SONAS – Woodland and Water
Being Amongst Trees
Forest Bathing in Coole-Garryland Nature Reserve
Imagine, Ireland was once covered with trees, a squirrel could travel from Cork to Donegal without ever touching the ground, jumping from tree to tree. Only little is left today and maybe that makes those woodlands extra special.We will take a gentle walk, slowing down, getting aware of this amazing connection between flora and fauna of a forest, getting aware of these magnificent trees often much older than we are. Spending time at the shores of a lake, listening to the sounds of the water, this life essential element. Our connection to nature and trees is so old, humankind needed and still needs trees for its survival, a forest is like an old homeplace we have forgotten. With some exercises for breathing and silence we will aim to calm the mind, breathe easy and let go of our worries so that we feel relaxed and refreshed and ready to go back to life’s challenges.
What is forest bathing? Shinrin-Yoku is Japanese and means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’ or ‘forest bathing’. It emerged as a physiological and psychological exercise in the 1980s. The purpose is to offer an eco-antidote to tech-boom burnout and to inspire people to reconnect with nature.
In the 1990s researchers started studying the benefits. Science now supports what we probably already knew all along, spending time in nature is good for us. And this is not only for wilderness lovers, it can be practiced in any natural environment. You can do this on your own, though research shows that connecting with people makes us happy too. So to spend time in a group of likeminded people in nature with some guidance, maybe some meditation or simple breathing exercises, paying attention to the natural world around us is really good for us! I have been practicing shinrin-yoku in combination with my happiness coaching and I often find I am out amongst trees and I completely forget the time and my troubles. I feel calm and relaxed and happy afterwards
Please bring comfortable and suitable clothing. Easy to moderate walks on paths and forest ground.
Meeting point – Garryland Nature Reserve, near Gort. Price per person 30 €, max 10 participants.
For private group bookings please contact us about available dates
SONAS – a new way of being in places
The Irish word SONAS means happiness, good fortune, bliss. Trying to find what makes us happy we realise more and more that we find happiness in the company of friends, in being in nature. Our lives are so often ruled by an avalanche of information, by looking at screens, going from one appointment to the next. While we are concerned about our jobs, our health, money, we tend to forget how to slow down, how to be aware of ourselves, our surroundings, our life. Happiness – SONAS and how to attain it was already discussed by the earliest philosophers. Over the last decades scientists have directed their research to happiness and wellbeing. Where do we find it? And their research shows it is often in those places where we do not look.
On our SONAS tours and in our SONAS courses we will take our time, be silent and breathe, experience our surroundings and getting to know the history or special features. To be aware and to know a place forms a connection and this is how we find our special places of happiness.
‘Sonas ort – may you be happy’
For these tours you will meet your guide at a local meeting point and spend 2 to 3 hours exploring the landscape, the sites, learning something new, experiencing something special. Check out our calendar and book your favourite tour.