Read this interview with Leona, owner of Wind in Pines.

Read this interview with Leona, owner of Wind in Pines.

Did you just head tilt?

We did too when we read this article about forest bathing being the new weed.

In fact, I didn’t think longer than two seconds about what it really was. I just assumed it was a way to take a milk bath with flower petals, and maybe grab a few shots for Instagram to say you did it.

Turns out forest bathing and forest therapy are tried and true experiences where a couple (or individual) can reconnect to nature, and each other. While I’m typically not a one-with-nature type of person, it does sound like a great opportunity to slow down and take a moment to just be – something I wouldn’t typically do, regardless of the environment I am in.

We asked our new partner Leona to give you more insight into the experience and she graciously accepted an interview.

Check out this quick Q&A to determine if you would like to take a guided walk through nature with your partner. If you’d like to incorporate this into your elevated date night, we’re more than happy to build a private and exclusive forest therapy experience into your itinerary.

Adelska: How do you describe forest bathing to someone who has never heard about it before?

Leona: First of all, it doesn’t involve a swimsuit, or anything in the way of actual bathing! Forest bathing is inspired by the Japanese term “shinrin-yoku”, which means to bathe in the atmosphere of the forest. On a forest bathing walk, a guide leads you through a series of invitations to engage your senses and connect to the natural world. It’s not a hike, where the point is to exercise or get to a destination, yet it’s so much more than just a slow stroll in the woods.

A: How did forest bathing start?

L: Forest bathing is inspired by shinrin-yoku, which was developed in Japan in the 1980s as a health and wellness practice.

A: Why should couples incorporate forest bathing into their date experience?

L: One of the best things that a forest bathing walk offers is also something that is increasingly elusive in our lives—presence. So many of us exist in a constant state of distraction and busyness, that we’ve almost forgotten what it means to be fully present. That’s not good for our health as individuals, and it’s definitely not good for the health of our intimate relationships. A forest bathing walk cultivates and creates a space for couples to be fully present to each other in a way that most of us recognize as important and necessary, yet few make the time for. Beyond that, it’s a unique and interesting experience to share as a couple, sure to make for interesting conversation as you head out to lunch or dinner afterwards!

A: What is your favorite piece of feedback from those who go on a guided hike with you?

L: Couples often share with me how much closer they feel to each other after a walk—in particular, that they feel like they’re on the same “wavelength.” I think that gets back to the importance of presence during a forest bathing walk. I also love it when people tell me after a walk that their perspective on nature is forever changed. When that kind of perspective shift happens with a couple, it’s not surprising to me that they feel closer after such an experience!

A: An article we just read said that weed is out and forest bathing is in. What do you think about that? Is this a Colorado-centric experience?

L: Forest bathing is growing in popularity all around the world, not just in Colorado, so it’s definitely not a Colorado-centric experience. The group I certified with, the Association for Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) has now trained over 600 guides in 40 countries. So while our beautiful forests are well suited to forest bathing, it’s also something you can do in wide range of natural environments.

A: Anything else Adelska couples should know about forest bathing?

L: I often hear people who’ve never been on a forest bathing walk say things like, “what’s the big deal about forest bathing? Just go on a hike!” As someone who spends a lot of time hiking and backpacking, I can definitely say that forest bathing offers something completely unique from a typical hike. I’ve also had participants share with me that they don’t like hiking at all, but they love forest bathing—so it’s clearly a different experience than simply going on a hike!

Make like a leaf, and fall into forest bathing.

Too many puns in one line? Fair enough.

As two people who knew nothing about forest bathing before meeting Leona, we quickly became thrilled to incorporate an exclusive forest bathing experience as part of our date night offering.

More than the experience itself, it absolutely fits our mantra of experiencing something new together. Novelty takes the cake when it comes to bonding with your special someone. Like Leona says, it is “sure to make for interesting conversation as you head out to lunch or dinner afterwards!”

We hope you learned something new about forest bathing today and please do request this experience if you’d like a breath of fresh air (literally) on your next date.

Brooke Cheishvili