As we glide into spring looking forward to nature hikes and reconnecting with stillness, Mother Nature comes thrusting as her dynamic self via a volcanic eruption here in Iceland. Never a dull moment on our powerful lunar-esque island. There were countless earthquakes prior to the eruption, so we can’t say that she didn’t announce her awakening.
Acts of large natural forces encourage us to think of the origin of the matter and our connection to the earth, and our roots. It makes me think of our journey: where we came from, what we’ve done, and how we are now. What’s our current relationship with the earth?
At Soley we commit to natural and sustainable living at its best. And as avid nature seekers both personally and by picking wild herbs for our products for example, there are still ways to evolve our relationship with the earth. One idea is in the way of forest bathing.
Since I remember, my culture has identified the benefits of natural health practices. To connect with nature and spend time in water - all year around. Although I can’t say that I’ve consciously practised ecotherapy, I'm intrigued and eager to add this to my nature seeking repertoire.
Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku surfaced in Japan in the 80s and was recognized to be beneficial for both cognitive and physical health. The practise became a ritual for burned out tech-boomers and other residents to reconnect with and protect their surrounding forests. I strongly believe that we should make forest bathing sexy again.
If you remove the word “bathing” and simply take a walk in a forest or any natural environment while consciously connecting with your surroundings - it’s a form of forest bathing. To actively practise ecotherapy or digital detox, stand barefoot in the woods for about 15 minutes, as well as practise tree hugging. For more structured and guided forest bathing, there are classes to be found and global communities to connect with.
While our latest volcanic eruption might have reactivated our senses, I can’t wait to explore forest bathing amongst arctic trees and medicinal plants. Allegedly, trees of various species have the ability to exchange large sums of carbon via the fungal internet that connects their roots - which I find beyond fascinating.
All hail to the woods for healing and the forest-net! Wishing you blissful wellness!