Washington, DC

via DC Forest Bathing

“Dear PoPville,

I thought readers might like to hear about some forest bathing events coming up through DC Forest Bathing.

Wait, what’s forest bathing? Isn’t that just a walk in nature? Forest bathing is different. It’s not hiking or jogging or a naturalist talk. Literally, it means taking in the forest atmosphere — bathing in the sense of sunbathing, basking in te feelings. (I.e. no swimsuit required.) It’s exploring the natural environment through our senses. It’s like a bridge between us and the natural world. The health benefits are well-documented: improved immunity, lower cortisol (stress hormones), lower heart rate, improved mood and attention — and more. Going with a guide gives participants a chance to let go of having to “effort” their way into relaxation — someone else keeps you safe, keeps track of time, and gives you a sensory way to explore the woods.

As a certified forest therapy guide, I get to watch people in our super stressed out transform remarkably over the course of two hours. People from every walk of life come on forest bathing sessions. It’s especially great for people who need to relax but haven’t had success with things like meditation and mindfulness. It’s naturally relaxing — literally.

There are two great opportunities sponsored by my organization, DC Forest Bathing, and Friends of the National Arboretum to try forest bathing coming up at the National Arboretum — just in time for spring peak bloom.

On April 7th from 1-3 PM, we’re hosting Family Forest Bathing — set screens down and enjoy an afternoon of exploring and child-led play for the kids and slower, easier contemplative time for adults.

On April 13th from 12-2:30 PM we’re hosting Forest Bathing in the Dogwood Collection, one of the sparkling jewels of the Arboretum — ages 16+. This walk will be accompanied by a camera crew and reporter from Reuters.

On April 19, 20, & 21 from 8-10 PM, we’re hosting our popular Full Moon Forest Bathing walks. This is an opportunity for people to explore the woods at night in a really safe and secure environment. Registration will go up next week.

If your readers are interested in following along with all the forest bathing events in DC, they can follow us on our Facebook page, DC Forest Bathing.”


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