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Step into Serenity : Creating Your Ideal Forest Bathing/Shinrin-yoku Experience

When you practice Forest Bathing, the first thing you must do is to "Slow Down".

This may be challenging for some people as we are so used to walking rapidly, as if the walking pace is reflective of what's in our busy minds.

The easiest way of switching off your nervous system from "fight or flight" stress response to a "rest & digest" calm response is to stop and take a deep breath a few times. This is an effective way to start Forest Bathing.

Firstly, let's turn off your smartphone!

Next, find a place or spot where you feel "safe and comfortable" in a natural setting.

You can sit down on a ground, bench or stand, or even just lean against a tree. Then start with deep breathing exercise, with or without closing your eyes. Feel your heart beat slowing down. Keep breathing deep. This process is very important as it will affect your walking pace once you start walking.

You can continue deep breathing until your body wants to stop. You will probably start noticing more sounds around you while your mind and brain calm down.

You are aware not only your own breathing but also the other elements such as sounds, smells, the temperature, light emerging through the trees.

In our busy lives we forget to notice colour, look around and take the colour in, the green, the browns, the reds, the texture, the shadows, and just quietly be without too much thinking.

Let everything wash over you as if you were emerged in a bath.

This will gently take you into the "bathing" status which I mentioned in my previous blog

(The Art of Forest Bathing : Unveiling the Essence of Shinrin-yoku), the original concept of "Forest Bathing".

You are now feeling comfortable and gaining the sense of "connection " with self and everything around you, you are stepping into "Serenity".

A state of mind that may perfect sense when you experience it.

When you are ready, or if you want to, you can start walking into nature and see if it affects in your walking pace.

With the Forest Bathing Walk, I always start with this breathing exercise. It may hard for you to walk slowly by yourself, but with the group walk, you may find it much easier.

As you keep walking, you will notice more things around you with less effort. Every time you feel "awe", stop, be with it, and engage the moment.

These moments in our lives are previous with profound benefits for those who practice.

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