Cool temperatures and overcast skies prevailed last Saturday morning (June 19) when four people participated in a guided Forest Bathing Walk at the Turkey Hill Farm area of Morven Park.
Forest Bathing Walks are gentle sensory-opening walks that reconnect or deepen our connection with the natural world. Through a series of invitations/prompts we explore our surroundings in a way that promotes overall health and well-being. Scientific and medical evidence finds that Forest Bathing walks can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, and improve mood.
Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, Kim Strader of Naturing Way LLC, began the walk with series of prompts that invited everyone to begin to explore our surroundings through the sense of hearing, smelling, and touching. The next invitation invited everyone to slow down and use their sense of sight as we quietly wandered the area noticing what was in motion.
From there, we experienced all the different textures of the forest through touch. Do things feel different with your eyes closed versus when they are open? We all brought objects back to the circle to share with everyone.
With clouds thickening and the possibility of approaching rain, we decided to work our way back to the parking lot and the 1930 Farm Hand House. In the open grassy area, one participant decided to spend the time relaxing under a tree while another explored the tall grass at the woodland edge. We ended our time together on the front porch of the house sipping a custom herbal tea blend, enjoying snacks and talking about our Forest Bathing experience.