Your Guide to Forest Bathing

Woman Alone in Forest
Photo credit: Christina Gottardi

How to start forest bathing and feeling fantastic

Step by step guides to help you relax, reset and practice mindfulness in the great outdoors.

What is Forest Bathing?

This Japanese practice is an ancient process of relaxation; know in Japan as shinrin yoku. The simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around you whilst breathing deeply can help both adults and children de-stress and boost health and wellbeing in a natural way.

Below are some top tips and activities to get your meditation journey started, let us know on Facebook how you get along!

 

Beginner Tips for Forest Bathing

  • Turn off your devices to give yourself the best chance of relaxing, being mindful and enjoying a sensory forest-based experience.

  • Slow down. Move through the forest slowly so you can see and feel more.

  • Take long breaths deep into the abdomen. Extending the exhalation of air to twice the length of the inhalation sends a message to the body that it can relax.

  • Stop, stand or sit, smell what’s around you, what can you smell?

Sunlight through trees
Autumn Leaves
  • Take in your surroundings using all of your senses. How does the forest environment make you feel? Be observant, look at nature’s small details.

  • Sit quietly using mindful observation; try to avoid thinking about your to-do list or issues related to daily life. You might be surprised by the number of wild forest inhabitants you see using this process.

  • Keep your eyes open. The colours of nature are soothing and studies have shown that people relax best while seeing greens and blues.

  • Stay as long as you can, start with a comfortable time limit and build up to the recommended two hours for a complete forest bathing experience.

Getting started

Where should I go to forest bathe?

With thousands of incredible forest locations around the country you're actually quite spoilt for choice. Search here to find a nearby woodland plus parking information and opening times.

Once you've found a destination that works for you, we recommend visiting outside of peak hours for optimum quiet time. Try bathing early on a weekend morning or on a weekday afternoon whilst the kids are school.

Who is forest bathing suitable for?

Forest bathing exercises can be great fun for adults and children alike and useful in teaching concentration and mindfulness; whilst also providing an excellent opportunity to learn from each other. Download and print the sheet below for a simple guide and series of activities to get your family started.

We advise adult supervision during these exercises to avoid any problems or injuries. Watch out for brambles and stinging nettles as these are present on our woodland properties.