Water bottle? Check. Journal? Check. Expectations for forest bathing? Those might need to be checked too. Forest Bathing is a phrase that describes an ancient human experience. Will we discover the antidote for doom-scrolling through the abyss of digital information? Will we experience a moment of clarity compliments of mother nature? Possibly.
As we set off, our guide informed us that the only goal was to take the short walk to a mountain creek, noticing nature at a snail pace. That’s it. To clarify, forest bathing has nothing to do with immersing yourself in water. Instead, forest bathing allows one to dive into the five senses, taking a more mindful approach to a typical ramble in the woods.
“Here in the Central Sierra, we are at a special advantage because when you combine mindfulness practices with nature, you get a double whammy of benefits,” explains Susan Madden, owner and Mindfulness Guide at Mindful Café. “For me, when I’m in particular need of healing, the woods are where I go. The sounds of the breeze blowing through the treetops, water tumbling over rocks, birdsong, the sights and smells of all that surrounds me is soothing. As naturalist John Burroughs so aptly said, ‘I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order.'”
“It wasn’t too long ago that most people would have written that off as some airy-fairy, pseudo-science bunk (and many still do), but mindfulness has come into the mainstream lately, in part because of the huge number of reputable, scientific studies finding a myriad of health benefits associated with mindfulness practices.” Ms. Madden informs.
What if you skipped the classic hike to Yosemite Falls or the Mist Trail? What if you opted for forest bathing instead? Turn of the messages and news alerts of the day. Rediscover quality time surrounded by the enchantment of trees, moss, rocks, and the sights and sounds of a rapid’s rushing current.
The forest has an answer for those looking for more: yes! You can see Yosemite in new ways this summer. Experience the wonder you yearn for when you Visit Yosemite | Madera County.
Read more about Mindful Cafe here.
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