Forest Therapy – A Weekend Mindfulness Practices,
Nature Immersion, and Poetry
with Mary Alice Mastrovito, Jean Farkas and Nancy Stranahan
Friday, September 11 – Sunday, September 13, 2020
Held at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary
$299/person includes six meals and all curriculum.
Optional lodging at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary –
$40/night per person shared; $65/night private
“The Highland Nature Sanctuary, with its compelling scenery, enchanting woods, and pristine streams, is a perfect location for any nature-centered program. I highly recommend the program to anyone seeking mental peace and deeper levels of wellness and happiness.” 2018 participant
Back by popular demand, we are pleased of offer the Forest Therapy weekend, based on the Japanese art form, Shinrin Yoku, which can be translated into English as forest bathing. (Click here for introductory video). Many of us enjoy nature hiking, but this program is so much more than a walk in the woods. It is a way to drop into the energy of the forest and fully receive the healing of nature. Research has recently proven what many of us suspected all along, that meeting the forest in a state of mindfulness and awareness boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, improves mood, accelerates recovery from surgery or illness, increases energy level and improves sleep.
Under the gentle and sensitive guidance of certified Forest Therapy Guide, Mary Alice Mastrovito, all our senses will be enriched while listening to bird and insect singing, flowing water, observing the stately trees embracing us. …feeling breeze on our skin, smelling the earthy scents. Slow-paced walks with frequent stops help us to appreciate the majestic beauty of landscape shaped over millenia by water and weather. We may be invited to just sit for awhile and let the forest bathe over us. Pondering the ancient sculptures in our midst helps us to really slow down to a different view of time.
“I often seek refuge and rejuvenation in the woods, but it’s very hard for someone who is always “on the go” to truly escape life’s stresses. Mary Alice provided an atmosphere where I could sink quickly and easily into a state of deep relaxation which is usually hard to come by.” 2018 participant
One of the benefits is the bonding of the group in a nature setting and the opportunity to share observations and experiences.
“I found myself in a circle of like-minded people that shared mutual trust and comfort…..I feel profound gratitude to my “wood sisters” for their openness and compassion, for unforgettable time spent together.” 2018 participant
In addition you will have an opportunity to experience gentle, early morning yoga, under the canopy of trees against the dawn sky.
Each participant will be gifted with a poetry book, The Essential Rumi, interpreted by Coleman Barks. Rumi’s poems are a unique blend of invitations to mindful presence, spiritual ascendance and joyful, earthy sensuality.
Mary Alice Mastrovito is a certified guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides, an organization that is the leading global voice for forest bathing and forest therapy. Nancy Stranahan is a poet-lover and the Director of the Arc of Appalachia, and Jean Farkas is a wellness and yoga teacher from Dayton.
Join us this weekend for a time to celebrate our connection with nature and each other.
Eight Proven Benefits of Forest Therapy
✤ Boosts immune system
✤ Lowers blood pressure
✤ Reduces stress
✤ Improves mood
✤ Increases ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
✤ Accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
✤ Increases energy level
✤ Improves sleep