During Lockdown 2020, when the going got tough, we decamped to the woods near our home. I don’t think I have ever appreciated this space so much – the woods became our classroom, our playground, our sanctuary. My children, aged 8, 5 and 4, would tear about the trees, their imaginations running away with them, and I would often just sit on a rock or log and watch – watch them, of course, but also watch nature. And actually, when you take a moment to really look, you notice the most incredible things – a spider spinning a web; the different colours on one tree trunk; the individuality in each leaf. From boosting our moods to alleviating feelings of fatigue, the benefits of being in nature are numerous and far reaching.
Following the success of the Baby Yoga in the Garden outdoor sessions in the summer 2020, and with increasing restrictions on indoor classes, Forest Babies was created. I always do my own yoga practice in the garden and I can’t quite believe it took a global pandemic and restrictions on indoor activities for me to think about taking Baby Yoga outside.
In this 75 minute session, baby wearing parents enjoy a short walk to a beautiful clearing in the forest. I am now a Baby Wearing Peer Supporter and can attempt to answer any baby wearing questions. We will all enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this spot with some ‘forest bathing’ and mindfulness. Outdoor Baby Yoga activities are really special as parent and baby exercise and relax together. Parents will have the opportunity to meet other new parents; explore nature with their baby; and enhance their bond through Baby Yoga.
Forest bathing, or shinrin yoku, is an ancient Japanese tradition of being calm and quiet amongst the trees to reenergise, refresh and rejuvenate. Observing nature whilst breathing deeply destresses both parent and baby. Being mindful, using all five senses, in the forest allows one to notice and appreciate the details of the natural surroundings, leaving busy thoughts behind. We can all benefit from taking time out from busy life, slowing down and really enjoying the world around us. What’s not to love?
Each outdoor session involves some sort of nature art. I love a mandala (you’ll have to come to one of my sessions to learn what that is!). Creating something with nature is the ultimate mindful activity. We must slow down and look, really look, at the shapes, colours and textures of the items round about us. Forest Babies isn’t complete until we’ve picked up at least one stick each – even if it’s just for poo-sticks!
Parents have said that Forest Babies was “very relaxing and soothing” and “something totally different which I wouldn’t usually have time to do”. “Claire is quite literally a breath of fresh air”.
To book your place, click here