Forest wellness that is good for body and soul.
Let the elemental force of the forest have an effect on you during forest bathing & enjoy "Shinrin Yoku"! Summer and winter , the natural forest is a place of longing for people. How nice that Gastein is not only rich in water, but also rich in forests. In the past, the forest in Gastein was essential for gold mining. Today, we also appreciate Gastein's "green lung" as a retreat for people and animals. As a recreation area and nature park, which not only provides good air and clear water, but is also good for body and soul.
There is a lot to discover in the forest even in winter: high snow caps, bizarre branches, glittering ice crystals on bushes and grasses. If we let the beauties of nature have an effect on us, then this is a winter to enjoy and gather strength, simply pure relaxation.
In cooperation with the "nature thinker" and tourism geomancer Sabine Schulz, the spa and tourism association Bad Hofgastein and Bad Gastein have made it their goal to use nature as a green therapy station. Under the motto "Alpine Spa Forest Bathing - Vital Forest Bathing in Resonance with Nature", people are to regain more connection with the forests and their natural processes. For this purpose, there is a free brochure with various exercises that instruct interested hikers to enter into a more intensive relationship with the forest atmosphere.
Forest bathing is in vogue. In today's fast-paced world, many people are returning to their roots and leaving the stress hormones behind. They want to experience a piece of unspoiltness and be closer to nature again. Where, if not in the forest, can you still experience this today?
If you want to experience forest bathing, Gastein is the right place. The dark green forests and crystal clear water are the life engine of the Gasteinertal. During the guided forest bathing sessions during the summer months, and now also in winter, you will experience forest medicine together with herbal medicine practitioner and forest & health trainer Theresa Sommerbichler, forest bathing trainer and herbal pedagogue Heidi Huber and biologist Stefan Wildling. Linger among trees and bushes, feel your breath and listen to nature's music. Here, during forest bathing, we can really enjoy the feeling of being at one with ourselves and nature and strengthen our well-being and mindfulness.
Shinrin-Yoku - The natural therapy and healing power in the mountains. For those who are now wondering: Forest bathing , how does that even work, let me tell you: Forest bathing in Gastein does not require any physical exertion. A simple visit to the forest with mindfulness exercises is sufficient. Forest bathing instructions are therefore quickly outlined, because forest bathing can really be done by anyone - from children to pensioners. The prerequisite is, of course, always a respectful attitude towards nature and the animal world. It concerns a new active experiencing and use of the forest and mountain nature. Enjoy the freshness of nature and do something good for yourself. The color green alone, which surrounds us in the forest in the most diverse facets, has a relaxing effect on us humans and the stay in the forest becomes a relaxing excursion.
The effect that forest bathing has on us depends less on physical activity in the forest. It unfolds best when you consciously take time, linger longer in the forest and open yourself inwardly to forest bathing. So you could say that forest bathing is the new way of moving and breathing in nature, and at the same time it is a wonderful form of preventive health care. Because the latest research shows that forest bathing has a number of positive effects on the human organism and immune system. By intensive inhalation of the tree and aromatic substances in the forest the following happens:
clearing of the bronchial tubes
Lowering of blood pressure and blood sugar level
Increase of the immune defense
Increase of the concentration ability & memory strength by the natural variety of forms
facilitation of the ability to relax
Gradual reduction of negative feelings such as anxiety, anger
Soothing "at home" feeling through typical forest smells (evolutionary)
Balance through green color frequencies
Those interested in forest bathing in Salzburg will find two designated forest bathing areas in Bad Hofgastein. Would you like to perform exercises while forest bathing to support the positive effect on body and mind? You can find exercises for your personal forest wellness time in the free brochure from the Bad Hofgastein spa and tourism association.
Forest area Angertal
The starting point is the Waldgasthof Angertal. In the clear air you can already smell the water and the forest. Consciously perceive all sensory impressions - what is far, what is near? Now follow the path to the left in the direction of Schattbachalm. Here, seven stations await you in different (mountain) forest nature.
Forest area waterfall trail
We start from the center of Bad Hofgastein and follow the gentle murmur of the water, which quickly becomes louder. Along one of the vital tributaries of the Gastein spring water we walk upwards, passing 14 stations along the way. The highest point of the tour is the count's seat. Here you can stop at the traditional Annencafé directly at station 7 or at the end of the trail at Café Sonnberg or Café Gamskar.
Böcksteiner high trail
The varied Böcksteiner Waldbaderunde has its starting and finishing point near the popular Montanmuseum in Bad Gastein. We pass 9 nature stations in the mirror of the forest. It goes steadily uphill and then downhill again and after the turnaround point in Bad Gastein it goes relaxed along the ark back to Böckstein.
Breathe, walk, marvel and feel. A welcome change from skiing, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing is a mindful walk in the forest. This not only does our body good, but is also a benefit for mind and soul.
The winter forest bathing in Gastein was implemented together with forest health trainer Theresa Sommerbichler, NATURESA, as a supplement to the summer program. Even in winter, people should be able to feel the healing effects of the forest.
It is not only perceptible on our own bodies, but also scientifically proven: the forest is good for you. A regular visit to the winter forest supports our general well-being. Its gentle climate stimulates the autonomic nervous system, which in turn lowers our blood pressure and pulse rate, reduces stress and strengthens our immune system. Generally, forest bathing is recommended as a preventive health care on a physical and mental level.
Find a quiet place in the winter forest, preferably next to a small stream. Stand upright and spread out your arms. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your open mouth. Gladly with a loud sigh. Your eyes remain closed until the end of the exercise. Now turn all your attention to the soles of your feet, which are warmly packed in your winter shoes. Can you feel the snow under your feet? Does snow have a smell? How does the forest air feel on your face, lips, or hands? What does the winter forest smell like? Of moss, mushrooms or tree bark?
Forest bathing refers to mindful and conscious walking through the forest, supported by mindfulness and breathing exercises, as well as (walking) meditations and gratitude practices. It's about all our senses, awareness of ourselves and nature, being patient and feeling, acceptance and connection.
Breathe, walk, marvel and feel. A welcome change from skiing, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. This is not only good for our body, but also a benefit for mind and soul.
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