeking a more immersive experience then a Forest Bathing workshop is a truly magical way to spend a morning getting lost in the beauty and wonder of Nature. Sometimes the busy mind can take a while to calm down so giving yourself this time will allow for greater levels of relaxation and presence. People report feeling deeply at ease after these workshops often leading to feelings of gratitude, joy and peace. We set-off at 9.30am and the morning will finish with a traditional Forest Bathing Tea Ceremony of herbal or foraged teas and healthy snacks and a chance to share your experience with the group. Check our What’s On page for available dates.
A Midsummer Journey – one day retreat on Saturday 19 June 2021 (£95 – from 10am to 4pm) – A blissful well-being day retreat that offers the unique opportunity of a modern-day pilgrimage to an ancient Neolithic circle, incorporating the powerful practice of meditation and nature connection. See here for further details and how to book.
Forest Bathing FAQs
What should I wear?
Please wear suitable shoes for walking in woodland & waterproofs if necessary. The pace of Forest Bathing is slow and you may get a little chilly in the woods so it’s a good idea to dress in warm layers. You will have the option of sitting or lying under the tree canopy during the event – you are welcome to bring something to sit on should you wish (a bin bag works well!)
What do I need to bring?
Please bring any water or snacks you feel you might need. There will be tea and a healthy snack provided at the end of the 3-hour Workshop event as part of the ‘Tea Ceremony’.
What if it’s raining?
When it comes to Forest Bathing there is no such thing as ‘the wrong weather’ only ‘the wrong clothes’! The woods can be magical place to shelter from the rain. In the unusual case of extreme weather such as high winds or flooding the event may have to be cancelled for safety reasons and you will be offered a spot on an alternative date or a full refund.
I have an allergy/dietary requirement is that ok?
Please inform us of any allergies or dietary requirements prior to the event so that we can accommodate your needs on the day.