Forest bathing, immersing yourself in the green Oases of Breath

The Cratere degli Astroni (Naples, Italy), the Gole del Sagittario (L'Aquila, Italy) and the Ghirardi Nature Reserve (Parma, Italy) will be the first WWF oases in Italy where it is possible to practice forest bathing, a discipline that is bringing people ever closer to nature and its benefits for physical and mental well-being, an immersive sensory experience that seeks contact with nature, the key to finding harmony between the body and the environment.

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© WWF

This year the brand returns to the WWF, with which it had collaborated for over a decade with Golia Bianca. The aim is to support the WWF Italy Oasis system, which represents an important nature conservation project – where activities to protect habitats and species, educational activities, research and sustainable tourism are carried out – and creating the first real ‘Breath Oases’. The Cratere degli Astroni (NA), the Gole del Sagittario (AQ), and the Ghirardi Nature Reserve (PR) will, in fact, be the first WWF oases where it will be possible to practise forest bathing, a discipline that is bringing people closer and closer to nature and its benefits for physical and mental wellbeing. Thanks to Golia’s support, a qualified network of the best bodies active in the field of forest bathing, such as Aimef – the Italian Forest Medicine Association, is being set up to carry out the activities internally, training specialised operators and creating specific paths within the areas.

The expression ‘forest bathing’ refers to a practice originating in Japan called ‘Shinrin- yoku’: it is an immersive sensory experience that seeks in the contact with nature, the key to finding the body’s harmony with the environment. Through the five senses and thanks to the organic substances released by the trees we breathe, a deep connection with the surrounding nature is created. During a forest bath, one is encouraged to take a deep breath of fresh air, to listen to birdsong and the sound of windblown leaves, to touch the bark of trees and to immerse oneself in the stillness and beauty of nature. This experience allows you to slow down the hectic pace of everyday life, reduce stress, improve your mood and increase your feeling of calm and serenity.

“We are proud to be able to continue our commitment to environmental protection with an exceptional partner like WWF. The project, developed by four hands, starts from the importance of breathing, an essential value for our Goliath brand. What better opportunity than the Breath Oases to promote the benefit of breathing in harmony with nature through the practice of forest bathing. With WWF’s know-how and expertise, these Oases will allow all visitors the opportunity to take care not only of the environment but also of themselves. At a time when the pace of life is increasingly frenetic and technology dominates our days, forest bathing invites us to slow down, embrace the silence and take in the beauty around us. We must not forget that we are an integral part of the natural ecosystem and that our well-being depends on its preservation, comments Simona Zanaletti, Senior Marketing Manager at Perfetti Van Mell.

The positive consequences of forest bathing on body and mind have been extensively documented in the scientific literature and numerous studies suggest that exposure to forests is associated with a wide range of benefits, such as boosting our immune defences, improving mood, regulating the cardiovascular system, lowering cholesterol, and not least reducing stress and anxiety. “Today we live in an extremely complex reality where everything is interconnected. Human beings, plants and animals share the same planet, the same ecosystems and the same resources. Nature provides us with so-called ecosystem services, which include for example the production of food, the availability of drinking water and clean air, but also fundamental functions and processes such as the absorption of pollutants, psychological well-being, and the control of diseases, which are the basis of our existence. – Marco Galaverni, WWF Italy’s Programme and Oasis Director, adds – Well-being linked to contact with nature already begins in the garden at home, and all the more so in these Breathing Oases, one more reason to protect even better – and restore where necessary – forest ecosystems in every corner of the planet, which guarantee us dozens of functions that are essential for our existence: from the oxygen we breathe to combating the climate crisis, from medicinal principles to places of culture and spirituality, helping us to rediscover our nature“.

The nature trails created in the WWF Oases, which are accessible to everyone regardless of age or fitness, will help achieve the important goal of making possible a world in which humans and nature live in harmony. It is an opportunity to unplug from the chaos of the city, free your mind from everyday worries and reconnect with your own breath and that of the surrounding habitat in an authentic and profound way.

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