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Enjoy a healthy dose of forest therapy in the city
Before you panic, let me reassure you, we're not talking about literally bathing, outdoors in a forest. In fact, there is no nudity nor even any swimming costumes required on this walk. Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku in Japanese, is simply the practice of immersing yourself in the natural essence of the forest.
Immerse yourself in the forest on this walk (Image Credit:Centennial Parklands)
Forest Bathing is a popular wellness trend which originated in Japan. Using aspects of meditation and mindfulness in its practice, forest bathing has been shown to have proven wellbeing benefits, physically, mentally and emotionally.
So what is it exactly? It is simply a way to take time out of your busy life and connect with nature in a mindful way. In a forest therapy session, the purpose is to slow down, breathe deeply, calm your mind and engage all of your senses in order to connect to the natural surroundings.
While disconnecting from our phones and screens is difficult in our modern world, it is becoming more crucial than ever before for our physical and mental health. Studies have shown that a monthly dose of forest therapy has proven therapeutic benefits including building a stronger immune system, lowering blood pressure, decreasing the stress hormone cortisol, reducing anxiety, improving your mood, encouraging better sleep and increasing focus and energy.
While the list of benefits is impressive it's not always possible to escape the city for a dose of forest therapy. But the good news is that you can enjoy this wellness practice in the heart of Sydney.
On select dates from September 2019 through to May 2020 Centennial Parklands are hosting guided forest bathing walks. The walks will be led by a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide and will include guided meditations, slow wandering and invitations to connect to nature. Throughout the walk, there will also be opportunities to stop and share your experience with the group.
Enjoy a forest bathing walk without leaving the city (Image Credit: Centennial Parklands)