Date(s) - December 4, 2016
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Categories No Categories
Lets enjoy a nice leisurely mid morning walk out to the ANP Sanctuary Trail with plenty of time set aside for quiet contemplation and reflection. Distance is probably about 4 miles round trip all of it completely flat. Since we’ll be going at a pretty leisurely pace with several stops, I plan on taking about 3.5 hours. The Sanctuary Trail is located in an area of Algonkian Regional Park that contains some of the best scenery and habitat you’ll find anywhere in the park.
This particular ANP walk is being developed into a Forest Therapy experience. Forest Therapy, also known as “Shinrin-Yoku”, refers to the science based practice of spending time in forested areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness. Participants are invited to experience nature in a way that invites healing interactions. The practice follows the general principle that it is beneficial to spend time bathing in the atmosphere of the forest. The Japanese words translate into English as “Forest Bathing”. Forest Therapy walks differ from traditional nature walks in that the former focuses on one’s relationship to nature on a personal and sometimes spiritual level while the later is mostly concerned with intellectual content. This view of healing interactions implies some baseline requirements for Forest Therapy:
• There is a specific intention to connect with nature in a healing way. This requires mindfully moving through the landscape in ways that cultivate presence, opening all the senses, and actively communicating with the land.
• It is not something to rush through. Forest Therapy walks are not undertaken with the primary goal of physical exercise.
• Healing interactions require giving generously of our attention. We encourage mindfulness through an evolving series of suggested invitations. Each invitation is crafted to help participants slow down and open our senses.
• It’s not a one-time event. Developing a meaningful relationship with nature occurs over time, and is deepened by returning again and again throughout the natural cycles of the seasons.
• It’s not just about taking walks in the forest. The walks are important, but there are other core routines that we can do that will help in our deepening relationship with nature, particularly the practices of sit spot, place tending, and cross-species communication.
Spiritually, a person’s connection with nature is very important to me as I hope it is with everyone attending this event. To help facilitate this connection, I limit the RSVPs to these events to 15 with a wait list. Since this event is posted to both the Imagine & “Lets Take a Hike…” meetup groups, I spread the available openings across both meetup groups. If this meetup is already wait listed, click ***THIS LINK*** to check the other meetup because it still might have some openings.
***IMPORTANT*** Please be certain you plan on attending before you RSVP. If you RSVP and your plans change… no worries. Just be sure to update your status so someone else on the wait list can jump in if they want. Your cooperation is appreciated.
DIFFICULTY: Very easy
LENGTH: About 4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: None
DURATION: Approximately 3.5 hours.
POST WALK MERRIMENT:-)
Afterwards, for those that care to, a visit to the
Corner Bakery (Cascades Marketplace, 46290 Cranston St, Sterling, VA 20165)
ABOUT THE EVENT HOST:
Ron has been a lover of nature and an outdoor enthusiast for the last few decades and back in 2009, left an 18 year career in information technology so he could pursue his dreams and passions in nature and the outdoors on a full time basis. Currently, he works as a Sr. Park Ranger for NOVAParks at Algonkian Regional Park. In addition to his day to day duties, he runs all of the parks guided kayak tours and also started the Algonkian Nature Preserve which is a long term labor of love of his. You can read more about the ANP by going to http://potomactrail.org scrolling down a little ways and clicking the graphic of a little girl looking through a magnifying glass.