"Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky." - Kahlil Gibran
Are you familiar with forest bathing? Forest bathing is a term that emerged in Japan in the late 1980’s. The Japanese word for forest bathing is Shinrin - yoku. The idea behind forest bathing is really very simple; by immersing ourselves in the woods we have the opportunity to slow down, ignite our senses, focus on being more present and move in the direction of a meditative state.
The health benefits of forest bathing are now revealing that this simple practice can boost our immunity, enhance our mood and reduce our stress levels. In addition, forest bathing can lower our heart rate and blood pressure, all of which is measured through the Profile of Mood States Tests or POMS.
I can honestly say that on those days I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed, a simple walk in the woods does wonders for improving my mood. I return from those walks feeling uplifted and calm. In addition, whenever our children are deep in school projects, exams or simply away from the natural world for too long, we find it is essential to spend quality time as a family outdoors.
This past weekend, we had the honor of exploring a new trail in Baden. The Teufelskeller (Devil’s Cellar) Nature Reserve is a lush forest with thick moss and gorgeous vegetation. If you happen to be fascinated with mushrooms, much like we are, this is the ideal location for spotting numerous varieties of mushrooms. Please, however, use caution with mushrooms, as some are poisonous.
This hike is perfect year-round and is an easy, loop route through lush forests. This gorgeous location is also not too far from Basel, making it a fabulous option when you are searching or a day trip. If you drive, the journey is roughly 45 minute one way.
If you are looking to learn more about forest bathing, we can highly recommend the book,
Walking in the Woods by Professor Yoshifumi Miyazaki. It is an easy to digest, yet fantastic read on the subject.