Episode 45:

Keep Your Clothes On for Forest Bathing

apple listen badge.png

“The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.” - Richard Louv

In this episode, we explore mindfulness through the lens of nature and forest therapy. Our guest, Jeanne Iovinelli, is a certified Forest Therapy Guide, and she helps us understand more about the power of slowing down in order to truly connect with nature. She shares with us the background of Forest Therapy also known as Forest Bathing (or Shinrin-Yoku), the research-backed benefits of the practice, and what you can expect on a guided walk.

In the “You Want Me To Do What??” section, Nicole shares that when she first heard of Forest Bathing, she thought that it was a literal bath out in the woods. Now that she has learned more about it, she wants to go on a guided walk (and maybe even take a bath in the woods...but that’s a whole different thing.) Shanna also shares her experience going on a guided walk with Jeanne and how it has deepened her mindfulness practice. Both Nicole and Shanna agree with Jeanne that being immersed in nature helps you to be fully present and allows you to relax.

Episode Recap:

Interview with Jeanne Iovinelli - 3:00

“You Want Me To Do What??” section - 35:12


  • Jeanne defines forest therapy as using your senses to connect to nature very slowly and mindfully

  • Guided forest therapy walks are led by trained guides who offer a series of invitations that help participants connect to nature

  • Forest therapy originated in Japan where it is known as Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing

    • It developed in the 1980’s when the Japanese government was researching how to reduce stress

    • Research found that walks in the forest lowered blood pressure and heart rate

  • Amos Clifford brought the practice to the U.S. and founded the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy

  • What you can expect to experience on a guided forest therapy walk:

    • A guide that will give you invitations to help you connect to your senses & help you slow down

    • Each invitation will be followed by 10-15 minutes of you following the prompt after which you will gather back up as a group to discuss what you noticed

    • Moving at a slow pace -- likely covering no more than 1 mile during a 3 hour guided walk

    • Ending with a tea ceremony, often with plants foraged by the guide during the walk

  • A forest therapy guide goes through a 6 month training that includes trail safety, nature & forest therapy research, sequencing forest therapy walks, mindfulness techniques, nature connection mentoring, etc.

  • Research shows that time in nature can help with the following:

  • Like yoga, forest therapy is a practice that you don’t perfect, but keep coming back to

  • Forest therapy can be done anywhere in nature - it doesn’t need to be a forest

  • Jeanne’s Top Tips to Maximize Your Time In Nature:

    • Leave your phone at home or in the car

    • Put the time on your calendar as an appointment that you will keep to spend time in nature each week

    • Slow down & connect to all 5 of your senses

    • Go by yourself