Overworked, overbooked? Tired of looking at electronics all day? Lake Austin Spa Resort may have the answer, and it’s a nature-based yoga therapy known as “forest bathing.” Called Shinrin-yoku therapy, or “taking in the forest atmosphere,” the therapy dates back to Japan in the 1980s and is considered a cornerstone of preventative healthcare in Japanese medicine.
Part of the Spa Resort’s Nature Therapy offerings, the Valley Vista Forest Bathing Nature Walk offers a quiet, electronics-free walk through the woods around Lake Austin, the goal being to utilize all the senses and put guests back in touch with the healing powers of nature. The 120-minute activity involves stopping at the halfway point to practice a series of yoga poses designed to center and ground individuals, “as well as bring about a peaceful feeling that leaves you refreshed and reflective of the sensory feast that takes place in the woods.”
The Nature Therapy offerings are included for overnight guests of the Spa Resort and are designed to increase physical and mental health. Another of its offerings is the River View Hike, a three-mile hike overlooking Lake Austin that showcases the views surrounding the lake and incorporates walking on limestone overlooks, looping through canyons, and crossing creeks. The Stairway to Heaven/Panther Hollow Double Diamond Boat Hike is billed as one of the toughest hikes. Guests travel by boat to a trail with steep canyons and terrain that meanders through preserve land to Panther Hollow Creek. In addition to enjoying views at several lookouts, guests “dip (their) feet into the crystal clear waters and take in this heart pulsing and soul riveting environment.”