Shinrin-Yoku is a Japanese technique that relieves stress. Basically, it's about taking a two-hour walk through the forest every week. "Forest therapy" is practiced in one of the most populous countries in the world, Japan, and is already a trend in other latitudes. That is why we want to show you some Spanish forests where you can put it into practice.
What is the Shinrin-Yoku?
It is a very simple method that serves to reduce the effects of stress, pressure and anxiety in people living in the metropolis. In Japan there are 48 official centers where you can practice Shinrin-Yoku. Each session consists of walking slowly in the forest, performing certain relaxation and breathing exercises.Garajonay National Park, La Gomera - nodff
The pressure is taken before and after therapy and the heartbeat of the patients is heard. The Shinrin-Yoku is not something new but modern. It emerged in 1982 as an initiative to give importance to forests (which occupy almost 70% of Japanese territory). Also to help the population, increasingly subjected to stress and competition.
The technique is also based on Buddhist and Shinto traditions, which promote communication with nature using the five senses. It is important for the practice to turn off the technological devices and forget all the worries. In those two hours it is only worth breathing deeply, smelling the flowers, listening to the song of the birds, touching the trunks of the trees, stepping on the barefoot grass ... and freeing yourself from tensions.
"Just as a candle does not shine without fire, man cannot exist without a spiritual life."
- Buddha -
Where to practice Shinrin-Yoku in Spain?
More and more Spaniards want to enjoy the benefits of the «forest bath». Now that autumn is among us We can take advantage of the mild weather and still sunny mornings to take a walk and practice Shinrin-Yoku. Where? Lets go see it.
1. Jungle of IratiSelva-de-Irati, Navarra - holbox
Although it is called jungle, it is a wonderful forest of Navarra, one of the best preserved in Europe (although it has been exploited since the 16th century). Irati is delimited by the homonymous river, the Roncesvalles, Orzanzurieta and Orhi mountains and the Abodi mountain range. A forest dominated by fir trees and beech trees and in autumn is a true spectacle of nature.
2. Castañar de El TiembloCastañar de El Tiemblo - Noradoa
It is located in the province of Ávila and has a beautiful circular path of chestnut trees (hence its name), but also of melojo oaks. The castañar is inside the Iruelas Valley Natural Park and during the fall everything turns golden and brown, a beautiful sight to see. Ideal for walking and relaxing.
3. Natural Park of Los AlcornocalesAlcornocales Natural Park, Cádiz - Andreas Poertner
Between the provinces of Málaga and Cádiz, It is the largest cork oak forest in Spain. It begins in the coastal zone of Tarifa and ends in the mountains of the interior. It has an area of almost 170,000 hectares. The native Mediterranean forest will be your company while you practice Shinrin-Yoku.
4. Coastline of SueveSierra del Sueve, Asturias - Mario modeto / commons.wikimedia.org
Its more than 8,000 hectares are divided between several Asturian councils and it is located between two peaks: Pienzu and Fitu. The representative vegetation of the Sierra del Sueve are beech and yew forests. In addition, it has several rivers so that your forest bath is complete.
5. Oma ForestOma Forest, Biscay - Noradoa
Omako Basoa in Basque, is an artistic work within the Urdabai Biosphere Reserve. The trees painted by the artist Agustín Ibarrola are distributed in a unique way, so that together they form geometric figures, animals or people. The walk is located on one of the slopes of the valley, near the cave of Santimamiñe.
6. Hayedo de MontejoHayedo de Montejo, Madrid - santiago lopez-pastor / Flickr.com
It is a 250 hectare beech forest located in the foothills of the Ayllón mountain range and belongs to the Community of Madrid. It borders the Jarama River and the province of Guadalajara. It is one of the southernmost beech trees in Europe and some trees measure more than 20 meters. Also the forest presents oaks, hazelnuts, cherry trees, birches and holly in smaller proportion.
Other places where You can practice Shinrin-Yoku in Spain are the Garajonay National Park, the Natural Park of Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche. You can also do it in the Sierra de Urbasa, the integral Natural Reserve of Muniellos, the Sequoias of Monte Cabezón and the Forest of the Fageda d 'in Jordá.