Take time out to experience a mindful meander in nature – the “Shinrin Yoku” way!

Article published on behalf of Susan Joachim, President, INFTA

Take time out to experience a mindful walk in nature, to relax and feel better! This Forest Therapy walk is inspired by the Japanese way of immersing in nature – “Shinrin Yoku” which literally translates as “immersion in the forest” or “Forest Bathing.”

Join us on any first Saturday in June, July, August, September, October, and November 2022 for a two-hour experience from 11 am to 1 pm (2 hours). The group size is capped at 15 people per walk.

What’s in it for me?

Time in nature is one of the best choices you can make for your health. Scientific studies have shown that we can enjoy a wide range of positive effects when we go out into nature, from a healthier heart, boosted immune system, and reduced stress, to better eyesight and brain power!

According to a 2019 study*, spending at least two hours a week in nature is associated with good health and well-being. With these findings in mind, guided Forest Therapy walks are a perfect opportunity for people to reach the minimum time needed per week to take advantage of the health benefits of nature.

So, join us for FREE two-hour Forest Therapy walk amongst the beautiful landscape of Brimbank Park. This is a perfect opportunity to take a break from your daily routines and immerse yourself in nature on a slow, mindful meander and tune into nature. Learn techniques to maximize the health benefits and stress-reducing qualities of this well-being practice.

Two INFTA Certified Forest Therapy Guides will support you to slow down with intention and mindfulness to engage your five senses. The walk will be at a slower-than-usual-pace with pauses and reflection time. Give your body and mind a chance to rest and restore while taking in the subtleties and wonder of nature.

– enjoy a range of calming and stress-relieving activities – no prior experience is required! – notice how being in a lush, green and natural surrounding brings down your pulse, blood pressure, and stress levels- notice the health benefits of easy-to-do mental and physical exercises- learn how Forest Therapy can help you to prevent and alleviate lifestyle diseases, such as stress, obesity or sleep difficulties.

During the two-hour session, guides will also explain the benefits of this practice and teach you about the different ways to tune into your senses and immerse yourself in nature. This walk will enable you to relax, feel a sense of calm and quieten your busy mind in the restorative environment of nature in Brimbank Park.

The walk is about one kilometre in length and will conclude with a Japanese-inspired Tea Ceremony with Australian Bush Tea and sweets.

The scientifically proven health benefits of Forest Therapy include:

  • Improved mood
  • Decreased anxiety and stress levels
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Improved heart health
  • Improved respiratory health
  • Boosted immune system
  • Accelerated recovery from illness, surgery, and injury
  • Improved overall sense of well-being
  • Increased energy, creativity, alertness, and focus
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced risk of obesity
  • Improved sleep.

The gentle walk is suitable for adults and children (12 years +). Please be aware that you will be walking slowly and standing for about one and a half hours over flat ground. However, there will be opportunities to sit. This walk is not fast-paced, and it is not a hike. The ground is mainly flat, with little incline and a few stairs.

What to wear and bring:

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes appropriate for the weather
  • Carry a raincoat
  • Carry a shoulder bag or day pack
  • Bring a water bottle, snacks, and any personal medications
  • Wear sun protection (e.g. hat)

Optional: Bring a small picnic rug to sit on. There are some benches to sit on along the way.

Please note, to participate you must show proof of your Covid-19 vaccination status.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Meeting point: Look for the two Forest Therapy guides in green T-shirts next to The Brownstone Cafe

Register here: https://infta.net/home/public-health/activities/brimbank/

This program is supported by Brimbank Community Recovery Grants 2021-2022.

*White, M.P., Alcock, I., Grellier, J. et al. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. Sci Rep 9, 7730 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44097-3


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Brimbank City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Wurundjeri People, and pays our respects to Elders past and present.