Mogami’s Five Wellness Principles Explored
In this Japanese wellness deep-dive series, we explore each of Mogami's five Japanese wellness principles in depth. Today we are taking a look at Shinrin-Yoku 森林浴, or Forest Bathing.
What is Shinrin-Yoku 森林浴, or Forest Bathing?
Within the realm of Japanese wellness practices, there exists a remarkable concept that encourages us to connect with nature's healing powers—Shinrin-Yoku 森林浴, also known as Forest Bathing. Rooted in the profound connection between humans and the natural world, Forest Bathing offers a gentle and rejuvenating way to nourish our mind, body, and soul. In this blog, we will embark on a journey to explore the essence of Forest Bathing, understanding its principles and uncovering the transformative benefits it brings to our overall well-being.
Understanding Forest Bathing
Shinrin-Yoku 森林浴, directly translated as "forest bathing," is a practice that invites us to immerse ourselves in nature with all our senses. Originating in Japan, this wellness concept recognizes the healing power of nature and encourages us to slow down, be present, and engage with the natural environment. Forest Bathing involves leisurely walks or meditative contemplation in nature, allowing us to reconnect with the natural world and reap its numerous health benefits.
The Healing Power of Nature
Forest Bathing acknowledges the intricate relationship between humans and nature, recognizing that spending time in forests can profoundly affect our well-being. Many studies have shown that forest bathing can lower stress levels, reduce blood pressure and heart rate, boost immune function, enhance mood, and improve overall mental health. Trees emit wood essential oils called phytoncides, which have antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties, further contributing to our well-being.
Reconnecting with Our Senses
In our fast-paced, technology-driven lives, Forest Bathing offers an opportunity to disconnect from screens and reconnect with our senses. Forest bathing encourages us to be fully present, engaging all our senses to experience nature's environment. We can breathe in the crisp scent of the trees, feel the softness of moss under our feet, listen to the rustling leaves, observe the intricate details of plants and wildlife, and taste the freshness of the forest air. These sensory experiences awaken our awareness and deepen our connection with the natural world.
Practical Applications of Forest Bathing
To incorporate Forest Bathing into our lives, we can:
Seek out natural environments: Explore nearby forests, parks, or nature reserves. Allow yourself ample time to wander, observe, and absorb the beauty of the surroundings.
Engage in mindful nature walks: Slow down your pace, practice deep breathing, and fully immerse yourself in the present moment. Let go of distractions and allow the forest to embrace you.
Create nature-inspired spaces: Bring elements of nature into your living environment, such as indoor plants, natural scents, and nature-themed artwork. Surround yourself with reminders of the serenity and beauty found in the forest.
Disconnect from technology: Dedicate specific times to disconnect from screens and embrace the peacefulness of nature. Engage in activities like reading, journaling, or simply sitting in stillness while enjoying the outdoors.
The Mogami 最上 Wrap-Up
Forest Bathing invites us to slow down, embrace the healing embrace of nature, and find solace in its calm presence. By incorporating Forest Bathing into our lives, we can experience the transformative power of forest bathing, fostering a deeper connection with the natural world and enhancing our overall well-being. Let us embark on this journey of discovery and allow nature to nurture our mind, body, and spirit.
Japan, as a country known for its longevity, offer concepts that can empower your wellbeing today. Forest Bathing is very much part of it. At Mogami, we have five core Japanese wellness concepts that we focus on to understand this holistic wellbeing approach.
If you are curious to learn more about Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku) & Japanese wellness:
Subscribe to Mogami's Newsletter which includes our "Ikigai Spotlight Series", where we interview Japanese individuals on their Ikigai and provide exclusive early access to our content.
About Saori Okada, Founder of Mogami 最上 Wellness
Saori Okada is the Founder of Mogami (最上), a Japanese wellness brand headquartered in London (U.K.). Saori's work focuses on "Mogami's wellness puzzle", which includes five core Japanese wellness centred around longevity, authenticity, and mindfulness. Mogami works with individuals and companies to strengthen their company's wellbeing from the inside out.
Saori received her B.S. in Commerce from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and her coaching training as a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach from the Institute of Transformational Nutrition. Saori also holds her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from PMI and is a 20-year student of Japanese calligraphy, given the calligraphy name Seisen (星洗). She is also the author of a narrative memoir titled "Until the Death of Me", where she bravely shares her eating disorder recovery journey. After a successful 7-year corporate career in media analytics in New York City and Toronto, Saori moved to London to start Mogami in August 2021.
At Mogami, we value showcasing creativity from Japan. Thank you to Seiya Maeda for the photography used in this blog. You can learn more about his work here.