the medicine of being in the forest
Shinrin-Yoku is the practice of spending time in nature for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness. It is a Japanese term that translates into “forest bathing” - taking in the forest atmosphere.
Through a guided experience, you will be led by a trained guide through a series of invitations that slows you down, awakens your senses, and supports you in building a deep, healing connection with nature.
As you walk through nature with your guide, you will be invited to open your heart, tap into your curiosity and sense of wonder, and allow nature to unfold for you. It’s an inner and outer exploration of the nature within and outside us.
Shinrin Yoku is gentle and accessible to almost anyone at any fitness level. Each session is akin to a gentle, guided walk that support well-being through sensory immersion in forests or other naturally healing environments.
- It is based on a time-tested Japanese tradition that has been scientifically shown to strengthen our wellbeing, including benefits such as:
Reduced blood pressure
Reduced pulse rates
Reduced blood sugar
Reduced stress hormones levels
Increased white blood cells that fights off infections and cancer
Strengthened immune systems
But it goes beyond health and wellness….
Being in nature in a healing way is congenial to opening up fresh insights and expanding our perspectives.
The opportunity for quiet reflection supports you in gaining a better understanding of yourself and your relationship with others.
Our guided sessions nurture and supports you in tapping into into a wider range of intuitive and rational abilities such as:
Authentic sharing and deep listening
Self-confidence and self-awareness
Creativity and enhanced problem-solving
Focused attention and detailed observation
Empathy and self-care
Developing supportive social relationships
What Shinrin Yoku is not…
Shinrin Yoku is not a hike. While every walk is different, and some may involve walking a longer distance than others, the essence of Shinrin Yoku is about immersing ourselves in the more-than-human world in a healing way. It is not a physical challenge.
Shinrin Yoku is not a naturalist outing. Although we will see plenty of beautiful trees, flowers, plants and sometimes wild animals, the focus is not on understanding the names, characteristics or medicinal values of plants or trees, or wildlife spotting.
Shinrin Yoku is not a medical treatment, nor does it replace any kind of professional mental or physical healthcare support you are receiving. Spending time in nature in a healing way regularly enhances our wellbeing, but when it comes to treatment of any diagnosed conditions you must consult your physician.
How does it work?
Our public sessions typically lasts for around 2-3 hours and takes place either in the beautiful country parks in Hong Kong’s countryside, or in urban green spaces. (Private, customised sessions for you, your loved ones, your team, your organisation or company can be shorter or longer and tailor-made to your needs. Connect with us to find out more.)
You will be guided through a series of invitations that supports you to build you own personal relationship with nature.
The distance we cover in each session differs, some can be as short as 1-2km, while some are longer, but typically our sessions do not involve walking for more than 6km.
All you need to do is sign up, put on clothing and footwear that makes you comfortable outdoors, pack your bag, and come with an open heart.
You can find out more by reading our FAQ page.
Why do I need a guide to take me on a walk in nature?
- Indeed, not everyone needs a guide to help them slow down, relax, and connect with nature in a way that calms him or herself down.
- But in our hyper-connected, digitalised world, many of us have shut down our senses and become disconnected with nature. We have difficulty putting our phones down. We don't sleep enough. We find it awkward to be alone or do nothing. We think rest is being lazy and unproductive. We spend most of our time indoors in air-conditioned rooms in front of screens.
- If this sounds familiar to you, you will benefit from having a guide in your forest bathing experience. The guide creates a space that gives you permission to forget about your to-do-list, what's coming next, or when you have to get going. The invitations given by your guide helps re-awaken your senses and allow you to explore nature in a wide range of ways you may never have thought of.
- Essentially, the guide will help you remember how to access the healing benefits of being in nature.