Shinrin-Yoku in the forests of Arosa and St. Moritz
The nature that surrounds our hotels offers numerous opportunities for serious sport. But it’s also a place for quiet contemplation and mediation. Forest bathing reflects the Japanese practice of mindfulness – Shinrin-Yoku.
This is not your normal walk in the woods…
Deliberately and slowly engaging with your surroundings and tapping into all your senses. This is what forest bathing is about. There is no goal or place to reach. The only aim is to enjoy the immersive experience of being in nature. You won’t walk more than handful of kilometres in the space of an hour as you consciously experience the forest this way.
We developed the forest bathing programme for our hotels with the help of record-breaking athlete Anne-Marie Flammersfeld. She is an ultra-runner, extreme athlete and sports scientist and knows all about how nature can be used to create energy. “Forest bathing can take on all manner of forms, but basically it is about being in nature, immersing yourself in it and taking it in with all your senses,” the world record holder in speed running up Kilimanjaro explains.
During forest bathing, you become attentive and concentrate on the different sensory impressions that surround you. Away from the noise of the city and the hustle and bustle, we hear the wind, the birds and the crunch of the undergrowth under our feet. We can see the footpath disappear behind the tree trunks of the ever-denser forest. We can smell the damp earth, needles, leaves and the sweet smell of resin. We get up close to trees and feel the rough but pleasant to touch surfaces. We concentrate intensely on the individual impressions.
We soon realise that we have forgotten how to concentrate like this in our everyday lives. This time that we spend in the forest, conscious of what surrounds us, calms us mentally and helps our body come to rest. Our blood pressure decreases, our resting pulse rate drops and our immune system is strengthened. The mindfulness that we practice in the forest helps us learn to focus and soothes the body and soul. It teaches us practises we can take back into our everyday lives. A simple walk through the woods becomes a form of therapy. You can indulge in some forest bathing wherever there is a forest. Not just here in the Carlton Hotel in St. Moritz, but also in our sister properties the Valsana Hotel Arosa and the Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa.