Forest bathing using the five senses | SoHaPP

Also,come to the Enumclaw library Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 6:30 pm for a discussion on “The Book of Joy” by Desmond Tutu in preparation for the forest bathing event.

  • Wednesday, January 9, 2019 10:15am
  • Life
A local resident recently filmed a small herd of elk bathing in Dandy Lake. Image by Grace Hart

A local resident recently filmed a small herd of elk bathing in Dandy Lake. Image by Grace Hart

The following is written by the SoHaPP Team:

Visiting a natural area and walking in a relaxed way achieves rejuvenating and restorative benefits to our health with neuro-psychological effects of improved immune system, reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, improved mood and more. How can we increase these benefits? By cultivating a better focus on the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Developed in Japan during the 1980s, Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” does just that. While fairly unknown in America, this practice is a widely accepted part of Japan’s public health system, with more than 60 Forest Therapy Camps located in all prefectures. Explore the wonder of nature, but learn how to open your senses, hone your intuition and improve health.

Come join us on Jan. 12 starting either 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. at the Dandy Lake Recreation Area, and with a certified Shinrin-yoku guide for one-and-a-half hours, you will find new ways to appreciate the forest. Part of the 500-plus acre Bass Lake Complex, Dandy Lake (formerly “Sinkhole Lake”) has been recently opened to the public, and is a truly beautiful area. This heavily wooded 40 acre natural area has a hiking trail circling a small scenic lake. You won’t get wet in the lake, but you will experience the forest as you never have before.

This workshop is offered free to the public, and is for all age ranges. Minors should be accompanied by an adult. The trail to the lake is a bit rocky in places and may be muddy depending on precipitation, so wear proper shoes and clothing. From the parking lot to the training location is a several minute walk, some of it up hill, and will be clearly marked. Arranged by the Habits for Happiness initiative, the SoHaPP team is pleased to have Michael Stein-Ross and Julie Hepp, the only two Shinrin-yoku certified guides in the State of Washington, offering their services. Gratuities would be welcome. To learn more about their practice, you can visit


Located at the intersection of 372nd St. and 249th Ave. S.E., from Enumclaw head north on 244th Ave. until it becomes 372nd St., and then go .3 of a mile. Parking is on the right.

SoHaPP (Science of Happiness and Positive Psychology) is a community initiative that encourages the healthy habits of being Grateful, Positive, Mindful, Kind and Active. By intentionally focusing on just one habit for 30 days, you will strengthen that characteristic within yourself. Over time you will discover improved mental wellness and an increased level of happiness. From November through March, each month we offer workshops and a book read on a particular habit. Go to for the science supporting the benefits of these five habits. To help with Mindfulness associated with Forest Bathing, come on Wednesday Jan. 9 to the Enumclaw Library at 6:30 pm for a discussion on “The Book of Joy” by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. All books for the SoHaPP Initiative are 25 percent off at The Sequel.


• Feb. 2 – Kindness workshops of Pull Invasives & Plant Natives, Boise Creek

• Feb. 13 – book read of “An Invisible Thread” by Schroff & Tresniowski

• March 29 at The Claw – year end celebration

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