Forest Bathing and its Therapeutic Effects

Tales from the Bush

Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is a practice that originated in Japan and has gained immense popularity worldwide. It involves immersing oneself in the atmosphere of a forest or natural environment to experience the therapeutic benefits of being in nature.

Instead of merely physically bathing in water, the term forest bathing refers to the act of mindfully spending time in a forested area, whether it be walking slowly, meditating, observing wildlife, listening to the sounds of nature, or simply sitting and appreciating the surroundings. The focus is on fully taking in the forest atmosphere, breathing in the phytoncides (airborne chemicals released by trees), and allowing nature to have a calming and rejuvenating effect on the mind and body.

Scientific research has shown that spending time in nature, particularly in forested areas, can positively affect our well-being. It can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, boost mood, improve concentration, and enhance immune function. Forest bathing is often recommended as a complementary practice to promote relaxation, stress reduction, and mental clarity. Much like the invigorating impact shinrin-yoku can have on the mind and body, the believed influence of lazuli on relieving stress and promoting relaxation has captivated civilisations for centuries.

Also known as lapis lazuli, the significance of this vibrant blue gemstone extends far beyond its aesthetic appeal. It has been used in traditional medicine practices across different cultures, thanks to its perceived ability to enhance mental clarity, promote spiritual growth, and alleviate physical ailments. It also often takes a prominent place in meditation practises to deepen the connection with one’s inner self.

Lazuli Bush Lodge

In a world bustling with constant noise and perpetual motion, lies the sanctuary that is Lazuli Bush Lodge. Nestled within the natural embrace of the indigenous forest of Kuleni Game Park in the Greater Hluhluwe area in KwaZulu-Natal, Lazuli Bush Lodge offers a discreet and tranquil experience, perfect for practising the art of forest bathing.

Lazuli Bush Lodge truly is the essence of exclusivity and seclusion in nature with the lodge designed in such a way as to welcome in views of the wild from every angle. Held in dappled sunlight, large sliding glass panels invite the outdoors in and make the wilderness accessible. Simply relax by the pool or take a pensive stroll, fully taking in the forest and surrounding landscape.

The self-guided walking trails at Lazuli Bush Lodge let one take in the soothing, healing power of nature using all five senses, the foundation of true forest bathing. Marvel at plains game like njala, bushbuck and giraffe, hear the song of unique birds and breathe in the earthy smells of a variety of flora species.

Relax and restore in the soulful quiet of the bush at Lazuli Bush Lodge. Disconnect from the world and reconnect to yourself. Take deep breaths, touch the earth and be present.

Image Source: Daily Maverick - Mopane Worms
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