On one of the first chilly autumn days, 24 September, another workshop on health and wellbeing was held at Miyama Satoyama-sha, much to the delight of our eager participants. On the program this day was another interesting lecture with Dr. Ito, a therapeutic yoga and meditation session, a walk up the mountain to collect moss and greens for kokedama moss-ball making, and a fulfilling lunch, and finally a workshop, where all the thinks we learned and experienced came together in the form of a lush, green kokedama. Again, the participants had the opportunity to experience the traditional Goemburo bath and the sauna at Satoyama-sha, as well as acupuncture and moxibustion.
Dr. Ito returned to teach us more about how to best sustain a healthy lifestyle. This time the focus was the beneficial effects of yoga, and the importance of relaxing outdoors activities.
With the assistance of Dr. Ito’s students, the participants were again put through a basic health check.
Yoga is an excellent method for relaxing the body and mind. The practice of yoga forces us to shift our full attention to ourselves and our bodies, and thus helps us to further connects with ourselves. Yoga is, however, by no means an easy feat, as the poses can be tricky to nail and the breathing tough to master. Luckily, local yoga instructor Junko Saito came to guide us through all the basics.
The yoga session was divided into two sections. The second part was heavily focused on meditation, and took place outdoors in the yurt. The frisk notions of autumn in the air surely aided the participants in finding their inner calm, as they drifted deep into the lull of meditation.
A nutritious lunch to provide our participants with the energy to stay active for the rest of the day.
Following lunch was a stroll in the mountain forest. A walk like this certainly has many positive health effects, as it provides us with exercise, at the same time as being surrounded by nature helps sooth our mind and being.
The rustling of leaves in a chill breeze may help shift our thoughts away from the bustle of daily life, and the greenery gives us chance to rest our tired eyes.
Nature brings us back to our core. Our humanity. It helps invoke the childish curiosity and our sense of wonder, things we might have lost as a cost of our busy lifestyles. In this sense a trip into the forest can be very therapeutic.
The gap between humans and natures is one that continuously grow larger, and today’s society does little to help matters. There are, however, many simple ways in which we can abridge this gap and find an inner balance. One such example would be making kokedama, moss-balls, just as the participants did.
The procedure of going into the forest to gather moss, then use our hands to shape it yields more than just a pretty ball of moss. The whole process is a sensory play. The feel of rough earth between our fingers and silken touch of moss against our skin, the musky smells and vivid green colours. It is like giving our senses a boost of positive energy.
While the process of creating is important, the result is not without significance; A beautifully crafted piece of nature that the participants are free to take home and decorate their house with. A tangible piece of nature, and a reminder of that there is more to life than work and hectic schedules.
A big thank you to all who participated and made the day memorable!