THE ART OF SHINRIN YOKU
fall, winter, 2022
FOREST BATHING, A JAPANESE LIFESTYLE FOR MINDFULNESS.
In Japan, they practice the healing art of Shinrin-yoku, which in English literally translates to ‘forest bathing’ (after the Japanese words Shinrin, which means forest, and Yoku, which means bath). Despite its name, however, Shinrin-yoku has little to do with washing with water and soap. Instead, Shinrin-yoku means taking a trip to the forest – not for a hike or any other manner of exercise, but to ‘soak in the forest atmosphere’, to ‘immerse one’s self in nature’. In more definite terms, Shinrin-yoku is a leisurely visit to the forest for recreation, relaxation, meditation, and therapy.
Shinrin-yoku (森林浴) (forest bathing) is a form of therapy which allows all senses to be exposed to the forest atmosphere to improve health. It started in Japan in the 80ties of the 20th century and was since then spread all over the world. From the early 21st century loads of research has been done to the positive effects of forest bathing in relation to health, especially in Japan, but also abroad. Forest bathing these Days is more and more well-known in the rest of the world (primarily in the USA, but now also in Europe), which resulted in several trainings, books and workshops on forest bathing.