New Years' Day typically represents an opportunity to get back on track: get in shape, get our finances under control, get our lives in order. But fresh starts don't always have to be expensive or time-consuming. In this week's article, guest contributor Jessica Newman outlines a nature-centered approach to achieving our New Years resolutions - and how the great outdoors can nourish our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
As many of you are guiding walks during the cold winter season in the Northern hemisphere, this article on winter guiding written by ANFT Canadian mentor, Ronna Schneberger, may be helpful. This feels especially timely as our forest therapy guiding community in the East Coast, Midwest and South throughout North America rang in the new year with record breaking cold weather. Ronna provides some excellent tips on how to safely guide during these fierce winter months so that forest bathing lovers can continue to experience the magical beauty and healing power the winter forest offers.
So often we think that having an adventure in nature requires us to travel into the wilds of far-off mountains and rivers. In this week's blog, guest writer Jennifer McGregor reminds us that there is plenty of natural wonders to explore outside our very own backyards. From spotting local wildlife to foraging for wild foods, the environment surrounding us offers ample opportunity for connection and discovery with the more-than-human-world.
December is always a busy month, with the holidays spurring festive gatherings and celebrations. With all this social activity, sometimes it is easy to forget that this season also holds the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Increasingly less sunlight and the external landscape of bare trees, migrating birds, and chilly weather offers a mirror and an invitation to allow ourselves to go inward and slow down. In this week's blog, Andrea Fereshteh shares with us an invitation to slow down and allow the stillness of the winter forest to inspire us into a dreamlike state for deep reflection and internal exploration.
Have you been curious as to what exactly a forest therapy experience is all about? In this week's blog, ANFT Guide In Training Annabel O'Neill takes us on a stunning visual and sound journey with videos she has beautifully shot and edited along her 6-month practicum towards completing her Forest Therapy Guide Certification.
The term "tree hugger" has been used widely in Western culture, and often times with not the most positive connotation attached to it. Through the lens of her own deep connection to trees and nature, guest writer Liza Pullman shares how trees are intelligent and conscious beings that can bring wisdom and healing to the humans that choose to connect with them. This week's blog offers a wonderful summary of some of the most recent literature about the complex capabilities of trees. So the next time someone calls you a tree hugger, you'll be able to assuredly and confidently say thank you.
As we move into the winter months, rainy and snowy weather does not need to limit our ability to connect with nature and the More-Than-Human-World. Many days, we can put on extra gear to protect us from the cold and wet as we enjoy a forest therapy walk. However, there are certain days where the weather is so extreme that the indoors becomes a safe alternative to braving the elements. In this week blog, guest writer and ANFT Forest Therapy Guide Brenda Spitzer shares seven activities that can take place inside and still facilitate a deep connection to the healing power of nature.
Sometimes one of the most challenging experiences in life is to just let go. In this week's blog, guest writer Jessica Collins shares a childhood memory of learning how to navigate a ropes course, which ultimately unfolded into becoming her first experience with really listening to the forest and learning how to trust. By tuning into the quiet and subtle wisdom the forest provides, Jessica was able to release her fear and jump into the unknown.
We often get asked the question: Does the practice of nature and forest therapy only take place in the forest? Vicky Kyan, Mentor and Trainer with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, shares her deep connection with the healing power of water in this week's featured blog. Vicky beautifully offers us a window into her practice of nature therapy at the "beach forest" near her home along the outer edges of New Zealand. We hope this piece inspires you to discover your own "forest", in an ecosystem close to your home and close to your heart.
As the leaves change colors and the trees become bare, it is apparent that in Fall we are transitioning from the vibrant energy of Summer into a more introspective time of rest and renewal in Winter. And just as the natural world around us moves into new seasons, we humans too go through many deaths and rebirths throughout our own lifetimes. In this week's blog, guest writer Denise shares her own experience of how mirroring the cycles of change in the forest provides guidance for connecting to grief and resiliency, which allows new life and hope to emerge.
Blog pieces are written by ANFT writers, guest contributors, and introduced by the Blog Editor. Questions can be sent to