Recently I went on a short trip to Melbourne for two reasons :
To visit and discover beautiful forests for Shinrin-yoku (Forest-bathing).
Meeting with Susan Love - In My Nature, Melbourne (VIC)
Susan is such a lovely lady. We met at Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria, where she conducts weekly "Forest Therapy (Shinrin-yoku)" .
She took me to the location where she usually starts the walk and we did some activities together. My experience with her walking in a garden was educational and relaxing.
We talked about our mutual passion for the Forest therapy as we enjoyed walking around the garden. We both are so excited for the possibility of collaboration and to work together in future . Most importantly the potential of Shinrin-Yoku !
Visiting and Discovering beautiful forests for Shinrin-yoku
My first stop was at Olinda, at Mt. Dandenong Ranges. There are lots of nice walks around that area. I took a walk around where I stayed and discovered a small path the led into the forest. The entrance was very welcoming so I decided to walk on the path.
As I entered I instantly felt the calmness and sense of "home" .
The fresh green colours encouraged me to walk through and after a few minutes of walking my mind was already placed into a deep relaxed state with no effort at all.
It was not a main walk trail path in this area and known by the locals so it's a bit of hidden gem ! Emerging from the tapestry of green foliage the forest of tall Mountain Ash trees appeared. It was like giant perfectly formed tall sculptures reaching to the sky.
The inside of the forest was airy and lots of light glistening through the trees. The canopy above and the almost perfect spacing of these majestic trees made the path easy to walk.
What made this forest so special to me was the flower field spread on both side of the walk path.
I instinctively stopped . I was completely immersed and connected to the forest. I thought this kind of forest is a perfect for Shinrin-yoku.
When under the tree canopy and you lookup you see the morning light just touching the canopy and all taller trees up high. I took a deep breath again and again, felt a sense of pure joy through my body. It was such a blissful walk.
It was an absolutely perfect start of the day before I set off to Mt. Donna.
Redwood Forest - Warburton
On the way to Mt. Donna, I stopped to look at the famous "Redwood Forest".
The entire forest was like a mirror as everywhere you see is the same tree, they aligned in a same order, in a same height ! I felt like I was in labyrinth, however I liked the silence in there.
Personally I prefer to see more variety in the forest - to see a different plants, flowers and change of view as you walk through. There was not much activity compared to the previous walk, mainly silence, however the phytoncide from the trees were very strong and made me feel relaxed.
Mt. Donna Buang - Yarra Valley
Driving up to the summit of Mt. Donna was very pleasant. There were many fern trees on the way to the summit and I enjoyed the "green way" to the summit.
When I arrived at the summit (1,250m) , the first thing I noticed was the yellow flower field of Buttercup flowers all over the ground. There was a beautiful, dense Eucalyptus forest behind it and it looked almost paradise to me !
I just wanted to sit there for a while to admire all beauties around me. There was nothing but pleasant feeling and again a sense of deep relaxation.
The power of flowers is amazing. When we look at flowers we feel gentle and relaxed. Perhaps it is the hidden golden ratio within the flower as described by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci.
When we do Shinrin-yoku, the beauty and essense of flowers captures us and holds us still in the moment. Of course it adds a lot of other benefits too.
I never knew that there is so much to see around Yarra Valley and how beautiful it is.
The trip to Victoria was certainly worthwhile and one day I would love to have a tour to take people to there for a Shinrin-yoku !