It is a practice inspired by the Japanese concept of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or bathing in the forest's atmosphere. It is an embodied remembering of our nature as nature. It is a full-bodied, sensory immersion into the forest - whether it be at a local garden, in a national or provincial park, or in your backyard. Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition.
What to expect on a guided walk?
A Nature & Forest Therapy walk starts with an introduction and opening circle during which we will get to know a bit about the practice, our surroundings, and one another. The practice consists of a series of invitations during which we will move slowly and mindfully, walk short distances, and spend some time standing, sitting, or laying down in nature. This is not a hike, a naturalist or wilderness educational walk but rather an opportunity to slow down and connect to the rhythms of nature.
The first invitation is a guided sensory meditation where I will invite you to connect to nature through your senses. The other invitations will be more open ended and you’ll have lots of time to play and explore on your own. We will also come together in circle to gather, share, and listen – again, in whichever way resonates with you. To integrate and conclude our personal and communal experience, the walk will end with a closing share and listen round, tea and snacks (bring your own).
Why go on a Nature & Forest Therapy Walk with a guide?
Nature connection is always available to us if we slow down and notice: feeling the breeze on our skin, watching the sun rise or set, or booping our cat (or dog’s) nose. As your guide on a walk, I offer:
A gentle and slow guided experience sprinkled with open, sensory invitations to land into your senses and experience the forest; A presence holding you and other participants as we transition from one invitation to the next; An opportunity to come in circle to gather, share our experience, and witness others’ journey; Safety: I am certified in First Aid and always carry a first aid kit and other essential items (for in-person walks); and Timekeeping: You can turn your phone and your watch off and not have to worry! Eventbrite listings contain information about how to prepare for in-person and virtual walks.
All in-person sessions are capped at 9 participants to foster an intimate and meaningful community experience. Outdoor sessions are weather dependent. A few sprinkles wouldn't lead to class cancellation but severe weather would lead to cancellation. Let's hope Mother Nature is on our side! Local Covid-19 guidelines will apply and a health screening will be required before each practice (for the teacher and participants).
Move To Nature respectfully acknowledges that the land on which it operates is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Wendat. Marie donates a portion of all events to Tipi Moza, a local indigenous non-profit organization that provides affordable housing to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.