Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto
One of the most underrated forms of healing is… just outside our homes. Highly regarded by the Japanese, shinrin-yoku or forest bathing restores energy to urban burnout by taking in the atmosphere of our natural surroundings. There are many scientific studies, like this one, on the plausible mechanisms to boost health that I encourage you to read if interested.
Some Benefits Include:
Forest Bathing as a Sensory Healing Therapy
Who can feel stress with a quiet atmosphere, fresh, crispy air and a gorgeous landscape? Forest bathing isn’t simply hiking, you are slowing down to contemplate and becoming mindful with each step. You are being encouraged to absorb the forest with all your senses. Could you focus on the river running freely? How about feel the soil underneath your feet? What does the fresh dew smell like? When you absorb your consciousness of the forest in a meaningful way, you develop a deeper relationship with your inner selves. If you walk with others, the bond between everyone becomes stronger and more connected. The environment of the forest shapes you to take your time, to breathe and be calm, and to inspire a greater sense of well-being.
How to Forest Bathe
Plan where you want to visit. Leave your phone and other electronic devices at home. Take your time in slowing down as you allow yourself to wander through the forest, resting at spots that call to you. Use all your senses to explore and connect with your breathe and movement, and soon you will feel how forest bathing and nature are powerful to our souls.
Sometimes forest bathing can be guided with a forest therapy specialist who makes a plan. I am not a forest therapist, but I have created a forest bathing meditation for your enjoyment:
8 Minute Guided Forest Bathing Meditation for Inner Focus and Relaxation
Wow! This is dairy-free, vegan, guilt-free and simple dessert I've ever made: frozen banana + cocoa powder. That's it. Bananas contain prebiotic fibre to increase gut bacteria, reduce bloating and moderating blood sugar levels. Cocoa powder contains more antioxidants than green tea or red wine, reduces risk for diabetes/heart disease and stroke and has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Guilt-free and dairy-free, I'd suggest using a food processor or a high-end blender.
- 2 frozen bananas (freeze ripened bananas without skin prior for at least 2 hours)
- 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
1) Break bananas in half or quarters and place in food processor/blender and pulse until smooth.
2) Add cocoa powder and blend together until mixed. Keep scraping down sides. Enjoy!
Serve immediately for "soft serve" as shown in the photo. I personally preferred this consistency. You can also freeze this batch for an hour to firm it.
Add extra toppings (optional) to change the flavours
- berries or other fruit (mango in photo)
- nuts/coconut flakes (roasted, candied, etc.) or nut butter into the food processor/blender
- dark chocolate bits or cao cao nibs
- cookie chunks or brownie pieces
Alana Chin Lue
I am a holistic health and reiki practitioner finding inspiration and wisdom through personal development, health and wellness, spirituality and life.