Forest Bathing for Health & Wellness with Elena Ríos
RSVP Required: Yes!
“We need a revolution; It starts with falling in love with Earth.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Relax, restore, reconnect…..“ Nature is Medicine ”
Rooted in ancient human practices of nature connection that are reflected in Indigenous Knowledge all over the world, this guided nature immersion is designed to assist you in slowing down, and finding your own way of being in relationship with nature, the land, and all its inhabitants. You will be given directions, in the form of invitations , to assist you. By observing with all of your senses, and “bathing” in the sunlight, shade of a tree, fresh air, and the organic compounds released from plants such as terpenes and immune-boosting phytoncides, you may begin to notice things in a way that you may never have noticed them before. Ends with a ceremony of sharing tea and some healthy snacks. There is no right or wrong way to do it, just come and be yourself!
Elena Ríos is an ANFT Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide, Interdisciplinary Artist, and proud mother of a First Responder and avid surfer. A Native Californian, she is an indigenous Nahua, Chicana woman with mixed ancestry. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, she is the author and illustrator of Mihtotiancalli – The House of the Dancer. A former wildland firefighter, she worked on such specialized crews as U.S. Forest Service Interagency Hotshots at a time when women were just beginning to do so. She draws inspiration from the stories of her late grandmother, a curandera, who applied her traditional plant medicine wisdom by offering holistic healing and bone setting services in her San Fernando, CA neighborhood. Helping to found and direct traditional circles of learning rooted in Indigenous Knowledge, she has assisted others in building support for Women, Veterans, Active Duty, and First Responders through these ways. At present, she is a CWN employee of the Chumash Fire Dept.
About the Walk
- Covid – 19 safety protocols will be observed
- Group size is limited (10 people) due to Covid-19 safety protocols. Please inquire for current status.
- On the day of the walk, stay home if you have flu-like symptoms.
- Your temperature will be taken upon arrival.
- Wear a face covering/mask. (You will be able to remove it during the times that we are all physically spread out in nature.)
- Keep no less than 6 ft. physical distance from your fellow humans. (Unless you are from the same household.)
What to bring:
- Important medications (bring EpiPen if you are allergic to wasp, hornet, or bee stings)
- Comfortable closed toe walking shoes. (Boots that cover up the ankle are recommended during rattlesnake season in early spring and summer.)
- Layered clothing so you may adjust to weather and/or temperature changes as needed.
- A day pack or bag in which to keep your things.
- A “lightweight folding camping stool” or “sit-upon” that can be easily carried. You will be invited to sit on the ground at times. Some people bring a mat or a towel to sit on, and some don’t bring anything. It is up to you.
- The ground may (or may not) be damp in certain places.
- Insect repellent (seasons change, and opinions vary.)
- A walking stick if you find it helpful. Terrain may be rocky or uneven.
- Sun hat
- Sunscreen (unscented)
- Plan ahead to be on time. Latecomers may find that we have already left.
- Let me know if you are not coming after all.
- Leave your dog at home.
- No smoking
- Avoid wearing strong perfumes. They can interfere with sensory perception of smells in nature.
The Ojai Foundation is committed to making the work accessible, particularly for those who have traditionally faced barriers in accessing such courses. As one part of this, we have a limited amount of needs-based financial aid available for people who identify as black, indigenous, latinx, asian, or other historically marginalized and/or racialized identities. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.