My name is Marjolein van Goor. Certified shinrin-yoku guide at the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) and hatha yoga teacher. Founder of The Shinrin-yoku Club.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts” (Rachel Carson).
My passion for nature goes back to my earliest childhood memories.
I remember the magic and appeal of the blue shimmering sea, which view suddenly became fully visible after taking a final step onto the highest dune. The salty sea air, thundering surf and white foam heads. The infinite game with the waves, the variations of light on the sand. The sun that dropped into the sea like a huge fireball against a purple sky. I didn’t want to go home anymore. I was already home.
For me, the connection with nature has proved to be the key to my energy, health, zest for life and inspiration. In this I find the true essence and access to what really matters to me. By connecting with the wonderful world of nature, slowing down, quieting and opening all my senses, I connect with myself, others and this moment in time. I achieve a profound awareness of the mysterious beauty of the universe (in Japanese: ‘Yugen’) and a feeling of being part of the bigger scheme of things.
By chance, I came across the practice of shinrin-yoku (Japanese for ‘forest bathing’). I discovered that there was a way to pass on my passion for the wonderful, healing atmosphere of nature and the peace, connection and inspiration that I find in it to others.
In 2020, I founded the Shinrin-yoku Club, with the aim of guiding and inspiring people to (re)connect with nature in their own unique way, by slowing down, finding stillness and opening their senses. I would also like to bring together a group of like-minded people to go forest bathing together. As a shinrin-yoku guide, I really enjoy guiding participants, opening ‘the doors of the forest’ for them and make them experience the connection with nature, themselves and each other.
By discovering my true passion for this nurturing work, which gives me a deep satisfaction, my life has changed forever.
I am convinced that connecting with nature and the practice of shinrin-yoku has enormous (health) benefits. I’ve been experiencing this myself for years. During my various studies, many trips abroad and long-time stays in various (world) cities, and currently with the Covid-19 pandemic and raising of two bouncing little boys on a third floor apartment in the middle of Amsterdam, the connection with and slowing down in nature helps me enormously. It gives me reflection, balance, focus, trust, creativity, energy, a feeling of wonder and awe, and much more.
In the current climate emergency in which we find ourselves, the most important thing is that we as humans find our way back to our natural habitat. Come to realize the importance of this for our well-being and the survival of this planet. Feel the urge to protect nature as it’s a part of us and we’re a part of it.
I truly believe shinrin-yoku is a health and wellness practice everyone could highly benefit from. In the current era of climate emergency, the most important thing is that we as human beings find our way back home, to the natural environment we are all part of, so we realize its utmost importance for our well-being and survival and start to really feel the urge to protect our planet Earth, as it is a part of us and we are a part of it.
With every paid shinrin-yoku walk we support the work of Tree Sisters.
In addition to shinrin-yoku guide, I am a storyteller/writer, (kid’s) yoga teacher, traveller, climber and mother, amongst other things. During the week I live in colourful Amsterdam and I spend my weekends in nature on a campsite in a forest by the sea.
Marjolein is an incredible guide to the forest and its meditative secrets. I had a very rooting experience in communion with nature and felt an immense peace.
Claudia Dias, Amsterdam