It’s already January! An entire year has gone by since we published our first blog article. We wish to thank you for your presence, for reading us and for sharing BALNEA’s many projects, news and discoveries.
With the new year just under way, we hope that you’ll persevere in your progression towards true wellbeing. Even though it’s an essential part of our lives, we often struggle to reach this goal, for lack of time. So, offering ourselves time to improve our inner and outer health, to discover ourselves, can be a realistic and inspiring objective for 2020!
In order to help you succeed, BALNEA is adding a new practice to its calendar of activities in the upcoming months: Shirin Yoku, better known as “forest bathing.” As you already know, the reserve has more than 22 km of hiking trails spread throughout the forest surrounding Lake Gale. Soon, with the collaboration of Bernadette Rey, a certified Shirin Yoku guide, you’ll be able to take advantage of the undeniable benefits forest bathing offers. Here, we’re not referring to outdoor hot tubs, in this case it’s all about slow forest walks while we contemplate the surrounding nature. This Japanese practice aims to reconnect us with nature so we can truly care for our body, our mind and our spirit. Bernadette Rey explains in a few simple words how Shirin Yoku differs from a traditional walk in the woods. “First, it’s important to note that you won’t be covering several kilometres, in fact, you’ll never walk more than 2.5 km per hour. A calm pace is key and silence is a must. You’ll often pause during your walk. You’ll need to pay careful attention to each of your senses, especially to your breathing and your heart beat, which become as one with the symphony forest sounds offer. The result is this feeling of calm that inhabits you. There’s no competition; so instead of experiencing a feeling of success, you’ll experience a feeling of serenity.”
However, you can’t practise Shirin Yoku just anywhere; the principle is based on certain specific criteria corresponding to what BALNEA’s natural reserve offers: a space covering more than a hectare, so, 100 metres by 100 metres. Also, the venue must include a variety of 50-year-old mature trees with heights of at least 10 metres; Think essences such as maple, oak, birch and beech trees; Also, all conifers, pine, fir, hemlock and spruce which emanate phytoncides that contribute, among other things, to the proper functioning of our immune system. You’ll discover mindfulness, meditation, contemplation, breathing and personal growth are all part of the practice. Together these different disciplines provide many benefits such as regulating your blood pressure, improving your cardiovascular health, but primarily, to considerably reduce stress. When practised along with the thermal experience, the benefits will be amplified as feelings of vitality and wellness are maximized.
At BALNEA, the upcoming year is quite promising with all the discoveries and experiences it will offer. There’s no better time than the start of a new year to try new practices, to adapt to new ideas, new ways of looking at the world. It’s especially the perfect time to begin taking care of ourselves. 2020 will be your year to shine! It’s really all up to you. Happy New Year!
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