Imagine yourself lounging under the sky, in the middle of wind swooshing trees, lilting birdcalls, watching the sunlight glint off the spouting streams, and breathing in the bloomy-scent of the gentle breeze. *what a sigh of relief* If mere words could put you in such state of tranquillity, you can well imagine what an actual retreat like this could do for your soul. This blissful act is known as ‘Forest Bathing’ — A Japanese therapeutic practice that offers an immersive retreat for the souls who resonate with the stressful city life.
Photo credits: Tokyo Weekender
It is a walk to rejuvenation | Shinrin-yoku or commonly known as forest bathing comes to us as a rescue which is basically hiking in the woods while paying close attention to your sensory experience: the jauntiness of the earth, the smell of the drizzle, and flickers of sunshine; and almost everything that we tend to overlook in our usual life.
Why should you indulge in forest bathing | Thankfully, even a small amount of time in nature unfolds a great power to your health. The simplest of the activities in the forest — like, yoga, forest walking, hot-spring therapy, eating in the forest, T’ai chi, breathing exercises, meditation, aromatherapy, Nordic walking, and plant observation — can show real health benefits by improving immunity in the cells, reducing risk of coronary heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and reducing all-cause mortality.
Photo credits: Wanderlust
Best places for forest bathing | You can forest-bathe anywhere in the world – wherever there are trees; in hot weather or in cold; in the sunshine, rain or snow. Here are a few of the best ones:
Sacred Groves, Meghalaya
If in India, a visit to Sacred Groves in Meghalaya can be a rejuvenating journey, it has more than a hundred sacred groves or forests to explore and experience.
Photo credits: Lonely Planet
Where to stay: Aerodene Cottage, Shillong, the place gives easy access to a quiet and beautiful walk through the forest, small waterfalls, quaint meadows, and pools of crystal clear water.
The wilds of Agumbe in Karnataka are rich and terrific for a worthwhile forest bathing experience. Situated in Shimoga district in Karnataka, it is a perfect destination for those who don't mind an evening or three with the slimy forest dwellers. You will fairly be surprised by the beauty of this small hamlet and most importantly about the fact that Malgudi days was shot in this village.
Photo credits: India
Where to stay: The house of Kasturi Akka, Dodda Mane, it serves as a befitting spot to stay and recollect your childhood memories of Swami and Friends, of course along with the therapeutic surroundings.
Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Jim Corbett National Park, Kumaon, Uttarakhand is the nature lover’s ultimate reward – Simply taking a nature walk in the incredibly dense forest, visiting the nearby local villages and spending some quality time with yourself in an untouched environment can be one of the most refreshing experience.
Photo credits: Nat Geo Traveller
Where to stay: At the Taj Corbett Resort, the team at the hotel makes a special itinerary for you to discover the dense Kumaon region in addition to the rich wildlife adventures of the Corbett. (You just have to ask for it.)
Daintree Forest, Australia
Daintree Forest in Queensland, Australia is known as one of the most stunning rainforests in the world. It is so mesmerising that its ancient ferns, lush canopy, and emerald green vines provided inspiration for the movie Avatar. You can trek through the jungle and discover the plants and animals that are found nowhere else on the planet, really, that’s true!
Video credits: Daintree Forest
Where to stay: Daintree Ecolodge, it’s situated in the heart of the magnificent rainforest and offers sustainable luxury in a breath-taking location, moreover, they have some really interesting personalised plans like bird lovers package, cultural package and nature package, to name a few.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica will keep you away from the hustle and bustle by literally gulping you in the lap of nature, it is so untouched that the only background you hear is from the forest and the clouds. Being situated along the continental divide, it gives an awe-inspiring view of a lush green forest covered in low-hanging cotton clouds. Despite being a little hazy and misty, your view will never be short of the colourful flora and fauna.
Video credits: Monteverde Lodge
Where to stay: Monteverde Lodge and Gardens is the nearest hotel from the forest and offers a quiet and laid back style stay with an open fireplace.
Would you try it this summer?