I met Lea Farrar at Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat in February and I was impressed with the incredible project she is running in Canada. Lea is responsible for Bain de Forêt, a magical place in Québec, which serves us a retreat for the frenetic lives we live in. As I heard her description and admired the idilic landscapes of the website, I could picture myself writing in such scenario. Amongst the activities available, Bain de Forêt offers Forest Bathing, a modality born in Japan which basically consists of walking amongst trees for its many health benefits, and also Meditation and Qigong. In Lea’s own words, let’s find out more about this peaceful place located:
1 – Can you share with us how did Bain de Forêt started?
Bain de Forêt started of my profound love and interest in well being. I wanted to find a way to help people in a soft way that is accessible for everybody. My family started a fishing and hunting business on a land of 234km2 over 40 years ago and taking over the business I needed to do something that is more in touch with my personal values. I was fortunate enough to have already the infrastructures and so I had to figure out what to do with it. I knew from the start I wanted to built a meditation resort but for me yoga was to mainstream and I wanted to offer something different. I spent few years doing research and meditation until I came upon Forest Bathing (Bain de Forêt in French) and Qigong, at this moment I knew I had found what I wanted to do and started to build this new offer for people who are interested in well being and life balance. I partnered up with a certified Forest Bathing teacher and decided to go to Thailand to Nam Yang School to do a Qigong teacher certification course. Many other activities will be offered at Bain de Forêt. I aim to offer many different retreats for a diverse clientele such as meditation, qigong, painting in the wild, yoga, conscious breathing, bioDynamic breathing and many others.
2 – What can one expect when visiting Bain de Forêt?
Bain de Forêt in located in the heart of nature, it has a land of 234km2. The site is located 1 hour for the nearest village of La Tuque in Québec, Canada. We have 14 water front 4 stars chalets with no neighbours so it is the ideal place to relax in nature and reconnect with yourself. All the accommodation works with solar or propane energy ans the is no cellular reception, it is a great place for a digital detox! (for business savvy people there is wifi at the main station).
You can fish up to 4 species (walleye, northern-pike, brook trout and speckled trout) or simply rent a boat, kayak, paddle board and canoe. You can also enjoy a nice hike in the wild or near a stream, do wild berry picking, enjoy star gazing and observe the Milky Way. In August the perseid meteor shower is an absolute must! As I mentioned before we also offer classes for Qigong and forest bathing and soon some retreats will be available on Bain de Forêt website.
3 – Amongst the activities offered by Bain de Forêt you have Qigong & Meditation and Walking In the Forest Programs. Can you share with us how do these activities support health and wellness?
These activities are suited for everybody, young children or senior adult. They are totally accessible for everyone who has interest in well being and being healthy. These activities are suitable for anyone who wishes to be more healthy physically and mentally. Forest Bathing “Shinrin-yoku” was developed in Japan during the 80s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
The scientifically-proven benefits of Forest Bathing include:
- Boosted immune system functioning (with an increase in the count of the body’s natural killer (NK) cells)
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
- Increases ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
- Increased energy levels
- Improved sleep
Just as impressive are the results that we are experiencing as we make this a part of our regular practice:
- Deeper and clearer intuition
- Increased flow of energy
- Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
- Increased flow of eros/life force
- Deepening of friendships
- Overall increase in sense of happiness
And here are a few benefits of Qigong:
- Loosens the Muscles and Builds Power
- Strengthens the Organs
- Eases Stress and Balances Emotions
- Benefits Sedentary Workers and Meditators
- Lowers blood pressure and improves heart health
- Improves immunity and cancer protection
- Improves Cardio-pulmonary Function
- Strengthens the Nerves
- Improves Vascular Function
- Can Be Used by seriously ill people
- Helps Prevent Injury of Joints, Ligaments and Bones
- Speeds Recovery Time from Injuries and Operations
- Builds Athletic and Martial Arts Power
4 – What last words on health and wellness would you like to share with the majority of people in the Western World these days?
I think we are all consumed by the fast paced society we live in and influenced by technology… as much as it has positive effects they also have negative effects on our life therefore it is crucial for us to take time for ourself and make sure we are healthy. It is important for each of us to be conscious of our state of mind, body and spirit. People have to listen to their heart and find what they enjoy and do it whether it is with yoga, meditation, Qigong, Forest Bathing, painting, watching the stars whatever it is I believe we should all allow more time in our life wellness so we can live life to the fullest.