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Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, Punta Nicuesa, Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula 60701
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Shinrin Yoku in the Nicuesa Rainforest

Posted by: Georgia Atkin
16 Jul
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Back in the ‘80s, the Japanese introduced the concept of shinrin yoku which translates to "forest bathing" to motivate its citizens to go into forests for therapeutic reasons.  They really understood that forests are healthy for people and have significant positive effects on our nervous system.  Let´s look at how we can Shrinrin yoku in the Nicuesa Rainforest.

Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is located in the bio-rich rainforest on the southern Pacific coast of beautiful Costa Rica.  The region is considered one of the most diverse in the world so come prepared for a vacation bursting with wildlife and unforgettable close to nature experiences.  Add to a jungle-chic stay to the recipe and you won´t want to leave.

Welcome to Nicuesa and some Shrinrin yoku

Shrinrin yoku and Nicuesa

So, let´s understand how the Japanese perceive shinrin yoku and then see how a stay at Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is the perfect place to shinrin yoku. 

Shinrin yoku translates toa forest bath where the bath is taking in the forest through our senses or "bathing in the forest atmosphere".  Just the name conjures up several sensations that are comforting and create a feeling of connection with your forest surroundings.

Bridging the Gap with our senses

In other words, Shinrin yoku or forest bath is how you connect with nature through activating our senses. So, in a way, forest bath works as a bridge between us and the natural world.   At  Nicuesa, the possibility of connecting with nature is very much alive.

Now, doesn´t that sound inviting in these exceptional times where distance is the new normal and our relationship to nature has been made more challenging? 

Once it is safe to travel again, re-connecting with the natural world and in particular the rainforest thanks to its beauty and diversity, sounds like a fantastic plan.

At Nicuesa, you are surrounded by the rainforest on all sides of your jungle-chic cabin that boasts floor to ceiling windows and louvered doors that literally invite the rainforest in. This means you can be resting in the comfort of your bed and still feel that you are bathing in the forest.

The rainforest is your constant companion at Nicuesa

Shrinrin yoku is simple to do

While relaxing is inviting, the urge to get out into the beauty of nature usually is stronger and this is where the fun begins.  Nicuesa has many ways for you to connect with nature. You decide how and when to take a walk through the many trails, hop on a kayak and explore the gulf, delve into the Piedras Blancas or Corcovado National Parks, do some yoga on the waterfront deck or take a dip in the ocean.

Shinrin-yoku can be slightly simpler in that it is just you and nature.  Phones and cameras are invited to stay in your room so that you can just walk into the rainforest and let your senses be activated.  Let the sounds of the forest lead you along the path.  Take time to perceive the aromas of nature and the textures of the vastness of the leaves and trees.

According to Grow Wild there are five steps to experiencing Shinrin-yoku.  While there are no strict rules and everyone's experience will vary,

·         Step 1 – Do some digital-detox and leave your phone, camera, or other devices behind, so that you can be fully present in the experience.

·         Step 2 – Leave behind your goals and expectations. Wander aimlessly, allowing your body to take you wherever it wants.

·         Step 3 – Pause from time to time, to look more closely at a leaf or notice the sensation of the path beneath your feet.

·         Step 4 – Find a comfy spot to take a seat and listen to the sounds around you. See how the behavior of the birds and other animals' changes when they become used to your presence.

·         Step 5 – If you go with others, make an agreement to resist talking until the end of the walk, when you could gather to share your experiences.

Nicuesa invites a digital-detox

Digital-detox at Nicuesa

We know that leaving your camera behind could be a challenge as the photo opportunities of the diversity of flora and fauna that thrives in the Nicuesa rainforest means that you will want to take lots of shots.  Never-the-less, maybe the immersion into nature and the sensations it invokes may well mean you want to just enjoy the moment and the digital-detox moment.

As the rainforest is immediately all around you, not only does Nicuesa sit on a 165-acre natural preserve, it is also neighbor to the spectacular Piedras Blancas National Park that once was part of the better-known Corcovado National Park.  If that wasn´t enough, the natural reserve borders the magnificent Golfo Dulce that is a lake-like body of water that invites a swim, a kayak, a SUP, or a sunset boat ride.  The possibilities are endless.

As we begin to see beyond these exceptional times and look for new opportunities to experience life through different eyes, the wisdom of Shinrin-yoku shouldn´t be overlooked.  Renewal, well-being, activation of our senses that may well have been numbed during the last few months, all sit very comfortably in our desires.  Let Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge be where this becomes a reality.  You will love it!
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