Health & Wellness

Nature & Forest Therapy with Elena Ríos

Elena Ríos
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
September 14, 2024
8:30AM - 10:30AM

Experience the physical and psycho-spiritual benefits of slowing down, relaxing, and dropping into a deeper state of connection to the natural world, including: lower stress hormone production, elevated mood states, lower blood pressure, and enhanced immune defense.

Ancient human practices of nature connection are rooted in ancestral Indigenous Knowledge all over the world. Elena’s style of guiding is informed by her experience as a Cultural Practitioner and First Responder. Unlike a naturalist walk, it isn’t so much about knowing all of the names of the plants, as it is about noticing which plants that you feel pulled to. It is more about being “here” in the present moment, then it is about being “there”. You may begin to notice things in a way that you may not have ever noticed them before. An integrative mindfulness practice that can help us to let all of the miscellaneous fall away. A kind of nervous system “reset”. It has the potential to remind us of the Interconnection of All Things and our relationship to the Earth.

Although the Garden is dog-friendly, participants are asked to not bring their dog(s) to this event.


Garden Members: $25

General Public: $40

About the Instructor:

Elena Ríos is an ever evolving ANFT Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide and Inter-disciplinary Artist. From an early age, Elena’s family cultivated in her an interest in the exploration and appreciation of nature and the more-than-human world. Elena Continues to participate with traditional circles of learning, wellness, and ways of being that are rooted in Indigenous knowledge. She believes this practice has the potential to assist us in noticing the Interconnectedness of All Things. She draws inspiration from her grandmother, who was a curandera. She has had a partnership as a cultural practitioner with Japanese Shinto Priest, Hiroji Seikiguchi for almost 20 years. Currently, she is an employee of the Chumash Fire Department, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. She is an indigenous Azteca Chichimeca woman of the Americas with distant genetic Chumash links including multi-ethnic Spanish, Scot-Irish ancestry. Her guide style is informed by all of these previous life experiences.

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