Elvehjem Trail Digital Forest Bath
De-stress and let the medicine of the forest heal you as you embark on a digitally guided Forest Bathing Walk at Madison's Elvehjem Sanctuary Trail. A step-by-step picture & written guide with optional audio will be sent to you after the purchase, along with free handouts on how to make forest bathing a regular part of your life in order to receive the maximum health benefits of time spent in nature. Why would you pay for this? It's a much deeper way to experience nature that is unlike anything else. It is often compared to a 'coming home' type of feeling, but you need to give yourself a 2-3 hour window to truly drop into the practice. As a guide, it takes about 5 hours to prepare a walk - but 10 hours for a digital walk after all is said and done. We truly appreciate the support, as your purchase helps keep wellness jobs like this one afloat during COVID-19 closures.
What is Forest Bathing / Forest Therapy / Shinrin-yoku? How does it differ from any other walk in the woods?
All of these words are language for "the medicine of being in the forest," or immersing oneself in the atmosphere of nature. This is a practice of deep nature connection and healing embraced by cultures throughout history for healing and insights. It is not a hike (no cardio or final destination!). Nor is it a naturalist walk filled with facts and data, psychological therapy, or even mindfulness. It is meditative. It is a slowing down and experiential noticing, your senses fully activated to drop you into a state of oneness. Guides use a specific sequence like many wellness practices, with pre-planned invitations to help expand awareness. You can find more info on the Forest Therapy page.
Trail map will be after purchase giving the parking location & trail route... however, you'll primarily be walking the trails at Elvehjem Sanctuary adjacent to the park.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Phone - turn off all notifications so you only use your phone as your guide aid.
- Journal - if you’d like to reflect in writing or drawing.
- Water/Tea/Snacks - you’ll be out there for at least 2 hours - maybe 3-4 hours.
- A small mat, towel or cloth if it’s damp so that you can sit comfortably on the earth
What Should I Wear? Hiking shoes/boots, clothes to keep you warm enough for 3-4 hours in weather conditions
What else should prepare for?
- Please read the digitally guided forest bath in its entirety before starting. This way, you know what landmarks to expect & have a general idea of when to pause and reflect.
- Look at the weather radar & forecast for the next 3-5 hours so you wear proper gear
- Practice Social Distancing: from other humans. Parks are recommending to stay at least 6 feet away from others. If the trail you’re at is crowded, come back another time.
Will you be making more of these?
Yes - please stay tuned! We are hoping to release a new one at least every other week. Some will be for families with kids, others just for adults. This particular one works best for adults and kids middle-school and older. As you read through it, you may get the jist of forest bathing and try some family-friendly invitations on your own if you have younger kids.