Eve da Silva Msc, PgDip
Turn your weekend into a mindfulness retreat: forest bathing
Updated: May 26, 2020
Is forest bathing just a walk in the woods? Yes it is JUST a walk in the woods. No cameras, phone on silent, a commitment to allow nature to fully take up your awareness. It is likely that at some point in your life, perhaps recently, or maybe when you were much younger, you found it quite natural to pay complete attention to the natural world. It may help you to bring to mind a memory of a time where you felt completely connected to nature in order to remind yourself what the aim of this practice is. This will give you the best chance to tap into what you personally need from your session of forest bathing. Flourish Mindfully London aims to support you in growing and prospering through wisdom gained from yoga, mindfulness and psychological theories. Living in the city provides us with so many brilliant opportunities but it can leave us feeling starved of the natural rhythms of nature and its' inherent benefits. Luckily we are blessed with an abundance of green spaces, which we are used to walking through at speed or using as a backdrop to a social encounter. You can reap the benefits of forest bathing by using outdoor spaces in the city and by journeying a little further out of town to local woodlands.
Prompts for forest bathing:
Bring your awareness to your breath; simply the sensation of the air as it enters your nostrils.
Allow yourself to notice the myriad of colours in your surroundings; the leaves of the trees, the texture of the bark and so on.
Should there be other people enjoying the park or forest, allow for their presence by extending them compassion as they too try to make the most of the outdoors.
If possible, remove your shoes and feel the ground beneath your feet.
You may wish to befriend a certain tree, water feature or plant, you could spend some of the time focusing on finding this friend to keep your attention on your practice.
Reward yourself at the end; pack a flask of your favourite tea or coffee or single out a nice café. Sit comfortably and reflect on what you gained from the practice, you may even wish to journal it.