Meet your guide…

Kim Ainis

Kim Ainis

Forest bathing walks invite us to slow down and be fully in our senses, in our heart and in the moment. As a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, I welcome you into a safe and supportive experience where you can make your own discoveries and (re)new relationships with the natural world. Forest bathing (also known as forest therapy) is a gentle guided walk in nature. It is an opportunity to unplug in a peaceful setting with a series of invitations, or prompts, that are designed to help you quiet your mind, awaken your senses, and deepen your connection to yourself, to others, and to the natural areas you’ll be in. Individuals are encouraged to adapt the invitations to suit themselves. We typically end our walks with a snack, including tea using plants grown locally.    

“This was such an intuitive experience. It was a beautiful and necessary break from daily life stress. It reminded me how close and connected to the earth we are. I cherish this experience.” (all quotes are from people who went on a walk with me) 

As a forest bathing guide, I am committed to being fully welcoming and inclusive, making safe space for your whole self on our walks. Nature is here for all of us, even if you've often felt like it was only for other people.  Forest bathing walks allow for each person to have their unique experiences without me prescribing or deciding what they will be.

 “Carve out this time with Kim as a gift to your body, soul, and spirit.  Renewing, energizing, calming.” Check out my “walks” tab for upcoming events. More will be listed soon.

I have guided forest bathing walks both in person and on zoom. I also guided an experience while on kayaks and  one on a porch for a friend who was in home hospice.   In addition to public forest bathing walks, I am available for private walks and experiences. A unique experiential gift, a forest bathing walk could be great for commitment ceremonies, anniversaries, Mother’s/Father’s Day, birthdays, memorial services, and more. A walk can be a meaningful addition to a Summer or Winter solstice celebration or sacred days dedicated to healing and renewal. Forest bathing walks have been offered for educators and health care providers and other teams to help with burnout. Perhaps your team at work could use a breather, time to decompress and recharge. I’m happy to brainstorm ideas with you!

 “I very much enjoyed Kim’s forest bathing walk and her caring and at times playful encouragement to engage with the forest and its thriving life. She embodies a personal grounding in nature, which invites participants to find their own connections to the natural environment and within their inner selves. At the conclusion of our time together, I felt much calmer and spiritually renewed.” 

A bit more about me: I’ve fallen in love with the outdoors throughout the Midwest, the US, and the world. Meandering, birding, snorkeling, kayaking and more allow for quiet immersion and abundant fascination with the natural world. These activities both feed and satisfy my endless curiosity about the world around me and nurture my relationship with that world. Reflections mesmerize me, mosses beg to be touched; waterfalls, birds, cicadas, and frogs converse with me; time slips away while floating on water, connecting with trees, and watching the moon rise; the scents of a forest are better than any perfume.

 I love leading and participating in forest bathing walks and paddles (via kayak) in different parts of the world. In fact, part of my training to become a forest therapy guide was in Costa Rica. I will have a month-long residency in Costa Rica leading forest bathing walks. It’s exciting to connect with people from different cultures, learn about local plants for tea, and feel an intimacy with a variety of natural places.  

Most of my work life has focused on helping neurodivergent people transform their learning and lives. It actually has many similarities with forest bathing, because the approaches I use are gentle, respectful, and powerful.  These approaches build on each person’s strengths to overcome their challenges. I meet each person where they are while creating a safe and creative environment for exploration and growth.    

Other experiences have also shaped who I am: meditating since I was 11, designing and making jewelry, helping run an alternative high school for teenage girls, teaching workplace literacy, starting multiple book clubs, dancing, and picking pomelos early in the morning. I have served on the board of the health literacy organization Say-Ah and on the board of the Chicago Ornithological Society as the education chair. I hope to guide you on a walk soon! 

Ryerson Conservation Area, Brushwood Lot

Ryerson Conservation Area, Brushwood Lot

Apr 28, 2024 | 10:00 A.M. - 01:00 P.M.

21850 N Riverwoods Rd, Riverwoods, IL 60015, USA

Happy Spring! This three hour experience will be a slow, gentle, guided walk in nature. It is an opportunity to unplug in a peaceful setting with a series of invitations, or prompts, that are designed to help you settle your mind, awaken your senses, and deepen your connection to yourself, others, and to the meadow and forest you’ll be in. The walk will be no more than a mile and there will be times when we will walk or sit quietly alone and times when we’ll gather together. We’ll end our walk with a tea and snacks. Registration will close on April 27th, 6 pm.

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From our users . . . 

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