What is Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing (no swimming involved!) is a chance to 'bathe' or immerse ourselves in the natural environment. It is an opportunity to awaken and engage our 5 senses - listening, touching, smelling, tasting and seeing as we allow ourselves to just ‘be’ in nature. We wander slowly (usually less than 1km), take time to stop, smell, touch and notice nature. The experience involves guided ‘invitations’ to help us notice the nature, calm our busy minds, perhaps be playful and have some fun and is tailored to the needs of the group.
Forest Bathing is not hiking or bushwalking. It’s not strenuous or ‘exercise’. It is not about bushwalking or nature identification, or ‘thinking’. It’s a gentle guided experience to forget about the ‘to-do’ list and give yourself an opportunity to rejuvenate in nature. You can disconnect from technology and release yourself from having to keep track of time as we lead you through our nature. If that sounds interesting and you’re curious we’d love you to join us!(There’s a link to a 2 min taster taster video from National Parks & Wildlife at the end of this info)
Research shows that Forest Bathing (also known as shinrin yoku forest therapy or nature therapy) has benefits including lowering blood pressure, reducing stress hormones in the body, improving mood, reducing worry, improving immune system function, improving concentration, memory and ability to think clearly and increasing our sense of vitality and feeling alive!As an occupational therapist I know that all of these can support our ability to do the things we need, want and have to do every day.
In a world where people of all ages are increasingly disconnected from nature, a deliberate guided nature-based experience such as this can help remind us that WE are part of nature, belong in nature and care for nature.
Who is this for?
If you feel stressed, overwhelmed, ‘wound up’, busy. If the people who love you say – ‘you need to slow down’. If you are concerned about your physical or mental health but struggle to prioritise your own wellbeing when you have so much to do. If you’ve tried other wellbeing practices that just don’t suit you (maybe you just can’t ‘get’ meditation). If you love nature and tend to rush through while being really active – hiking, running, cycling. But most of all if you are curious about experiencing nature in this way!
Where is this?
Come and see (and smell!) the explosion of spring wattle at The Sanctuary, Yundi, our private National Park Sanctuary. We are north of Mt Compass - less than an hour from Adelaide CBD (45 minutes from Glenelg).This event is an opportunity to access this private, pristine and protected environment to experience an incredibly peaceful, restorative connection with nature.The Sanctuary is 82 acres, with most of the bush protected by a Heritage Bush Agreement since 1993. The property is also a private National Park Sanctuary. We have the beginning of the Finnis River running through the property. There are rare species of plants, birds and animals. We see many many blue wrens every time we are there, as well as wedge tail eagles, vulnerable yellow tail black cockatoos, beautiful little scarlet robins and bright yellow golden whistlers. There are kangaroos, koalas and echidnas. The river is unbelievably beautiful and a rare example of a very healthy ecosystem with reeds, fallen trees, lots of fish, yabbies and dragon flies. We have a large forest of blue gums as well as enormous stringy bark trees. The Sanctuary is a sensory delight and stepping out of the car after driving from the city is a beautiful experience to inhale the clean, scented air.
Who runs this?
Flourish, nature based OT is BronwynPaynter. I am an occupational therapist with almost 30 years experience, and a passion for supporting wellbeing. I am a certified Forest & Nature Therapy Guide with the Association of Forest & Nature Therapy Guides and Programs, and a permaculture designer. Nature connection started with gardening, camping (as a girl guide) and family holidays in nature. For the last few years I’ve been coaching occupational therapists internationally in ways to work more closely with nature because there is so much evidence about how nature is the optimal environment for people to flourish.We purchased The Sanctuary, Yundi in 2018 and are dedicated to sharing this heritage protected nature with as many people as we can.
Where will we meet?
When you register you will receive a link to the visitor information for The Sanctuary, Yundi. Access is very easy from the Southern Expressway, Victor Harbor Rd, and turn off before Mt Compass - with bitumen road all the way.
Is there a toilet?
There is a ‘long drop loo’ at The Sanctuary. There are flushing public toilets in nearby (5min drive) Mt Compass.
Are their age restrictions? Is this suitable for children?
This event is best suited to adults or children over 8 who are able to stand quietly and listen for up to 10minutes. Children will be required to be under the care of a responsible adult to supervise their participation. If you’re interested in a more family friendly or child focused experience contact Bronwyn to explore options for a custom/private forest bathing session.
How physically demanding is Forest Bathing?
This Forest Bathing experience will require the ability to walk up to 1km on sloping, uneven ground that is likely to include fallen wood, leaf and bark litter and natural obstacles. You will require a good level of mobility to feel comfortable on this walk. This is untamed nature. You are welcome to bring a hiking pole or grab a stick and we move slowly and carefully – we’re definitely not huffing and puffing.
Will I be safe?
I have a current first aid certificate and will be carrying a first aid kit. There is mobile phone reception where we will be. Please advise any particular health concerns that may be relevant. Please feel free to contact Bronwyn to discuss any concerns on 0412404700.
All current SA Health requirements regarding covid-19 will be required to be followed during the event. This particularly applies to maintaining 1.5m distance from other people not in your household group. Do not attend if you are unwell.
Contact tracing – All event/ activity attendees will be required to register to participate and acknowledge they have read an understood the latest government health guidelines regarding the coronavirus. At the event/ activity guests will be required to check in – by QR code or in writing as required. Details of attendees will only be held for the purpose of contact tracing if required in accordance with government requirements (for 28 days).
What should I bring to the event?
We will go ahead regardless of the weather so dress appropriately - it is usually a few degrees cooler than in Adelaide. You will need decent shoes for this experience - boots are good if you have them. Bring a rain jacket in case of rain – although some people choose to get wet as part of the nature connection experience. Consider wearing/bringing an extra layer as well as beanie (hat), gloves and scarf if it's cold or windy and maybe even spare socks/shoes as we may get a little wet pushing through beautiful abundant plant growth. We move very slowly during a Forest Bathing session, and spend time sitting still so perhaps add an extra layer to your clothing since we're not physically active. If sunny then suncream, long sleeves and a shady hat are recommended.Also - a drink bottle of water, and any special snacks you may want. A simple snack (usually fruit) and place specific tea will be served as part of the experience. If you or anyone in your group have any dietary restrictions or allergies please contact the organiser at email@example.com to advise prior to the event.
What's the cancellation policy?
The event will only be cancelled in the case of extreme weather or safety hazards e.g., thunderstorms. If the event is cancelled you will be notified by 8pm the evening prior - by the e-mail you used to register.
If you are unable to attend the event please cancel via the Eventbrite process so any people on the waiting list can access tickets.We really encourage you to prioritise this wellbeing practice for your self-care and make it important for you to attend once you have booked.NOTE - you will be required to complete a registration/disclaimer form on arrival prior to the event commencing.
This event requires minimum registration of 4 people to proceed.
How can I contact the organiser with any questions?e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text Bronwyn on 0412404700
Want to check it out?
Here’s a 2 min taster video from National Parks & Wildlife (every experience and location is different) https://youtu.be/HzD3YR4dJjA (skip the ad at the start).