Walking outside among the trees, with nothing but the birds, small animals and insects as company, is one of the most relaxing experiences, once you allow yourself to disconnect from the world for a while. And deep the forests of Mpumalanga, you will find the best spot to do a little forest bathing.
Mpumalanga is one of the most beautiful places in the whole country. Along with the rolling hills and grasslands, there are deep ravines with quiet streams, surrounded by lush forests.
Because of the incredible sights and sounds offered by this vibrant place, hiking in Mpumalanga has become a popular pastime and those who hike here always benefit from the experience. And a walk in the woods can be so much more than just a great exercise when turn your hiking trip into a forest bathing one.
Mindfulness is a trend that is fast becoming a way of life, and when you are practicing forest bathing, you are practicing a form of mindfulness than you can only do when in the forest or at least in an area where there are plenty of trees growing.
All of us know, at least on an intuitive level that time spent in nature can be healing and soothing. And yet it is the Japanese who have really embraced the idea of forest bathing, which is seen as a form of ecotherapy.
What is forest bathing?
Although it sounds like quite a fancy term, forest bathing is essentially just a relaxation practice which can be done by anyone walking through a forest. The idea is to be calm between the trees. When walking through a tree filled area, deep breathing, observing the surrounding nature, and just being in the moment can help you to de-stress, which will in turn benefit your health and general wellbeing.
How to forest bath
Clearly, based on the definition, forest bathing is by no means a complicated thing to do. But if you are concerned about getting it right, here are a few tips that you can use to get started.
- When you enter the forested area, make sure your cellphone and any other devices you might have with you are turned off. The idea is to be in the moment, just taking it all in.
- Take long, deep breaths into your abdomen as you walk. Make sure that the exhalation is twice as long as the inhalation, as this sort of breathing will help you to relax.
- Move slowly and really feel the forest as you walk. You should also think about stopping here and there to take in all of the sights, sounds and smells.
- Keep your eyes open and let the light of the surrounds in. Look at the colour around you, and pay extra attention to the blues and greens, as these have been proven to be the most calming.
- Take your time. We all rush enough in our day to day lives, so when you find yourself out in the forest, walk slowly and take your time. This is one place you will regret trying to rush through.