Forest immersion, or Shinrin-Yoku, is a practice that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Shinrin-yoku means “taking in the forest atmosphere.” This can be done by simply spending time in nature or by incorporating specific techniques and Shinrin Yoku training into your routine. Forest immersion has many benefits for both body and mind and can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or experience. In this article, we will discuss what Shinrin-Yoku is and how to start practicing it as a Novasutra.
What is Shinrin-Yoku?
Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere.” Shinrin-yoku is not exercise, hiking, or jogging. It is just being in nature, connecting with it via our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge through nature and forest therapy. By unlocking our minds, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world. The goal of Shinrin-Yoku is to restore our connection with nature and promote physical, mental, and emotional health.
How to do Shinrin-Yoku as a Novasutra Practice?
There are many ways to forest bathe, and the best way is the one that works for you. There is no right or wrong way to do Shinrin-Yoku. The key is to relax and be open to the experience. Here are some suggestions:
- Find a spot. Look for a place where there are trees, and make sure you will not be disturbed for at least 30 minutes. If you can, find a spot near a stream or waterfall.
- Take off your shoes and socks. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Walk barefoot on the earth. Let the forest in.
- Find a comfortable spot to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath. Listen to the sounds of nature around you. Notice the smells of the forest. Let your mind wander.
- When you are ready, slowly open your eyes and take in the beauty around you. Spend some time just being in the moment.
- Connect with the natural world around you. Place your hand on a tree. Smell the leaves. Taste the berries (if they are safe to eat). Dip your toes in the stream. Lie on the ground. Drink in the beauty of nature and let it fill you up.
- When you are ready, slowly begin to move and make your way back to the real world. Take your time. You may want to journal about your experience or share it with someone you trust.
Shinrin-Yoku is a simple practice that anyone can do. It does not require any special equipment or training. All you need is a willingness to slow down and connect with nature. By opening our senses, we can bridge the gap between us and the natural world. So, the next time you are feeling stressed or need to clear your head, go for a walk in the woods and let the forest in!