What to Expect on Your Walk
WHAT TO EXPECT...

Forest Therapy Walks were inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing), which began in the 1980s when Japan’s economy boomed in tech-based sectors. As the population craved disconnect from their tech-centric space, they sought solace and renewal in the forest because of the rise of health crises.

Forest Bathing does not incorporate strenuous exercise and is not focused on reaching a particular destination. While it does not embody therapy in the conventional sense of the word, the essence of Forest Bathing is best conveyed by the motto, “the Forest is the Therapist; the Guide opens the doors.”

A scientific study proves the repeated practice of Forest Bathing boosts immune strength, reduces stress, and stabilizes blood pressure, just to name a few. Thanks to the trees showering themselves with phytoncides, the benefits to participants are abundant. The research is vast and available to those who wish to learn more about the multifaceted benefits to the body, mind, and soul.

Beyond physiological changes, Forest Bathing offers the opportunity to deepen our relationship with the natural world. By slowing down and carefully observing our surroundings using all of our senses, we open ourselves to the possibility of experiencing things in a new way. In escaping the rapid pace of our daily routines, we can find unparalleled beauty in the moment and, in doing so, relax into the surrounding beauty.

On your walk, I will offer a series of guided invitations to assist you in discovering your own authentic way to interact with the land at W.G. Jones State Forest. The word invitation is chosen consciously as these are not exercises or activities. The goal is to relax and simply BE. All is welcomed in the forest.


TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR WALK

Create Space, practicing silence
Creating a quiet space for the forest and the other participants. Listen to the symphony of the forest and allow yourself to become part of the land. It may not be easy at first but it’s worth practicing. It’s one way we allow the doors to open.


Digital Detox
Switch off mobile devices or put them on do not disturb. Gift yourself with this time to be fully present by leaving all outside concerns behind for now. They will be there when you return.


Slow Down, learn from snails
Walk slowly, and sense the rhythm of the forest. Forest Therapy is not exercise, it’s an experience of being in and with all of Nature.

We are so used to rushing from one thing to the next that slowing down may feel strange in the beginning but don't worry.... experiment and just see what walking slowly feels like.


Relax and Open your senses
Unwind and allow your senses to open - your hearing, smelling, touching… Allow your body to get to KNOW the forest.


Stay curious
Feel your heart. Curiosity is one ingredient that awakens our senses.


Sharing and Listening
What are you noticing in the present moment? Open your heart and share what you’re noticing. When others are sharing their experiences, we listen with an open heart. There is no right or wrong experience in the Forest. All is welcomed.


THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO BRING:
Water
Bug spray (or put it on before you leave home)
Sunscreen
Something to sit on
Walking stick, if desired
and anything else to help you feel comfortable

Please be aware that there are no available restrooms other than in the Forest itself.

Enrollment is limited to a small number and there are no drop-ins.
 
*Please arrive 10 minutes before start time to ensure you are not left behind!  Refunds will not be granted to registered guests who miss the walk due to tardiness.
 
** We walk in all kinds of weather except if it’s lightning. If that’s the case, you will be notified at least an hour in advance and the walk will be rescheduled.
 
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