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Community Forest Bathing & Nature Therapy Retreat

Community Forest Bathing & Nature Therapy Retreat

Reset after the busy holidays and start 2024 off on the right foot with a restorative retreat on New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Pink Beds trailhead in Pisgah National Forest. Join certified nature and forest therapy guide Kelly Bruce for a peaceful afternoon in the healing forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains filled with intentional nature connection. The practice of forest bathing encourages participants to slow down, quiet the mind and awaken the senses. Through a series of mindfulness invitations, guests will have the opportunity to linger in the present in the moment, deepening their connection with nature, community, and enjoying the many gifts of the forest. We’ll conclude our retreat with a wild foraged tea ceremony and snacks, reflecting and releasing 2023, then setting intentions for 2024. Inspired by Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese practice of immersing oneself in the restorative qualities of a forest environment, forest bathing invites guests to spend time in nature in a way that invites healing for ourselves, our fraught ecosystems, and our community. “A few of the benefits of forest bathing include improved mental and physical health, enhanced wellbeing and creativity,” says Kelly Bruce, a guide certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, and owner of Natural Wanders. “I will lead you on a journey through the forest, weaving mindfulness, breathwork, forest bathing and nature therapy together for a restorative afternoon. Words don’t do this practice justice, you simply need to experience it for... Read More
Forest Bathing: How To Cleanse Your Spirit

Forest Bathing: How To Cleanse Your Spirit

Forest Bathing: How To Cleanse Your Spirit As a part of North Carolina’s Year of The Trail celebration, “Wellness and Trails” is the theme for August. In conjunction with that theme, this month’s blog is about Forest Bathing, which has become a popular activity for folks who love the outdoors. If you’re new to the concept, you’ll enjoy this fascinating interview we conducted with Dr. Mattie Decker, a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, mindfulness teacher and a retired professor of education.   Q&A Q&A: Mattie, tell us a little about yourself. “I’m a lifelong educator who grew up in Savannah, Georgia. I got my teaching degree from Georgia State University and then went on to teach in rural Appalachia in northeast Georgia. Later, I spent ten years in Colorado. I’ve always had a deep connection with nature, and Colorado deepened that relationship. Ultimately, we moved to Arkansas where I finished my master’s thesis. I then went on to pursue my doctorate at the University of Memphis. Over the years, I’ve also spent a great amount of time in Finland, studying and researching their innovative teacher education program. In Norway, I became a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide.” Q&A Q&A: What is forest bathing and how long has it been around? “Forest bathing is derived from the Japanese practice shinrin-yoku, which means forest bath. It was developed in the 80’s when Japan was in the midst of their tech boom. People were dying from a wide range of diseases in unprecedented numbers.... Read More