The practice of forest bathing is gaining in popularity thanks to Tami Astorino and Rachel Rubin, two local entrepreneurs who started Rise Gatherings health and wellness business, writes Rita Giordano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Forest bathing is a practice that originated in Japan. Proponents of shinrin-yoku believe that spending time truly immersed in nature is beneficial to mental, spiritual, and physical health.
Astorino, of Ambler, and Rubin, of Fort Washington, partnered on the Rise Gathering project four years ago, offering personal growth women’s weekends that included forest bathing sessions.
Since then, the women they serve have not only embraced forest bathing, but the practice might have well saved their business that was all but shuttered by COVID-19.
“We’re helping the forest take care of others,” Astorino said, “and in doing so, it’s taking care of our business, too.”
The women began organizing strictly forest-bathing mini-retreats in July, in a 20-acre forest by New Hope. The groups consist of 15 to 18 women who social distance by at least ten feet in the woods. The response was enthusiastic.
“It’s amazing,” Rubin said. “Every one of them sells out.”
Read more about Rise Gatherings at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.
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