surrounded by soft mosses and ancient trees, enveloped in birdsong and the earthen scent of rushing water—the awakening we feel when we spend time in a forest is undeniable. for many of us, the benefits of a walk in the woods is second nature. but did you know that there’s an entire meditative and restorative practice dedicated to engaging one’s senses with the life force of a forest?
what is forest bathing?
the japanese practice of “forest bathing” provides a bridge between modern human life and the natural world, allowing us to benefit from the proven healing properties of trees.
in japanese, this practice is called “shinrin-yoku”: “shinrin” meaning “forest”, and “yoku” meaning “bath”, with the whole term referring to the act of “taking in the forest through one’s senses.”
the first thing to know about forest bathing, is that it’s not “bathing” in the traditional sense. there’s no bathtub and no water. according to Dr. Qing Li, author of forest bathing: how trees can help you find health and happiness, forest bathing is “simply being around trees, in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.”
the how and why of forest bathing
a traditional forest bath is a slow, healing walk in the forest. the practice is simple: find a natural environment that is comfortable for you and move through the space with care. during your bath you can sit and rest, experience the forest floor barefoot, read a book or poem, or have a picnic. what’s important is that you focus on how the forest is impacting your senses and try to release any distracting thoughts.
forest bathing gives us the chance to breathe in phytoncides—the natural scents emitted by trees—which have a proven positive impact on our immune system, hormones that cause stress, blood pressure, and heart rate. trees have been found to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body rest and recover, and can positively impact your energy and creativity.
how to forest bath when living in the city
even if you don’t have access to a natural forest, you can still reap the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits of forest bathing in your day-to-day life. the impact of engaging with nature at least once a day, even in the smallest of ways, can be huge.
this can be as simple as opening your window to appreciate the fresh air, or growing small plants in your home or office. for those of us who live in the city, we recommend sitting under or near trees in your local park or using essential oils (phytoncides) from trees to stimulate your sense of smell and connect your body to nature.
tree of life collection
many of our jewelry collections have been inspired by the sensuous experience of nature, such as our tree of life collection. while designing each gold necklace, bracelet and ring for this collection, we meditated on the life-giving power of trees. trees teach us that strength takes time to cultivate—but once we develop our foundation, it becomes our duty to share our inner strength with all those around us.
we’ve picked our favourite pieces that you can wear each day to connect your soul to nature as you go through life:
tree of life coin pendant
this handmade gold pendant necklace is a representation of our inner strength and those learnings we have gained from our life experiences. as a dainty gold necklace, it brings the element of nature to mark life’s milestones.
tree of life multi coin pendant
our tree of life tiny multi coin necklace embodies strength, wisdom, and protection with each branch growing from its stable centre—the ideal gold bracelet for those looking to celebrate their inner strength.
tree of life bracelet
the tree of life spreads roots deep in the ground, building a foundation to stand tall through the challenges that she encounters. the tree of life mini coin bracelet wraps our wrist with little reminders of the strength and fortitude within us.
tree of life earrings
trees are a symbol of strength and support, whether it is support of ourselves or guidance gained from those around us. this miniature tree of life stud earring is a tiny reminder to tune into our inner strength.
tree of life carved medallion
our tree of life carved medallion pendant necklace punctuates the strength, grounding, and transformation gained from our journey. it’s perfect for anyone inspired to accomplish something great after having spent time with nature.
this is symbolised in the tree of life, which is said to be the mother of all of us: she spreads her roots so that we may stand strong on solid ground, and raises her branches so that she may watch over our journey.