(Shinrin in Japanese means ‘forest,’ and yoku means ‘bath’).
Towering treeferns at Kinglake Forest Adventures
The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku literally translated as
“forest bathing”— is based on a simple premise: immerse yourself in the forest, absorb its sights, sounds, and smells, and you will reap numerous psychological and physiological benefits.
“Blue Moon” Mountain Bike Track at Kinglake Forest Adventures
The good news is that even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health. A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. When you connect to nature through all five of your senses, you begin to draw on the vast array of benefits the natural world provides. There is now a wealth of data that proves that shinrin-yoku can:
- Lower blood pressure and anxiety
- Lower stress and bring about a state of relaxation
- Improve cardiovascular and metabolic health
- Lower blood-sugar levels
- Improve concentration and memory
- Lift depression
- Mood boosting effects
- Improve pain thresholds
- Improve energy and better sleep
- Strengthen and boost the immune system with an increase in the count of the
- body’s natural killer (NK) cells
- Increase anti-cancer protein production
- Help you to lose weight
- Reduce anger
- Decreased inflammation
Funghi at the start of Lyrebird Track at Kinglake Forest Adventures
What Forest Bathing Is Not
Most of us think of a sweaty hike when we think of a trip to the bush. Forest bathing is set at a much slower pace and is focused on fully experiencing the nature around us. It isn’t about covering a set distance, raising your heart rate or even about the exercise.
Lying on the ground, meditating, gathering forest edibles and noticing the foliage are some of the different ways you can forest bathe. Just taking in your surrounds, disconnecting, and listening to the trees.
People have instinctively reaped the benefits of communing with nature for thousands of years. Recently this has manifested as the increasingly popular trend of forest bathing. This trend though looks like it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon
At Kinglake Forest Adventures we have a design principle that we want to stay as much as possible a forest.
We avoid shiny colourful signage and facilities in favour of rustic and natural finish signs and equipment. Fences and borders and dos and don’t are minimized, although of course there is a need for some.
The forest tracks at Kinglake Forest Adventures are lungs of the planet, saturated in the oxygen generated by the trees and beds of ferns. The goodness of earthy smells is nature at its healthiest, returning organic materials to earth and filling the trails with healthy airborn goodness.
We can’t think of a better way to establish a connection to the forest, to feel its power and importance for ourselves, than to go for a forest bath. The forest can bring you back to health and life, and you will want to conserve and protect it in turn – now that’s a virtuous spiral!
Ferns and native flowers in the forest at Kinglake Forest Adventures