We all know how good being in nature can make us feel. We have known it for centuries. The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air — these things give us a sense of comfort. They ease our stress and worry, help us to relax and to think more clearly. Being in nature can restore our mood, give us back our energy and vitality, refresh and rejuvenate us.
The Japanese have been practicing forest bathing for years, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.
This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.
But the good news is that even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health. A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you.
The Costa Rica Tourism Board is promoting itself as the perfect destination for forest bathing and other wellness activities like Earthing which involves physically touching the ground with your hands or bare feet, and can be practiced with a short barefoot walk along any one of its many pristine beaches or deep in the mystical rainforests of Costa Rica”. These practices are said to allow the body to “absorb free electrons which enter the body and act like antioxidants—to neutralize the damage caused by free radicals”.
With Jaco and the Central Pacific lush tropical rainforests, mountain trails and stunning beaches all at your disposal, sounds like it might be just the excuse for a visit down. If you are ready to make a trip to Jaco check out visitjacocostarica.com to learn more.
David Karr has been living in Costa Rica since 2005, where he resides full time in Jaco Beach. Since then he has been consulting and guiding people with real estate and living in Costa Rica. His expertise is in the Central Pacific and Jaco region, but can assist with all parts of Costa Rica.