Indigo Healing and Wellness Nature Center in idyllic Hiram, Ohio, is centrally located a short thirty five minute drive from the outer suburbs of Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.
Opening the Summer of 2023, Nature Therapy or Ecotherapy, will be offered through different modalities such as Shinrin-Yoku, Walking Meditation, Medicine Wheel Meditation, and Labyrinth Meditation with the intention of improving your connection to the natural outdoors.
Located on 15 acres of land, Indigo Healing and Wellness, provides trails and meadows for you to enjoy by being fully in the moment while immersing your senses in nature.
Nature has long been known to have calming effects on the mind. The beauty and serenity of nature create a sense of peace that you usually won’t be able to find in busy urban environments. Thus, spending time in nature is one of the most effective ways to reduce everyday stress and mental fatigue. Being in such a spacious, relaxing environment helps your mind to recharge and put you in a positive mood.
In 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries created the term shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.” The practice encourages people to simply spend time in nature — (no actual bathing required). It’s also very low impact, which means you don’t have to go for trail runs or do an intense hike. The goal of forest bathing is to live in the present moment while immersing your senses in the sights and sounds of a natural setting.
Once you’ve arrived, take a few deep breaths and center yourself. Focus on what your senses are taking in — whether it’s the scent of the clean air or a chorus of chirping birds.
Spend a few moments simply observing your surroundings. You could sit and watch how the trees sway in the wind or you could walk around. If you decide to walk, go at a leisurely pace and without a specific destination in mind. It’s important to let your mind and senses wander, explore, and indulge.
The goal of forest bathing is to relax and detach!
Mindful walking meditation is a perfect complement to a seated meditation practice – it’s “meditation in motion.” And walking meditation is great for beginners since walking is a familiar part of our everyday experience.
Walking meditation is more than just strolling about - this practice is all about being aware of our body and physical sensations as we move. Our eyes are open and our mind and body are rooted in the present.
Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path.
A labyrinth is an archetype which represents a journey to our own center and back again - out into the world. As we walk a labyrinth we can have a direct experience. It is a metaphor for life's journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to "That Which Is Within."
A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out.
To walk a labyrinth, open your senses and focus on the process of taking slow and deliberate steps. Bring to mind a prayer or spiritual question to contemplate during the walk to the center. Reaching the center, pause to reflect, pray, and listen for an answer or for deeper revelation. Now begin the return journey. Pray or reflect further. Upon exiting, absorb the experience with continued reflection, prayer, or journaling.
The Medicine Wheel, sometimes known as the Sacred Circle or Hoop, embodies the Four Directions, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Spirit Tree—all of which symbolize dimensions of health and the cycles of life.
The medicine wheels represent the alignment and continuous interaction of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realities. The circle shape represents the interconnectivity of all aspects of one’s being, including the connection with the natural world. Medicine wheels are frequently believed to be the circle of awareness of the individual self; the circle of knowledge that provides the power we each have over our own lives.
Sitting in the sacred space of the wheel, whether in ceremony or silent meditation, can reveal aspects of ourselves that need further exploration as well as offer guidance for personal growth and transformation.