Forest bathing, lino printing and yoga by the sea are just some of the new activities taking place across the North York Moors National Park throughout September as part of Mindful Month.
This is the second year that the National Park has designated September as a month for celebrating how nature and the myriad ways that visitors can switch off from everyday stresses can help people regain a sense of wellbeing.
During Mindful Month, visitors can try out activities such as learning the ancient Japanese art of Shinrin Yoku, otherwise known as Forest Bathing, at High Dalby House, a retreat in the depths of Dalby Forest. Here Faith Douglas, the founder of Forest Bathing UK, will show how to walk through woodland more mindfully to bathe all the senses for a more positive effect on the body.
Meanwhile over on the coast Happy Seal’s yoga sessions on Whitby beach enable participants to practise their relaxation poses accompanied by the meditative sounds of waves lapping along the shore.
Over at Ellerburn, near Thornton le Dale, Gumboots & Wellingtons rustic retreat has teamed up with lino printing artist Hannah Turlington to offer visitors ambles through the surrounding countryside before embarking on the mind-absorbing art of creating lino prints using natural finds picked up on the walk such as leaves and feathers.
The month will also see Buddhist nun Ani Tselha leading a meditation walk following beautiful paths in Raincliffe Woods near Scarborough; while Adventures for the Soul will lead a mindful meander along the cliff tops at Ravenscar and a Digital Detox Day at Raithwaite Estate at Sandsend which includes a yoga session, mindfulness woodland stroll, wholesome lunch and spa session.
Laura Barr, marketing and product development executive for the North York Moors National Park, said: “We know the natural environment is good for people’s health, particularly after last year’s University of York research which quantified that £7.21 of health and well-being benefits are generated for visitors and volunteers for every £1 invested by the government into our National Park.
“However by designating September as Mindful Month we’re able to raise awareness of the plethora of ways that visitors can tap into the health aspects of the landscape even more by learning meditation or mindfulness techniques or trying out new activities that lend themselves to just switching off from everyday life.”