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Forest Bathing / Shinrin-yoku 🍁

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Shinrin-yoku (which translates to Forest Bathing) has captured peoples attention everywhere. In Japan it is widely used as a preventative medicine for its beneficial effect on our wellbeing. We know instinctively that spending time out in nature is good for our soul, but now research into Forest Bathing is proving our gut feelings to be true. Join us for a morning session of relaxation techniques, meditation, earthing and nature connection, with the aim of giving you a range of techniques which you can take away and use in your own time enjoying the outdoors.

"Un-wind, de-stress, relax, turn off your phone and plug in to nature."

Stress is one of the leading cause of disease in this country so any β€˜therapy’ that addresses this issue is going to be beneficial to our health. Forest bathing has been shown in scientific studies to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, this is the system that is responsible for rest and digestion, allowing the body to be in a state of calm where it can perform various tasks of repair. The bodies self-defence mechanism is activated and disease fighting cells have been shown to increase when we spend time in nature. We can see a reduction in blood pressure after only 15 minutes of Forest Bathing.

We've had great feedback from previous workshop participants. One student was overjoyed that after a session of Forest Bathing her Fitbit was showing the lowest heart rate ever recorded since she’d been wearing it!

During the session you will also be introduced to the practise of Earthing, which is having direct contact with the earth itself through barefoot walking. This has proven health benefits including a reduction in inflammatory disease, improved sleep and increased energy levels.

β€œThe basic concept behind nature therapy is to increase physiological relaxation and act as a preventative medicine by improving the body’s natural resistance to disease, which is supressed under conditions of stress.” Prof. Yoshifumi Miyazaki, author of Shinrin-yoku: The Japanese Way of Forest Bathing for Health & Relaxation.

The session will include; meditations, barefoot walking (earthing), sit spots, mindfulness exercises, nature awareness and wild teas enjoyed around the campfire. All this will take place in the grounds of the Harwarden Estate against the backdrop of the woodlands, orchards and fields.

This session is suitable for anyone over the age of 18. The class runs for 3 hours, from 10am until 1pm and costs Β£30 PER PERSON

β€œShinrin-yoku”, which can be defined as β€œtaking in the forest atmosphere" or forest bathing, has been receiving increasing attention in Japan in recent years for its capacity to provide relaxation and reduce stress. Scientific studies have shown certain stress indicators, such as cortisol levels and sympathetic nervous system is lowered when time is spent in a forest as compared with an urban environment.

"We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something seperate from us. So, when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we have lost our connection to ourselves." Andy Goldsworthy

ABOUT THE TUTORS

LEA KENDALL is a qualified Integrative Counsellor and Life Coach. Lea is also a qualified Mindfulness in the Woods practitioner. As an Integrative Counsellor Lea takes the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. She takes a holistic view of each individual, taking into account their emotional and mental well-being as well as their physical health.

"I am a firm believer in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone. My training as an Counsellor worked toward my long-term goal to incorporate nature therapy into my services. I am passionate about finding ways to increase the self-esteem of people and encouraging motivation through positive experience, shared enthusiasm and a nurturing environment."

KAY RIBBONS-STEEN is a qualified Forest School Leader, Social Forester and has worked for a number of years in eco-therapy having trained as a Mindfulness in a Woodland Practioner. Kay stuided a work based diploma in Environmental Conservation with Flintshire Countryside & Coast Service. She is also an Ambassador for the National Autistic Society, and an autism awareness speaker.

"I am passionate about reconnecting people with nature, improving wellbeing and having a positive impact on the environment.