Forest Therapy walks offer the opportunity to reconnect with nature using all your senses. Your guide will facilitate that journey, offering a safe space to be with nature and enjoy all she has to provide. There are some things you need to know before your walk begins.
Once your Forest Therapy Guide has provided you with the details of your walk and introduced Shinrin-yoku and Forest Therapy to you, your journey can begin.
That journey should begin with some gentle warm-ups to get the blood flowing and release the tension from your muscles and joints.
You will then tune each of your five senses into your surroundings: Hearing. Touch. Smell. Taste. Sight. Each one awakened to nature and reconnecting you with all that she offers.
A Forest Therapy walk is not a vigorous exercise routine. It is a gentle, slow and usually quiet connection with the earth using our feet. To touch the ground with our feet is to be grounded and at one with nature. Almost anyone who can move can enjoy nature in this way. Wheelchairs, walking frames and walking sticks are no barrier to participation.
Your Forest Therapy Guide will offer various activities that involve slow walking. By the end of your walk, perhaps 2 or 3 hours later, you will find that you have not walked very far and not exerted yourself very much at all. Where has the time gone?
A Forest Therapy walk will allow you plenty of time to sit, relax and observe nature using all your senses. Sometimes on the ground. Sometimes on a seat, bench, log or rock. Nature offers many different options for us to relax, enjoy and connect.
Your sense of sight is the most used and most stimulated sense we have. Take the time to really watch what you can see. Your Forest Therapy Guide will again offer a variety of activities to help you observe up close, far away and sometimes hidden. Notice what is around you - movement and stillness - and also reflect on what you observe when you don't use your sense of sight.
Our breath is what keeps us alive. It assists our sense of taste and provides our sense of smell. What we breathe in comes from the trees around us and they in turn breathe in what we exhale. It is a cycle of dependence and we cannot live without it. Take the time during your Forest Therapy walk to notice your breath and to acknowledge its importance to life.
East Warburton, VIC