Forest Bathing

My beautiful friend Kelci was just telling me about an article she read about shinrin-yoku, or the Japanese practice of forest bathing- basically walking among the trees, objective and technology free. She commented about how lucky we because, unlike most Japanese, we can take a forest bath every day, just by stepping out our Alaskan front doors. For the past few years I have made a point to walk amongst the trees every day (unless is is -30F or colder!). And now that Kelci mentioned it, my walk does feel like a cleansing bath, especially if I deliberately thank the trees in sincere appreciation for the fresh air I’m breathing. I can even imagine the forest dissipating any residual stress or negative emotional toxins that might be hanging out in my body. I may or may not even stop to give my favorite birch trees a hug (I don’t generally see people on my forest baths), which makes me laugh but feels fantastic. If you feel silly trying something like this just take a walk and appreciate the beauty of the forest. Or better yet, bring a kid with you and enjoy the silliness with them! I bet they will have no problem thanking the trees by giving them a big hug.