Heartwood Nature Bathing
Heartwood Nature Bathing is an ethereal experience inspired by the Japanese practice of *Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), where you soak up the atmosphere of nature with gentle walks designed to promote physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
While it doesn't involve bathing in the water (though you may dip your feet in at times), Heartwood Nature Bathing is about soaking up your surrounds, by awakening the senses - sight, smell, sound, touch, taste and hearing - and using those senses to explore and engage with nature.
Nature Bathing walks are open to absolutely anybody, and are generally very suited to people with mobility concerns or special accessibility needs. The walks are intentionally very gentle (you walk no more than 1.5-2kms over the entire experience) so you do not need to have a high level of fitness either. Your guide, Monique Ross, is a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide (certified with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs.)
Small group walks are held in Brisbane/Meanjin at the Sherwood Arboretum, and the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. Walks are also held in Springbrook National Park (at the incredible Cougal Cascades), and Tamborine and Lamington National Parks (Green Mountains and Binna Bunna sections.) Beach walks are coming soon, too.
You'll wander through World Heritage areas with lush old growth rainforest and towering strangler figs; listen to the melody of birds as you explore snaking trails through palm groves; hop along rock pools and dip your toes into crystal clear creeks; watch as gardens alive with the colours of spring; and rest in open meadows that are home to trees that pre-date European settlement.
Nature Bathing walks can be very healing. They can lead people to a place of calm, clarity and connection, helping you feel more grounded and more present, renew a sense of awe and wonder about the world. Working in partnership with nature, Monique leads a meditation to help people slow down, and switch out of their minds and into their bodies.
Each walk concludes with ‘tea under the trees’.
*Shinrin-yoku began in Japan in the 1980s, in response to a health crisis caused by stress and overwork. Researchers discovered that a chemical released by trees and plants, called phytoncides, can boost the immune system and promote the production of ‘natural killer’ cells.
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South East Queensland