Shinrin Yoku – forest bathing – is a Japanese practice of relaxation in the forest. A very simple yet powerful concept: going to the woods, being present in the here and now, using our senses to soak in the beautiful gifts of nature like fresh air, the scent of earth and the perfume of conifer trees – is scientifically proven to boost our health and well-being. Spending your time with trees reduces stress, strengthens immunity, improves sleep and boosts creativity!
It is a practice I hold very dearly, making it a habit – at least once a month, no matter the weather (as Scandinavians say: there is no bad weather, just bad clothing), my family and I go to our favourite forest and rest, relax, and reset, leaving all the worries behind.
To capture this nourishing feeling I experience during forest bathing, I have written a poem called “Shinrin Yoku”:
I listen to the song of Wind - a whisper of the here and now nudging my manic mind to slow down to slow down. I smell the perfume of Mother Earth - a waft of soil and rain refilling my lungs with self-worth washing away my pain washing away my pain. I see the knowing eye of a Deer - a witness of the ancient wisdom teaching me to let go of my fear embracing my inner kingdom embracing my inner kingdom. I touch the braid of a Willow - a wonder of being alive allowing my soul to grow I am going to thrive I am going to thrive.