25 Aug 2022

Guided mindfulness nature sessions at Foxhills

What is Forest Bathing?

Forest Bathing+ enables you to spend mindful time in nature. It involves walking slowly under the canopy of the trees, inhaling the healing woodland air, meditating and connecting with nature via each of your senses.

Forest Bathing+ is based on the Japanese practice of ‘Shinrin-Yoku’ and aims to bring about a serene feeling of relaxation and calm within your body, helping to restore balance and harmony. This is achieved by incorporating a mindfulness practice, which is central to Forest Bathing+. As you journey through the delightful woodland at Foxhills, you will be guided through various structured sensory exercises which will allow you to experience the woodland from different perspectives, all while inhaling the fresh woodland air. 

How does it work?

Trees emit essential oils known as phytoncides, which possess natural, antimicrobial qualities to protect the tree from disease and parasites. These oils are highly beneficial to each of us when we breathe them in, or when we absorb them through our skin.

It is estimated that up to 50% of the benefit of Forest Bathing is proven to come from these phytoncides, which are emitted by the trees, particularly when you are walking within a more diverse forest environment.

Indeed, there have been numerous scientific studies over the last 30 years, particularly in Japan, which provide evidence of the many benefits of Forest Bathing. These benefits include boosting your immune system, improving cognitive brain function - including memory and concentration, increasing Heart Rate Variability (HRV) - an indicator of good cardiovascular health and balance in the nervous system, aiding weight loss due to an increase in your metabolic rate and helping you to sleep much better!

These benefits result from spending longer periods of time under the forest canopy and inhaling the phytoncides and higher oxygen content of the air. These factors combine to help to reduce our cortisol levels, which in turn helps us to relax, reduces stress, anxiety and rumination on problems and worries. Therefore, we feel a lot calmer, happier and more relaxed.

During the two-hour Forest Bathing+ session, you will learn some useful tips which will help you to fully immerse yourself into the stunning Surrey woodland countryside. The session finishes with a calming meditation and an opportunity to share any insights and observations with the group. 

Your Forest Bathing+ Guide, Philippa Bassett

Philippa trained with the leading research and training organisation in the UK, The Forest Bathing Institute, and her training is accredited by The Complementary Medical Association. Philippa is also a fully qualified Mindfulness & Meditation Teacher. As Forest Bathing+ is underpinned by a mindfulness practice, your session will engage each of the senses to bring about a full body feeling of wellbeing, relaxation and harmony with nature. 

As a holistic health practitioner, Philippa’s aim is to assist participants in enhancing their natural health and well-being and to achieve a sense of overall calm and balance. You will gain insight into practicing mindfulness in nature and learn some valuable skills that can be used on a daily basis in your life. 

When do the sessions take place at Foxhills?

Fridays mornings once a month (23rd September, 14th October, 18th November, 9th December) from 9.30am - 11.45am, meeting outside the front entrance of the Manor House.