Joanna Bristow Watkins

NatureConnection

  • Autumn Forest Bathing with Harmony in Nature

    WhatsApp Image 2021 07 24 at 10.41.45 7

    Join us for Forest Bathing, 11am-1pm, Sunday 14th November within semi-ancient private woodland. We spend two hours in the peaceful grounds of the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Shere. Cost is £25. 🍁
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
    Later this month, 11am-1.30pm, Saturday 27th November, we are offering our first weekend event at Cannon Hill, London SW20. This 2½ hour session costs £35.🍂
     
    Many of our sessions are offered at school drop-off friendly timings to enable busy parents to savour some 'me time'. This is our first weekend event in SW20, normally they are weekdays at this time. We can offer a closed session before end of term if we have 4-12 participants, and would be hapy to pay 10% to any organising PTAs or social groups. 👩‍👧‍👦
     
    Our Harmony in Nature woodland sessions deliver the restful yet therapeutic benefit of guided mindfulness sensory activities with fellow nature lovers. 🌲
     
    To book our 'harmony in nature' therapeutic sessions see https://bit.ly/FBSessions or, to receive our nature connection mailings, email 💻
     
    Next month we have winter sessions at Newlands Corner (Saturday 4th) and Horsell Common (Monday 6th, school pick-up friuendly timings of 10.30am-1pm), plus Harry Edwards again on Saturday 11th. ❄
     
    Forest Bathing (no swimming involved!) is an evidence based wellbeing activity. As well as boosting the immune system for 2-4 weeks, balancing blood pressure and reducing blood sugars, typically participants feel a reduction in anxiety (and rumination) and a sharp improvement in concentration afterwards. 🌲
     
    To find out how it differs from a dog walk or stroll in the woods, see our recent Blog https://bit.ly/WhyForestBathe🌿
     
    When we have the right clothing and footwear, usually plenty of layers, and a spare, we can happily stay outdoors for hours. Even longer if we take a hot drink and a snack! ☕🍏
    We sell Harmony in Nature Vouchers too. 🎁
     
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    WHAT MAY HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF FOREST BATHING?
     
    Forest bathing, and in particular Forest Bathing+, which we embrace at Harmony In Nature and through our training at The Forest Bathing Institute, could be considered an amalgam of nature therapy, mindfulness and meditation, as well as its own thing. As such, there are decades of scientific research into what happens when we experience nature, do things mindfully, breathe consciously or follow a guided meditation.

    The (mainly) Japanese research into forest bathing has shown that we may potentially experience any or several of the following:

    • reduced stress and cortisol levels
    • improved heart and circulatory system
    • improved digestive and respiratory issues
    • reduced anxiety, depression and rumination
    • improved decision-making, motivation, creativity
    • increase in sense of connection with nature, self and others
    • balanced blood sugar
    • boosted immune function through increased production of 'Natural Killer'-NK-cells and anti-cancer proteins, lasting 2-4 weeks

    forest bathingFundamentally, it brings our nervous system back into balance, which regulates our hormones and our nervous system, and resets our mind and body functions. Some participants express experiencing emotions they hadn’t allowed themselves to feel recently, and this felt safe, and it passed. Some say how energised they felt, others how sleepy.

    In its simplest form, forest bathing combines the physiological benefits of nature’s presence with the meditative aspects of closely observing without judgement. What we feel as a result is ultimately influenced by what we each need at that point- sleep, energy, creativity, a sense of peace, wonderment. Our minds and bodies will give us what we need, when we allow them space to do so. That’s why we go forest bathing.

    Summary of remaining 2021 Forest Bathing+ Sessions with Joanna & Katie
    We have Harmony in Nature forest bathing sessions at:

    Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Shere, 11-1 on Sunday 14th November
    Cannon Hill Common, London SW20, 11-1.30 on Saturday 27th November
    Newlands Corner, Guildford, Surrey, 10.30-12.30 on Saturday 4th December
    Horsell Common, Woking, Surrey, 10.30-1 on Monday 6th December
    Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Shere, 11-1 on Saturday 11th December

    Book any of the above sessions via Harmony Healing Shop

    last session at newlands cornerImportant News about Newlands Corner
    Newlands Corner, our beautiful site in Guildford Surrey, have put up our site rental price so much that we don't know if we will be able to continue working there. So, if you want to join us Newlands Corner, please book in ASAP for one of our pre-Christmas dates as it ls unlikely to feature as a 2022 destination. We will be forced to cancel Newlands events one week before if numbers are low, so please don't leave it to a last minute booking or you stand to be disappointed.   

    Blog updates
    To receive Forest Bathing updates ONLY,  sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters on the above link and indicate receipt of the Forest Bathing mailings only.

    To receive all Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is  (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

  • Cannon Hill Common, London SW20 9DB

    Forest Bathing Cannon Hill Common, London SW20 9DB

    Forest Bathing sessions 2½ hours. Public sessions = £39.77* per person, private sessions = £175 or £333.

    We do not have any public sessions scheduled here at the moment, but we can offer private sessions for up to 5 people for £175 or for up to 10 people for £333.

    *Please note, if you are booking less than 48 hours before an event, DO NOT assume there is space available. Text 07930 414525 before booking.
    If there are no public sessions scheduled, this venue is available for private bookings, themed events and/or corporate sessions, enquire for details. Preferred timings for private bookings is 11am-1.30pm or 12-2.30pm, but other timings can be arranged.

    Launched in August 2021, We hold Harmony in Nature therapeutic sessions in the London area at Cannon Hill Common, SW20 9DB near Wimbledon Chase, Raynes Park and Morden. The area is easily accessible by public transport.

  • East Sheen Common, London, SW14 7EL

    Forest Bathing at East Sheen Common, London SW14 7EL

    Forest Bathing sessions 2½ hours for up to 5 people, £175.

    We are yet to offer public sessions at this venue (current price £39.77 per person), but we are able to offer private sessions for groups of five persons maximum for £175.

    *Please note, if you are booking less than 48 hours before an event, DO NOT assume there is space available. Text 07930 414525 before booking.
    If there are no public sessions scheduled, this venue is available for private bookings, themed events and/or corporate sessions, enquire for details. 

    Preferred timings for private bookings is 11am-1.30pm or 12-2.30pm, but other timings can be arranged.

    We can hold Harmony in Nature therapeutic sessions in the London area at East Sheen Common, London SW14 7EL. The area is near Richmond Park and is easily accessible by public transport.

  • Forest Bathing

    General Forest Bathing Information - see Harmony Shop for public session dates and to book

    Experience how woodland can help your Physical, Mental & Emotional Health.

    Newands Corner

    To complement Joanna’s spiritual approach to wellbeing, Nature Therapy and Forest Bathing+ combine mindfulness with the beauty and tranquillity of ancient woodlands and local gardens.

    Harmony In Nature is run by Katie Robinson & Joanna Bristow-Watkins; both experienced & insured Forest Bathing+ Guides licensed by The Forest Bathing Institute.  Operating mostly in Woodland near Guildford, Surrey, they offer 2hr+ public & private sessions.
     
    Join us for an inspirational Forest Bathing+ session in local woodlands, where possible utiilsing ancient or semi-ancient sites. Calming, peaceful and yet intensely powerful, you’ll move slowly through a sequence of sensory exercises and deep meditations that lead to an enhanced state of mindfulness and reconnection with nature.
     

    All Harmony In Nature gatherings for Forest Bathing+ follow the current government guidelines and last a minimum of two hours. Costs from £35 (individual). Private bookings for taster and private sessions available, please enquire for bespoke private or corporate sessions.

    See below for more information on Forest Bathing or listen to our Brooklands Radio Forest Bathing podcast interview with Jill Bennett (8½ mins).

    For our venues and dates available, and to book a session, see the Harmony Shop Forest Bathing Sessions.

    Forest Bathing+

    Forest Bathing comes from the Japanese term, ‘Shinrin Yoku’, the process of immersing the human spirit under a canopy of trees. It was developed to mitigate the high levels of stress experienced by businessmen in crowded urban environments and combines mindfulness, meditation and gentle exercise within an ambient forest location.

    Ancient civilisations frequently venerated nature and gained insight and wisdom from their relationship with the natural world. Despite the fact that society is now more disconnected from the countryside, research supports the physiological benefits of Forest Bathing. Trees emit essential oils known as ‘phytoncides’ which have been proven to evoke relaxation and wellbeing. By immersing ourselves in ancient woodlands, we re-connect with nature and reinforce this relationship with the natural world.

    The Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI) has pioneered the addition of enhanced sensory exercises and deep meditations to create Forest Bathing+, which helps promote mindfulness 

    Our Harmony in Nature Forest Bathing experience involves a slow exploration of woodland through our senses.  Cost is £35 per person for a 3-hour public session.  Rates for private sessions are negotiable.
    Forest Bathing has been proven to have ongoing health and wellbeing benefits.  Backed by global evidence-based studies, especially in Japan, Korea, and more recently in the UK, research (relevant study hyperlinked in each case) shows Forest Bathing has the potential to:
    We have been piloting some Forest Bathing sessions for the charity sector and we are currently running a 6-week course for Mind, Woking.  Initial feedback five weeks in, is excellent with many health improvements noted amongst participants.
    Joanna and Katie feel that with the growth in eco-awareness and the drive for greener businesses there is an opportunity for us as providers with minimal (even positive) environmental impact to be supplying regular wellbeing maintenance sessions to employers/employees including schools and teachers.  As Forest Bathing becomes more accepted within the NHS and charity sectors this can only help.
     

    Jo at NCJoanna's interest in Forest Bathing

    Joanna grew up in an area dense with ancient woodland, and had the freedom to roam. Much of her childhood was spent playing in those woods with her sister, Fiona, largely unsupervised by adults.

    She feels their childish enthusiasm encouraged a love of nature, animals, and woodlands, which laid the foundations for much of her subsequent interests and work.

    Have spent 15 years + in senior management specialising in customer care and training, she was suddenly driven by a desire for inner peace and became interested in Ancient Egyptian philosophies and natural healing techniques.

    Forest Bathing+ felt like a natural progression. She trained with, and is fully certified, by the Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI), who initiate ground-breaking research on its physiological, immunological, emotional and mental health benefits.

    Image shows Katie (left) and Joanna (Right) in Newlands Corner, Guildford.

    Katie's interest in Forest Bathing

    From a young age Katie spent multiple family holidays walking, youth hostelling and being outdoors whatever the weather, particularly in the Lake District and North Yorkshire Moors, so Katie feels right at home with Forest Bathing.

    She has been on two survival courses, and loves learning which wild foods we can forage. She’s been self-employed for much of her working life, so she can do a mix of what she enjoys, which has included editing and dance instructing. 

    One of the most important things to her is managing her and her family’s health care with natural therapies, enabling them to be mainly independent of the mainstream. She advocates always doing your own research. The key components of her approach to health are nutrition, essential oils, homeopathy and walking amongst greenery; with visits to other practitioners as necessary.

    Nature Therapy and Forest Bathing+ Sessions

    Forest Bathing + can take place in multiple locations, but most of my sessions take place at Newlands Corner or in the grounds of the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, close to the picturesque village of Shere, near Guildford in Surrey.

    This Sanctuary focuses on Energy Healing which completely aligns with Forest Bathing+. All sessions take place in ancient woodlands and I will gently take you through a number of mindfulness-based sensory exercises and meditations that will enhance your appreciation of nature through all your senses.

    Having spent over two decades working with healing energy (my company, Harmony Healing, was founded in 1999) the importance of nature in health and wellbeing is obvious. I can also run themed sessions incorporating nature angels, which may give you a useful introduction towards spiritual mentoring and expansion, RSE® Egyptian alchemy healing and practitioner training.

    Garden Therapy sessions are also available for private and corporate bookings, either in your own garden (if suitable) or in a beautiful garden setting in Surrey.

    Contact me for group and corporate Forest Bathing+ and Nature Therapy sessions. Blog updates, with seasonal activities, are emailed out to Harmony Healing subscribers.

    Whilst undertaking the mindfulness sensory exercises during the session, participants will be asked to refrain from talking to each other (and avoid other distractions such as mobile phone use) so that all participants can gain the full benefits from the surroundings. Do come along with a friend provided they are keen to adopt the rules (and not seeing it a general catch-up). Please contact me on  with queries.

    DOGS: Regrettably we cannot accept dogs on our Forest Bathing+ sessions unless they are trained Guide Dogs.

    INCLEMENT WEATHER: We operate in all weathers (we just request that you wear appropriate clothing) except winds exceeding 30mph due to safety reasons.

    Private Forest Bathing Sessions are available.

    Listen to our podcast interview on Forest Bathing with Jill Bennett from Brooklands Radio

    For more details about Forest Bathing:-

    See my 8.5 minute chat with Fiona Mason of Cuppa Time

    https://www.facebook.com/CuppaAndAChat/videos/1134876673567721/

    See Emma Reed's reaction after her Forest Bathing+ Session with Joanna

    https://www.facebook.com/248959805155973/videos/2373335036220701/

  • Harmony in Nature invitation to Forest Bathing Explorers; it's not just a walk in the park

    FOREST BATHING EXPLORERS - NOT JUST A WALK IN THE PARK!

    WhatsApp Image 2021 07 24 at 10.41.45 5The recurring theme for us at Harmony In Nature during the last month or so has been exploring new potential locations for forest bathing sessions.

    Our usual ones in the Surrey Hills are no longer available to us mid-week, so we've been looking for 'pastures new'. We also wanted a location in London, as many of our friends and contacts live in that area. The images show Cannon Hill Common, London  SW20.

    We know that plenty of you, particularly those with flexible schedules, or children to drop/collect from school, or, like us, simply prefer visiting these lovely places in quieter times, often actually prefer mid-week.

    So, what do we look for in a forest bathing location?

    1.  A good proportion of the route is under tree canopy, and won't disturb wildlife such as ground-nesting birds.

    2.  If at all possible, a more enclosed area for our 'treelaxation', where we can lie/sit or simply be, and connect with the energy of trees, during a more meditative practice towards the end.

    3.  A large, impressive 'mother tree', for our introductory talk about what is going on between nature and humans to make us feel better, as well as what is going in between trees!

    4.  When we check for our risk assessment, not find a number of broken dangling tree branches which could come down in a wind! We don't run sessions if over 30mph, so that mitigates some risk. Not all sites regularly do checks, so we may need to WhatsApp Image 2021 07 24 at 10.41.45 7flag up work needed for safety.

    5.  Some sort of parking nearby, or being reasonably accessible by public transport, or only a short taxi ride from a station.

    6.  A responsive management organisation which is keen to have this wonderful wellbeing activity on their land, and doesn't charge an unfeasibly large sum of money!

    7.  Nice-to-haves (and unconnected!), but not always available:
    a natural water source, toilets

    So you can see that a considerable amount of time goes into finding the right spots, and not all are suitable, or the charge needs us to sell high numbers of tickets.

    We also recognise that there are many lovely places without much tree canopy, and we could still use these, advertised as a 'mindfulness in nature' experience.

    As in life, it's all about balancing the pros and the cons, to enable us to create what we hope is a wonderfully renewing and therapeutic experience.

    New venue additions

    As a result of many days out in woodland, which is always a win, this month of August sees the launch of two new locations:

    Cannon Hill Common, London SW20, Thursday 12th August

    Horsell Common, Woking, GU21 Friday 13th August

    For the superstitious, you may like to know that Tuesday 13th is the unlucky day in Spain, so don't let the date combination put you off!

    Our link below, takes you to more information on these individual events, as well as our usual monthly weekend ones in the Surrey Hills AONB. We are packing in the walks in four locations between the 8th and 15th August.

    For full list of venues dates and timings, use this link to find out more and book

    If you would like to be informed of our monthly forest bathing events, please sign up for the Harmony In Nature forest bathing list here: https://harmonyhealing.co.uk/newsletter-sign-up just ticking the box for forest bathing (unless the other options appeal) or email  and we'll add you on.

    We hope to see you in a forest soon!

    Jo and Katie

    harmonyinnature.uk 

    Harmony In Nature is run by Katie Robinson & Joanna Bristow-Watkins; both experienced & insured Forest Bathing+ Guides licensed by The Forest Bathing Institute.  Operating mainly in Woodland around the Surrey Hills and London SW20, they offer 2-3 hour public & private sessions. Read more about Forest Bathing with Harmony in Nature or listen to their Brooklands Radio Forest Bathing podcast interview with Jill Bennett (8½ mins).

    Established in June 2021, the Harmony in Nature web information is currently hosted on Joanna's wider harmonyhealing.co.uk website

  • Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Shere, Surrey

    Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Burrows Lea, Shere, Surrey.

    Image shows 'treelaxation' at Harry Edwards

    We will take you on a journey through the private semi-ancient woodland of the lovely Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary. Forest Bathing is based on the Japanese art of Shinrin Yoku and involves a slow exploration of nature through your senses. Feel the changes in the air, observe the colours, inhale deeply and savour the smells of the season. 

    *Please note, if you are booking less than 48 hours before an event, DO NOT assume there is space available. Text 07930 414525 before booking.
     
    Private bookings for closed groups, from £333.
    Our familiary with this site makes it our preference for private bookings, themed events and/or corporate sessions. Preferred timings for private bookings is 11-2, but other timings can be discussed. 
     
  • Horsell Common, Woking, Surrey

    Horsell Common

    Harmony in Nature Forest Bathing session, Horsell Common (Woking, GU21), £39.77*
    *Please note, if you are booking after 2pm the day before an event, DO NOT assume there is space available. Text 07930 414525 before booking.
    We have no public sessions scheduled but thisvenue is also available for private bookings and/or corporate sessions, enquire for details. Preferred timings for private bookings is 11-2, but other timings can be arranged.

  • Kosmon Sanctuary

    Kosmon Sanctuary

    Image by Jo Scrimshaw shows bluebell season at the Kosmon.
    *Please note, if you are booking less than 48 hours before an event, DO NOT assume there is space available. Text 07930 414525 before booking.
    Our next public session will likely be spring 2023, but this venue is also available for private bookings, themed events and/or corporate sessions, enquire for details. Preferred timings for private bookings is 11-2, but other timings can be arranged.

    We will take you on a mindful journey through the private woodland of the lovely Kosmon Healing Sanctuary. Forest Bathing+ is based on the Japanese art of Shinrin Yoku and involves a slow exploration of nature through your senses. Feel the changes in the air, observe the colours, inhale deeply and savour the smells of the season. 
  • Monday 13th - Sunday 19th May, Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK

    mhaw21 shared social 1080x1080 England May 2024Monday 13th - Sunday 19th May is Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK, and the theme this year is “Movement: Moving more for our mental health”.

    Most of us have a natural affinity with nature - in fact the word 'natural' itself implies that! A simple therapy for a headache or low mood can be to go for a walk (or even sit and read) in a local woods or other beauty spot or even your nearby park and get some fresh air.

    Scientific evidence supports the findings that, amongst many other health & wellbeing benefits, Forest Bathing featuring mindfulness in nature, lifts the mood and reduces rumination. Meeting others with similar life outlooks can also help overcome loneliness.

    Forest Bathing 17th 22nd AprilForest Bathing involves enjoying the ambience of woods, with like-minded others, through shared mindful sensory exercises. Join us this month on theSunday 19th May at Harry Edward's Healing Sanctuary, Shere, where we will be running sessions with the added delight of any remaining bluebells), see ourForest Bathing Shop for all options.

    Forest Bathing is essentially spending time relaxing under the canopy of trees, the health giving benefits of which have been scientifically evidenced over the last 40 years, particularly in Japan. The home of Shin-rin Yoku (translated as Forest Bathing but literally meaning 'forest emersion'), Japan has over 60 forests designated for Forest Bathing use and it can be prescribed by their health service as a preventative healthcare measure for mental health and general physical well-being.

    Forest Bathing is also prevalent in South Korea, where overnight retreats and specific ‘trails of healing’ help stressed-out executives’ re-charge from their daily life under the health-giving canopy of an accredited woodland environment.

    The Forest Bathing Institute have been engaged in University studies in the UK to replicate empirical evidence that this lowers blood pressure and blood sugars, reduces stress and lifts mood as well as other physical health benefits. The study results are both impressive and convincing and it seems now the UK Government are ready to listen and get involved.

    Nature connection brings balance and wellbeing into our lives. 

    Through Harmony in Nature, Joanna & Katie offer a wide spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing and to connect with nature, and, through Harmony Healing, Joanna also offers a programme to connect with the moon cycle, as well as other ancient traditions. Jo holds monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations, £20. The next one is Thursday 23rd May, book at the Harmony Shop.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 Egyptian Alchemy Healing. Featuring four online modules of Khemitology (Ancient Egyptology according to the indigenous oral traditions), Violet Flame of Amenti, Mindful Chakra Balancing & Essene Angelology.Missed sessions are fully recorded so that registrations are possible at any time. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 costs £266 and run about three times a year. the individual modules are stand-alone and cost either £88 or £66, hence the RSE 1 Package offers a cost saving.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits. 

    MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers. 

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    The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, then there will be frequent mailings. 

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially. 

  • Saturday 12th September, Heritage Open Day at West Horsley Place

     

    285019f4 686c 4a89 8152 7465ed7bbd34Saturday 12th September, Heritage Day at West Horsley Place, where we are offering complimentary Forest Bathing+ taster sessions. There were just 12 places available in the morning which filled very quickly.

    Forest Bathing+ involves a two-three hour immersive experience (depending on the season), ideally within ancient woodland such as rthe grounds of West Horsley Place, Surrey.

    Forest Bathing is an elementary practice (children instinctively enjoy nature this way) which can elicit surprisingly positive reactions. In a nutshell, it can be described as mindful time under the canopy of trees using the senses. Deep breathing is also encouraged; Japanese research uncovered essential wood oils help boost our immune system.

    Some of the scientifically proven benefits of spending time in woodland include reduced stress levels, stronger immune system response, and a stabilised cortisol cycle.

    Joanna has undertaken Forest Bathing+ (FB+) Guide training with The Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI) and works with a team of other TFBI qualified FB+ Guides.

    During the session you will be provided with a sequence of sensory exercises designed to calm the body and mind. Whilst this might sound intimidating, in practice participants love it! If you have ever wondered about the healing benefits of nature, this session should give you a chance to experience it for yourself. To get a better idea of what to expect, please see the Facebook videos below.

    Whilst undertaking the mindfulness sensory exercises during the session, participants will be asked to refrain from talking to each other (and avoid other distractions such as mobile phone use) so that all participants can gain the full benefits from the surroundings. 

    West Horsley Place Forest 1For more details about Forest Bathing:-

    See my 8.5 minute chat with Fiona Mason of Cuppa Time

    https://www.facebook.com/CuppaAndAChat/videos/1134876673567721/

    See Emma Reed's reaction after her Forest Bathing+ Session with Joanna

    https://www.facebook.com/248959805155973/videos/2373335036220701/.

    Forest Bathing is known in Japan as Shinrin-Yoku where it has been practised for 30+ years and is recognised as offering harmony and wellbeing.

    Joanna also offers Forest Bathing+ sessions throughout Surrey and beyond and through Harmony Healing, Joanna utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians to bring balance and harmony.

    The next Harmony Healing virtual healing circle is 7.30-9.30pm (UK time),1st October. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1 is now availale as virtual interactive training modules, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events. Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. We don't recommend giving a reading or healing to another person, without first checking whether it would be welcomed. 

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog (i.e. 12th - 23rd September this month) means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is  (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

  • Starting soon; Mindful Chakra Alignment & Unity Consciousness Course commences Wednesday 11th January

    Chakra Balancing module Jpeg on turquoise 800 x 800Wednesdays 11th, 18th & 25th January is the Mindful Alignment of your 11-chakras & Axiatonal Awakening Interactive online evening course,7.15-9.30pm UK time (GMT). Cost is £66 including 6¾-hours of mentoring. An optional balancing distant attunement on the Winter Solstice is available for an additional £23 (included for those registered on the full RSE 1 programme).Held remotely on Zoom.

    Re-balance your chakras and reconnect with the Earth & Sky.

    Learn to work with etheric crystals and the energy of the chakra system. Many of my students report powerful and transformational experience during this course of meditations and alignment techniques.

    You are guided through Joanna's 11-chakra system. Each chakra is balanced with the appropriate colour with the addition of relevant crystalline & angelic energies and the creation of a self-regulating filter. At the end of the chakra balancing, the meditation expands out to send healing throughout and beyond the world into far galaxies. Images drawn by Ella Tritton.

    At the end of the course, having worked mindfully on each of the 11 chakras, we then reconnect our personal meridian energy lines with the axiatonal lines (the planetary and universal meridian energy lines) and aim to experience unity consciousness (even if only briefly) via a fully guided meditation.

    Testimonial: I just finished the Chakra Healing meditation. So lovely! I saw and felt all of the colors swirling and moving through, adjusting. The connection with the universe and heavenly bodies was fantastic. Sensed being able to share the healing with Gaia and all life, especially the ancient forests! Thank you so much, dear Jo!, Alyse Korn, USA, 4th April 2020.

    Participants may also opt receive a distant Equilibrium Attunement for £23, included for those registered on the full RSE 1 programme. Book via Harmony Shop

    (see below for more about an attunement

    This special Equilibrium Attunement (also known as an Initiation) involves placing symbols into your aura which will permanently connect you with the Essene Angels Raphael (Sun), Gabriel (Moon), Melchisadec (Earth) and Pistis Sophia (constellations) as well as the Egyptian Deities Ra (Sun), Tehuti (Moon), Geb (Earth) and Nut (Sky). 

    The ceremony also involves the nature angels Aratron and Achaiah and the Egyptian Deities Ausar (Osirus) and Aset (Isis).

    unity breath meditationAs the course draws to a close, we have a fully guided Unity Consciousness & Axiatonal Realignment Meditation. Starting with a relaxation exercise, the meditation connects the chakras and central meridian back to Universal source.

    We add the 10th and 11th chakras to the ones we worked with earlier. Inspired by the Unity Breath known by indigenous tribes, this meditation involves a trinity connection with Mother Earth and Father Sky. This is a Unity Consciousness meditation which awakens your axiatonal alignment and reconnects your energy field to the planetary grid and beyond. Image, right, was drawn by Ella Tritton.

    Testimonial: Thank you so much for that meditation. I am sure it is the most powerful and meaningful meditation I have EVER done! I really can't thank you enough! Sending you endless blessings of love and light, Adele Dyson, UK, 13th April 2020.

    Book via Harmony Shop

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing, to bring balance and harmony. The current nteractive training course series of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 started with Essene AngelologyViolet Flame of Amenti, then Khemitology which have all run recently and will re-run soon. Missed sessions can be caught up as they are recorded, so late registrations are accepted.  the series concludes with Mindful Chakras starting 11th January.

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is Wednesday 7th December at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (£1 admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. There are multi-buy packages for regular attendees. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing+ Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits.

    Currently, MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers (£35).

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is  (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially. 

     

  • Starting soon; Thursday 19th October, Introducing Essene Healing Angels Interactive online evening course

    Essene Angel module Jpeg on turquoise 800 x 800Thursdays 19th October & 9th November, is the Introducing Essene Healing Angels: Planetary & Elemental Guardians Interactive online evening course (7.30-9.45pm GMT+1). Based on Angela McGerr's angel philosophies, Cost is £66.

    In this interactive virtual evening course you will receive guidance and practical experience on working with the weekday & planetary angels and learn how to integrate them into your life.

    The course syllabus will cover:

    • Who were the Essenes?
    • What is Essene angelology?
    • The Law of Three and how to invoke an angel
    • How angels might be experienced if you cannot see them
    • Connecting with the Essene planetary (weekday) & elemental guardians
    • How to involve these angels in your personal healing regime (and client healings if you are a therapist)
    • Meditations with various angels throughout the course
    • Personalised reference chart of your weekday, zodiac & elemental angelic guardians
    • Optional personal attunement into your weekday, zodiac & elemental angelic guardians (additional £33)*
    • This module comprises ½ unit towards the RSE Level 1 (3 units in total)

    * Personal Attunement included at no extra cost if the entire RSE 1 modular package is purchased.

    Joanna Bristow-Watkins spent over 15 years in senior management specialising in customer care and training. Driven by a desire for greater inner peace, she overcame her initial scepticism of energy healing to become a practitioner and teacher of Egyptian Healing and leader of spiritual pilgrimages. Several trips to Egypt led her to develop Reyad Sekh Em® - an ultra-high vibrational Egyptian alchemical healing system which harnesses the elemental healing rays of earth, air, fire, water and spirit with etheric crystalline and angelic energies plus sound vibration and sacred breathing.

    Following various trips to Masada Mountain and Qumran, both on the shores of the Dead Sea, Joanna felt a strong connection to the Essenes; an ancient religious order living in these two areas 2000 years ago. Joanna is sister to best-selling angel author Angela McGerr (10 titles published including several angel card sets, total sales approaching 1 million copies) and fully embraces Angela’s Essene Angel philosophies. In 2019, Joanna trained as a Forest Bathing+ Guide with the Forest Bathing Institute to promote connecting with nature through mindful sensory exercises during immersion in UK woodlands. This has strengthened her bond with the angels. See About Joanna for more.

    This is a standalone course but also forms part of the Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1 introductory programme, se below for details. Reyad Sekh Em® is an ultra high vibration healing system combining ancient Egyptian philosophies, alchemy, angelic elemental healing rays, sound vibration, sacred breathing and etheric crystalline energies.

    By keeping traditions, ancient communities in Egypt retained a sense of harmony and connection, thereby bringing balance and wellbeing into their lives. Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians to bring balance and harmony.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians to bring balance and harmony. If you are interested in Ancient Egypt, Joanna Bristow-Watkins (Harmony Healing) is a Reyad Sekh Em® Egyptian Alchemy Healer and Teaching Mentor. Reyad Sekh Em® is an ultra high vibration healing system combining ancient Egyptian philosophies, alchemy, angelic elemental healing rays, sound vibration, sacred breathing and etheric crystalline energies. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 Egyptian Alchemy Healing features four online modules of Khemitology (Ancient Egyptology according to the indigenous oral traditions), Violet Flame of Amenti, Mindful Chakra Balancing & Essene Angelology (starting 19th October).Missed sessions are fully recorded so that late registrations or are possible. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 costs £266 and run about three times a year. the individual modules are stand-alone and cost either £88 or £66, hence the RSE 1 Package offers a cost saving. Since the zoom sessions are recorded, it is possible to study the interactive material after the course has completed, or at any time.

    Alignment with the Moon Cycle

    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna offers a wider spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing. If you are looking for regular spiritually enlightening activities which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have our monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations. The next one is on Saturday 28th October at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT +1). Participants all receive a deeply healing experience. Cost to participate is £20 by online BACS payment (small admin fee added for PayPal) or half price to RSE graduates. Book at the Harmony Shop

    During these monthly sessions, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of Joanna's work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme. And, most importantly, it's a step towards making a difference to the global predicament.

    Other services
    Within Surrey and South London, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits. 

    MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services and Harmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers.

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is  (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

  • Sunday 25th September, National GetOutside Day in the UK and The Great Big Green Week until 2nd October

    25Sep National Get Outside Day an initiative by Ordnance SurveySunday 25th September is National GetOutside Day in the UK, an initiative by Ordnance Survey. 

    Embrace GetOutside Day by Savouring the Approach of Autumn
    Guest Blog by Katie Robinson, Co-Founder of Harmony in Nature

    Once the days start to feel cooler and shorter, it’s very tempting to stay inside with our heating, rather than add on extra layers and step outside; but it’s well worth the effort! If you can go out into a clean natural environment, that’s ideal, but observing plants in a pot, listening to the birds, watching the sun go down, feeling the breeze or sun are all ways to feel a sense of connection with nature, which soothes our mind and body.

    When we have the right clothing and footwear, usually plenty of layers, and a spare, we can happily stay outdoors for hours. Even longer if we take a hot drink and a snack! If you have the company of a young child, you may want to let them lead you, as they know what to do in nature, by following their instincts.

    Feeling the barkIf you want to amuse yourself, then here are some things that we at Harmony in Natureenjoy doing outside, as the cooler weather approaches. Take your time, and really notice the details with your senses. When we become completely present in the moment, rest, recovery and healing is triggered through a different branch of our autonomic nervous system operating than during our daily ‘doings’. Being outside, and especially in nature, has been shown to benefit our wellbeing, physically, mentally, emotionally, as well as spiritually, when we sense a connection to something greater outside ourselves. (The Rev Kate Botley described her session with Katie for The Forest Bathing Institute and filmed by the BBC as ‘a spiritual experience’.)

    • See what draws your attention when you step outside: is it the temperature, the light, colours, shapes/angles, movement? Follow one of these qualities for a few minutes, and see how you feel.
    • In a clean area in nature, appreciate the quality of the air, breathing slowly in and out through your nostrils (especially important in very cold weather, as the nose warms the air). Notice if the air seems the same temperature as it goes both in and out, or is it different?
    • Feel the air on your face, hands and skin - does it change if you turn, very slowly, in a full circle? Do you feel some breeze/warmth/cold/movement across your skin, or not?
    • What can you hear? If it’s a jarring sound, take a few slow breaths in and out, and listen even harder to find a natural sound - maybe birdsong, wind, water from a small fountain? Cup your hands round your ears and see if that makes the sound louder.
    • Take a tip from dogs, and smell as much as you can! As there is more moisture in the air, the smells get stronger, so make the most of this by looking for some areas where leaves have come down. Rubbing them between your fingers, and breaking fallen twigs or leaves increases the smell, as does ‘sniffing like a cat’, taking in several shorter sniffs before inhaling more deeply (but not so deeply that you get bits of leaf up your nostrils!) Do deeper layers smell different?
    • Leaves are fun for all the family! You can scuff them along to make a great swishing sound, or throw them, kick them or, if you find a nice layer in a safe place, even lie down and make ‘leaf angels’ with your arms, so you don’t have to wait for snow!
    • Have you walked on grass in your bare feet? Not only is the damp grass a lovely feeling, but being in contact ‘skin to skin’ with the ground has wonderful health benefits, too. It sends to the earth all the excess positively charged ions, which we are absorbing from all our tech and electronic equipment, and sends us back the negatively charged ions, which bring us more health. Some say we need at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted contact, but others feel it is instant. Certainly, we often feel tingling after a while, and sometimes feet even warm up! (You can always put something like a towel on the top of your feet, and that keeps them warmer, for a luxury version!) This is also known as ‘earthing’.

    The Great Big Green Week, Sept 24th-Oct 2nd

    Last year 5,000 sessions took place during the week, making it the UK’s biggest ever nature and climate event. Events take place outside around the country and online, so and you’ll find a wide variety of events to join in with. A flavour of events near us:

    • a recycling clothing event, to avoid the obscene amount of clothing which finds its way to landfill each year
    • an eco-fayre, with ways to rethink, re-use, re-purpose, repair, refill…
    • an introduction to mindfulness
    • a quiet track bike ride
    • a community feast with leftovers from food businesses to avoid waste
    • a bat walk

    …you get the picture.

    Let us know what you found.

    Whatever you do outside, ensure you have fun, and rediscover the pleasures of having the curiosity of a child again.

    forest bathingForest Bathing+ Sessions with Joanna & Katie
    We hold Harmony in Nature forest bathing sessions 

    See our recent September Update (October out soon) - for a round-up of our forthcming events. Book any of our sessions via Harmony Shop

    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Nature Connection & Forest Bathing Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits. We work in Shere,Tadworth, London SW20 and Woking.

    Other services from Joanna and Katie
    Through Harmony Healing, Joanna runs a monthly Full Moon monthly Unity Consciousness Meditation [next one is Sunday 9th October 7.30-9.30pm (UK time), £20], a Lunar Cycle Alignment Programme [next one running 25th October - 23rd November £155] and other online esoteric/energy healing practitioner and self-empowerment courses

    Katie has five 1:1 places left this year for Nurtured by Nature, One-day Reset Retreats, which are individually tailored. Depending on what is most helpful for you, they may include a selection from nutrition, breathing, mindful movement, sounding or chanting, essential oils, ‘de-chemicalising’ your lifestyle, natural first aid, as well as reconnecting to ourselves and nature through sensory nature connection practices outdoors, ending, naturally, with a forest bathing session. Priced at £488 for the whole day. Message Katie on 07596 830910 for further information, and to discuss your ideal day!

    Blog updates
    To receive Forest Bathing updates ONLY, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters on the above link, indicating receipt of the Forest Bathing mailings only.

    To receive all Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is  (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

  • Themed Full Day Workshops with afternoon Forest Bathing, £77

    Themed Full Day Workshops with afternoon Forest Bathing, £77

    These sessions work well at Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Shere, Surrey.

    Our other venues are available for private bookings and/or corporate sessions, and some are suitable for themed events as detailed below, please enquire for details. 

  • Training to be a Forest Bathing+ Guide - and be at one with nature, Guest Blog by Philippa Bassett

    Forest Bathing photo 2

    This year, Philippa Bassett trained to become a Forest Bathing+ Guide like Joanna. Her blog outlines the approach and appeal of Forest Bathing+ and her motivation for taking it up. Reproduced with her permission, here is her take on the delights of Shinrin-Yoku.

    This time last year, if you had asked me what my plans were for future courses, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have mentioned training to become a Forest Bathing+ Guide!

    However, after a year working with The Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI), I have learned so much about the science behind the benefits of practising Shinrin-Yoku (the Japanese term) for Forest Bathing+, that I am now on my journey to becoming a fully-fledged TFBI Forest Bathing+ Guide myself!

    Forest Bathing+ is essentially spending time relaxing under the canopy of trees, the health giving benefits of which have been scientifically evidenced over the last 40 years, particularly in Japan. Here, forest bathing is regularly prescribed by their NHS system as a preventative healthcare measure for mental health and general physical well-being.

    Forest Bathing is also prevalent in South Korea, where overnight retreats and specific ‘trails of healing’ help stressed out executives’ re-charge from their daily life under the health-giving canopy of an accredited woodland environment.

    Forest Bathing Bluebell WoodsBut this is not new to me. At some level, I feel that I am returning to my roots with Forest Bathing+. Having grown up by the sea in a rural part of South Wales, I spent a lot of time in the woods at the back of my grandparents’ house, where we used to walk under the woodland canopy to the local beaches. Climbing and playing in trees formed a large part of my childhood, and this connection has been re-kindled by attending Forest Bathing+ events. The feeling of calmness and relaxation following several hours of mindfulness in the forest is a great benefit to one’s general health and well-being.

    The catalyst for deciding to become a Forest Bathing+ Guide was attending the Mindfulness and Meditation Training which took place in mid-March, just before the Covid 19 lockdown. Due to the self-isolation restrictions, the theory behind Forest Bathing+ was conducted online, which gave me more time to focus on the benefits. During the course, I was really surprised to learn so many interesting facts about the science of ancient forests, their chemical structure, the wood wide web and many more fascinating nuggets of information.

    I am very interested in natural healing and healthcare having worked in this area for over 6 years. Learning about the natural healing ability of the forests and woodland reinforced my passion and I now feel committed to attracting more people, of all ages, to experience the wonders of immersive nature therapy and spend quality, mindful time in the beautiful woodlands and ancient forests that are such an integral part of the UK’s natural landscape.

    I would thoroughly recommend the Forest Bathing training to anyone who also has a passion for nature, the environment and general health and well-being.

    Photo credits: Forest Bathing images showing a track through a Surrey woodland and bluebell woods, taken by Philippa Bassett.

    *************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    As many of our Blog readers will know, Joanna Bristow-Watkins from Harmony Healing trained as a Forest Bathing+ Guide with TFBI in 2019. Joanna will be writing a future Blog about Forest Bathing, but when her colleague Philippa published this Blog, she sought permision to use it as her first Guest Blog.

    Forest Bathing Sessions bring harmony and balance into your life. Joanna and other qualified TFBI guides are now tentatively offering small group Forest Bathing+ Sessions at Newlands Corner (near Guildford) with additional social distancing and other protocols to minimise COVID risks. 

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians to bring balance and harmony.  It was a key part of ancient Egyptian life to be connected with nature and all of the Deities represented manifestations of nature.  Even our own word 'nature' is likely to be derived from their word 'Neter' generally translated as God.

    A number of virtual courses are starting again this month, including Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1which is now fully available as interactive training modules, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events

    Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. We don't recommend giving a reading or healing to another person, without first checking whether it would be welcomed.If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, Joanna offers distant intuitive readings (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing circles. We also have meditations available.

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.

  • What is happening with the Autumn Equinox?

    Autumn Equinox Musings

    The Equinoxes happen when the sun passes directly over Earth’s equator, so day and night are equal in length. When the Northern Hemisphere has its 22 sep Pagan EquinoxAutumn Equinox, the Southern Hemisphere starts its Spring, or Vernal, Equinox, and vice versa. Our seasonal warmth variations are all about the tilt of the Earth, either towards or away from the sun. Only on the Equinoxes (from the Latin for ‘equal night’) is the sun directly on the equator at local noon, and the Earth is evenly bathing in sunlight. Curious fact: if you lived on Mercury, it would be a constant Equinox, and if Uranus was your home, its circuit of the sun takes 84 years, so both the warm and cold seasons would last 42 years each! In 2023, this Equinox occurs on Saturday 23rd September.

    Traditional celebrations of the Equinox have been happening all over the world for centuries. In our modern world, the celebration in Vilnius, Lithuania, on the Neris River banks, involves lighting thousands of candles after sunset. In the UK, this particular turn of the Wheel of the Year was celebrated by our Celtic ancestors as Mabon.For those of us who wish to mark seasonal shifts and set intentions for our next phase in the year, we can choose to mark it with a small ceremony, e.g. by lighting a candle, doing something creative with bits of nature, or simply sitting while considering what we are grateful for, and what we want to create and be grateful for in the coming year. It could be appreciating what we have achieved, rather than our shortfalls, or being deeply appreciative of the elements of nature around us. But why make the effort to notice it?

    On a physical level, it appears that our body energies, or biorhythms, change direction, creating a type of centrifugal force, bringing things to the surface, making it easier to slough off things we want to change, so is a natural time to detoxify and make changes. Doctors may find themselves busier, as natural detoxing throws things up to the surface, so they can be removed from our internal system. This needs to be managed at the right pace for each of us, since if we have a lot to remove, then it’s likely to be a bumpy ride unless we take it more slowly. We have both done a liver and gall bladder cleanse in the run-up to this time, and it feels a relief, on the basis of ‘better out than in’. If cleansing interests you, certainly ask others about what they've done, but it's more important to find something that feels right for you and where you are now.

    Emotions can also come to the surface, and some of us may find ourselves feeling things more deeply than usual, so allowing ourselves to find a safe space to sit and feel what we feel, without needing to act on it, can be very therapeutic. It feels like telling ourselves “I’m listening, and it’s going to be okay.” We can vouch for the benefits of doing this out in the non-judgemental setting of nature, where the support of a tree at our backs can feel like that extra bit of strength we need, or indeed giving one a huge hug, and appreciating its support.

    On mental and spiritual levels, this is a good time to set intentions for the coming season, by appraising how things have been, what we want to keep, and considering what we may want to alter going forward. After all, we are here to constantly learn, not to keep going on a path that we may not have reconsidered for years. This is not the time to leap into something new, but rather to create space for new things by ‘composting’ anything that is no longer serving our best interests, slowing down towards an inward ‘hibernation’ to let ideas sit, feel what we feel, and use this, including our dissatisfactions or frustrations, to emerge more creatively on the other side of the Winter Solstice, as the light starts to come back.

    22 Sep Autumn EquinoxSpiritually, we can do deeper work by tuning in to the seasons, to nature, to ourselves, and asking the important things about our life direction, how we really feel, questioning the restrictions we place on ourselves, and considering what we want to create next in our lives. This can seem a scary idea when it first comes, perhaps way too big, so we push it down and get on with daily life. However, this is such a good time of year to do some pondering, creating a little space each day, or a few hours on one particular day, to do what is ‘important’, rather than on our ‘urgent’ list. It may be that we have to take the first few minutes of our day to do this, before busyness kicks in. Or a slow walk in nature can be a saviour, as the movement encourages momentum elsewhere, yet slows down our overthinking brain.

    The Autumn Equinox is the perfect time to 'take stock'. It is important to all of us to create these islands of respite from daily life, as well as periodic check-ins on whether we are somewhere on the path of where we’d like to be. Without these, we won’t even set off. 

    If you are not too far from Shere in Surrey and are up for an impromptu event, you may like to consider joining us for our Equinox mindful meander this Thursday 21st September, 11am-2pm. If so, three hours out in beautiful, calming  woodland may support your mood and creativity, as well as giving a good boost to immunity, for the coming months. When we reconnect with nature, we reconnect with ourselves. Details below. 

    Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Burrows Lea (near Shere) 

    HiN Apr issue Bluebells at Harry Edwards
    We will take you on a mindful journey through the private semi-ancient woodland of the lovely Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary. 
     
    Immerse yourself in the healing elements of nature and connect deeply with all your senses.

    Thursday 21st September,
     11am - 2pm, £39.77 (Equinox session)
    Saturday 14th October, 11am - 2pm, £39.77
    Sunday 12th November, 11am - 2pm, £39.77
    Book at the Harmony Shop

    Facebook LinkedIn

    Equinox blessings,

    Katie and Jo

    Katie Robinson & Joanna Bristow-Watkins
    Nature Connection & Forest Bathing Guides
     

    mob. 07596 830910 Katie

    mob. 07930 414525 Jo 
  • Why Go Forest Bathing When I Already Go Out in Nature?

    WhatsApp Image 2021 07 24 at 10.41.45 7Guest Blog by Katie Robinson, Co-Founder of Harmony in Nature, September 2021

    ‘I walk my dog every day.’

    ‘I meet my friends weekly for a walk.’

    ‘I go for a run three times a week; does that count?’

    ‘I get great benefit from doing my 10,000 steps most days.’

    Of course we can continue these positive activities. And, we can enhance our experience when we add something new into our lifestyle.

    For example, if our usual supermarket doesn’t stock something new we want to try, do we not even look elsewhere? Of course not; we’ll find out where we can find it. Forest bathing is simply a different way to be out in nature and woodland, with different benefits from these other activities. It’s not an ‘either/or’ scenario.

    To answer the title question with another question: Where is your mind when you do these activities?

    Is it noticing the details of what is immediately around? Or the mind and body sensations? Personally, my mind would be clocking up the steps, or the landmarks indicating I’m half way, or wondering how far away until my stop at the coffee shop as a reward, or chatting with my friend, or checking the dog hasn’t disappeared. Dogs are very mindful, but owners checking on them cannot be. This is why our walks currently do not include children and dogs. This is total ‘me’ time.

    Our minds are wonderful things; always busy and looking for problems to solve to keep active. However, years of this often leads to it being stuck on ‘doing’ and ‘fixing’. With forest bathing, we can leave this behind for a while.

    I notice the texture of the many tree barks; I stop to smell the variety of new growth or layers of the soil, noticing how clean it smells and how uplifting that feels; or I allow my attention to be drawn to the many patterns in the tree canopy above. I can use my senses in a directed way that brings out the wonderment in nature I felt as a child; I breathe deeply and appreciate the power and healing we get from a high-oxygen environment; I notice the tiny things.

    Forest bathing adds another way to be in nature and has enhanced our lives immeasurably. Giving ourselves 2-3 hours to meander around in woodland is a great act of self care, and a common realisation by participants is that the permission to do this is so valuable.

    They realise how little we notice normally, and get great joy and excitement from re-discovering small elements they hadn’t paid attention to in a long time, if ever. Immersing ourselves in all the forest has to offer (hence the ‘bathing’) is eye opening for many. The sights, sounds, smells and feel of the forest, as we each experience it, brings us into the present moment, away from the upset of the past and worry about the future that hasn’t yet happened. We simply ‘are’ and the forest accompanies us, being its beautiful self, just waiting to be noticed, to calm and reset us, and never judging us for the failures we perceive in ourselves.

    WHAT MAY HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF FOREST BATHING?

    Forest bathing, and in particular Forest Bathing+, which we embrace at Harmony In Nature and through our training at The Forest Bathing Institute, could be considered an amalgam of nature therapy, mindfulness and meditation, as well as its own thing. As such, there are decades of scientific research into what happens when we experience nature, do things mindfully, breathe consciously or follow a guided meditation. The (mainly) Japanese research into forest bathing has shown that we may potentially experience any or several of the following:

    • reduced stress and cortisol levels
    • improved heart and circulatory system
    • improved digestive and respiratory issues
    • reduced anxiety, depression and rumination
    • improved decision-making, motivation, creativity
    • increase in sense of connection with nature, self and others
    • balanced blood sugar
    • boosted immune function through increased production of 'Natural Killer'-NK-cells and anti-cancer proteins, lasting 2-4 weeks

    Fundamentally, it brings our nervous system back into balance, which regulates our hormones and our nervous system, and resets our mind and body functions. Some participants express experiencing emotions they hadn’t allowed themselves to feel recently, and this felt safe, and it passed. Some say how energised they felt, others how sleepy.

    In its simplest form, forest bathing combines the physiological benefits of nature’s presence with the meditative aspects of closely observing without judgement. What we feel as a result is ultimately influenced by what we each need at that point- sleep, energy, creativity, a sense of peace, wonderment. Our minds and bodies will give us what we need, when we allow them space to do so. That’s why we go forest bathing.

    forest bathing Forest Bathing+ Sessions with Joanna & Katie

     See our current sessions listed and/or book atHarmony Healing Shop

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Blog updates
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