Shinrin Yoku Retreat

September 16 - 22, 2019

“Nature Deficit Disorder” was coined by author Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods.  Might you have NDD? You may feel too caught up in our hectic fast-paced world of technology and fake news. Perhaps what you need is a quiet mindful week (6 days) in a cabin, on a lake, surrounded by woods, with a small group of like-minded souls.

Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing) began in Japan during the 1980s and it translates to mean “taking in the forest atmosphere.”  Research around the world has repeatedly determined that the health and emotional benefits of quiet time in the forest leads to an improved quality of life. Time spent quietly and mindfully in nature results in a boost in your immune system, reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, increased ability to focus, and improved mood as well as better sleep.

Our Forest Bathing Retreat at Tofte Lake Center offers daily Forest Bathing walks, body movement classes, cooking and photography workshops, and opportunities for craft projects and other nature-based activities. We will observe the night skies and if we get lucky, we’ll watch the northern lights. Participants will have plenty of free time to spend kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, biking, hiking, or sitting on the dock taking in the fall colors.

For art, animal, and outdoor lovers, Ely also boasts the International Wolf Center, the Bear Center, the Dorothy Molter Museum, and the Jim Brandenburg studio, among others. 

Our accommodations feature fully equipped cabins with lake views.

Applications for 2019 are now available. Just click the Sign-Up button (to the right) to apply. Please contact info@toftelake.org with your questions. (retreat cost and further details will be published soon)


Tom Bezek

Tom Bezek.png

Tom is a graduate of National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Minnesota Outward Bound, Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs as a trained Shinrin Yoku/ Forest Bathing Guide, and University of Minnesota with double major in Social Work and Therapeutic Recreation. 

Tom spent 37 years working in a Juvenile Residential Correctional Facility for Hennepin County, and after retirement was the Executive Director of We Can Ride - a therapeutic horseback riding program serving people living with disabilities. He is now retired and spends time outdoors conducting Shinrin Yoku walks at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and with his family of 4 adult children and 7 grandchildren.