Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing) has a host of proven health benefits and provides a wonderful antidote to the particularly stressful environment we’ve been living in for the last 9 months.
As we navigate through this pandemic it’s so important to pay attention to our emotional and physical wellbeing. One way of doing that is amongst the trees…
Japan began to study Shinrin Yoku in the 1980’s when they saw a big link between the increase in technology use and the increased levels of stress and depression. Today it is often prescribed by Japanese doctors and it’s use has spread worldwide.
Forest Bathing has been proven to:
- Reduce stress producing hormones
- Reduce blood pressure
- Improve sleep
- Be a natural anti-depressant
- Lower heart rate
- Accelerate recovery from illness
- Encourage creativity.
Here at Hill Farm, we run various wellbeing retreats but one of our favourite – and quickest growing therapies – is Forest Bathing. This practice really breaks down your senses so you can switch off, connect with nature and nurture your wellbeing.
This year Carol Donaldson (writer for The Guardian) booked Shinrin Yoku at Hill Farm and writes of her experience which you can read here.
If you’re interested in sampling the enormous benefits of Shinrin Yoku then join us at Hill Farm,Tintern in the Wye Valley where Tom our forest guide runs sessions within our very own natural and beautiful woodland. Tom will take you and your partner, friend of family on a sensory adventure in the woods. Walks typically last 3-4 hours/1-3 miles, but the benefits can last for weeks.
- Shinrin Yoku (based on 2 persons) £100 or family of 4 £150
- Shinrin Yoku and Lunch (based on 2 persons) £130 or family of 4 £195
- Shinrin Yoku, Lunch and Eco-Spa (based on 6 persons) including 3 hour use of spa facilities £95 per person.
Optional extras (please enquire for price):
● Holistic treatments
● Room with a view (sleeps 2 persons)
Retreat to the forest and nurture your wellbeing at Hill Farm, Tintern.
It goes without saying that 2020 has been – for the most of us – difficult.
Over at Forest Retreats we’ve been busy building and improving our accommodation which is great. But of course, our industry has been hit particularly bad; we’ve been extremely stressed, all while home schooling our two youngest girls. And there are those of you who’ve had it much worse.
But as we move slowly on with our life, it’s important we do so with a degree of tenderness, self-care and a new awareness of what’s important.
Let me just say, I know that you’re stressed and have felt overwhelmed. Everyone has been affected differently by COVID19 and I won’t attempt to tell you to what you should or shouldn’t do. Haven’t we all had enough of that? But what I would like to share is why next year we hope that more people consider a retreat of some sort, allow me to tell you why…A retreat isn’t a holiday; it’s more.
1. A retreat isn’t a holiday; it’s more.
Don’t get me wrong, we love holidays; they’re important and no doubt part of next years’ big plans for much of the world. However, a retreat is more than a holiday. A retreat is a time for restoration and healing.
Whilst holidays are fun, they are also a time when we usually indulge in more unhealthy foods, we tend to consume more alcohol (hello gin…) and feel the effects of this when we get home (if not before). If you have kids like us, then holidays will be far from relaxing. In fact, we always feel we need another holiday after a family one!
Retreats however are just for you. There is silence, highly nutritious food, yoga… And often you can tailor them to be as you need. Imagine one, two, three nights to yourself, to really rest. To sleep, eat healthily, go for walks, journal, read; whatever nourishes you.
You don’t return home from a retreat with a hangover and tonnes of washing. You return home rested, relaxed, clear and focused.
2. The people you meet can become life-long friends
You probably have an image in your mind of the people that attend retreats…? Now scrap it. Because the likelihood is, the people who attend are just like you. Everyone has different reasons for attending a retreat, everyone has a different story and a unique agenda. But everyone is looking to do one thing: learn.
Everyone is there to learn more about themselves, their health; their wellbeing. So typically, the people who attend retreats are open-minded, accepting, kind, excited for what’s ahead. And when you come together with people like this, wonderful things can happen. Conversations (if you want them) are deep and meaningful, and the friendships that can occur from this are very often for life.
3. Wellbeing matters
We’ve all been stressed this year, but good things have come from 2020 and one of them is the heightened interest in wellbeing. Workplaces are starting to integrate it into the return to work, online communities have grown, Joe Wicks has had people jumping around their living room dressed as Spider Man and people have felt the benefits.
People are paying attention to wellbeing on a large scale which is amazing. Because wellness does indeed matter. Paying attention to your wellbeing is critical for your physical and emotional health.
A retreat is an entire focus on wellbeing, and we believe that’s one super strong reason to pop it on your list for next year.
You’re worth it
You’ve always been worth it, but my guess is that lately you’ve been working harder than ever and have felt anxiety and overwhelm at a whole new level. What I find incredibly sad is when someone finds reasons not to do a retreat because at the root of the excuses is a sense of “I’m not worth it”. But you are. Whether during or outside of a global pandemic you are worth spending time on you. You always have been. But sometimes the only way you’ll ever believe that is by doing it.
You’ll have brilliant
excuses reasons to not book a retreat but if you replace every single one of those with “I am worth it” which is cheesy but absolutely true, then you’ll see that the reasons fall short. We don’t deserve or earn a space on a retreat; each of us gets a space because each of us is worthy of one.
It’s not just about you
OK the retreat is totally just about you. But your attendance has a bigger effect, and a really positive one on those around you.
When you attend a retreat, you’re restoring your mind, body and soul. The energy you bring home is infectious. The same is true in everyday life, I often find that if I wake up in a bad mood; not enough sleep, bad dreams, too much wine the night before, hormones… Then the general mood in the house is almost always bad. If I’m stressed, then my girls start to feel stressed. Our emotions are infectious. And so it is when we are not stressed. When we are rested, full and focused we spread that energy too.
When we fill our hearts with peace, goodness and joy; we bring home peace, goodness and joy. We treat our family and our neighbours accordingly. We treat the world accordingly.
Get that holiday booked, they’re important. But think about a retreat too for they are a whole new, big kind of important also.
There are such a variety of retreats around the UK and world. Each one slightly different, every one offering food for your soul. Be fearless in seeking one out that suits you best.
Meet some amazing people, uncover more of yourself, spread the good vibes.
You’re worth it.
Forest Retreats take place in the beautiful Wye Valley where we focus on good food, yoga, massage and our eco spa. Our farm is surrounded by nature and beauty so you’re free to walk and explore as much as you like. Take part in as much or as little as you like. Do what makes’ your heart sing. We guarantee you’ll return home a different kind of you; the kind you are meant to be.
Spring is in the air and only one month away from our first Yoga and Wellness Retreat of the year!
I am sure you would agree; it’s been a hard-core winter with freezing temperatures and lots of snow. At one point we had to evacuate the place we were staying, as it’s quite high above sea level and more affected by the elements. The roads became impassable and we were burning through too much wood, so we moved in with the parents for three days – aren’t we lucky to have had this “bolt hole” as an option.
Happy New Year Yogi’s and hope 2018 has been good to you so far.
January is full of hope, but also a particularly challenging time for some as there is some re-adjusting back to normality, and we become more inwardly focused after a sociable December. We tend to set our new year intentions too high – only eating “healthy” food, not drinking alcohol after an excess in December, promising ourselves we will do an hours daily yoga practice, save hard and spending less. Phew thats a lot to achieve in a month! Usually by this time of January, the intention usually goes wayward and we start to feel really negative about ourselves that we can’t stick to our resolutions (that we set too high!).
Forest Retreats and Indian Wellness Academy are pleased to announce dates for our 2018 Yoga and Wellness Retreats, based at Ragmans Farm, a 60-acre organic farm in the Forest of Dean. Reflecting on our great partnership formed in 2017, we have utilised the best of our skill sets which so far has resulted in fantastic feedback from our guests:
“The yoga sessions were amazing – I learned a lot about the practice and myself!”
Recharge your spiritual batteries after a busy summer and retreat to the forest and nurture your wellbeing! Our special day retreat designed for yogi’s based locally to the Forest of Dean, guarentees to make you feel relaxed and rejuvinated. Based at the beautiful Ragmans Farm, a 60 acre organic farm, our day retreat encompasses: