Scything is the new yoga. Here are ten reasons why.
Forget all the negative connotations of the Grim Reaper and communist red flags. Scything is making a big comeback and with so many benefits it’s not hard to see why. Here are ten reasons why you should come and join us this summer and find out for yourself!
1. It strengthens your core
Once you get into the correct technique and the rhythm scything is a wonderful exercise for your core abdominal, oblique and lower back muscles and will give them a great work out which you will definitely feel the next day!
2. It tones your arms
Austrian scythes are the perfect weight to give your arms a good workout too, without it becoming back breaking work. Your lower and upper arms and shoulders will all be engaged effectively as your swing the scythe from side to side.
3. It’s good for your knees
The correct scything stance is great for your knees and provides gentle, low impact exercise as you move through the meadow.
4. It slow burns calories
The low impact nature of this exercise and the fact that you can scythe for many hours at a time means that it’s great for burning calories and working up a healthy appetite.
5. It focuses you on your breathing
Scything is all about rhythm and aligning your breath to the swaying movement. Once you perfect your technique you will naturally find yourself breathing in time with the blade.
6. It promotes mindfulness
You will also find yourself naturally falling into a meditative state as you rhythmically swish the blade side to side and start to focus on the natural world all around you – the sound of the birdsong, the different types of grasses and wildflowers and the butterflies which will accompany you as you work. Plus, you can't check your phone when you have your hands on your scythe... so you can really focus on being present in the moment.
7. It helps you to sleep better
There is nothing better than a good day’s work in the great outdoors, far away from phones, laptops and TV to promote a good night’s sleep. Your mind will feel clear, your body nicely tired and you will be flooded with dopamine from the sense of satisfaction of seeing what you have physically achieved in a day.
8. It reconnects you with nature
Scything is silent, eco-friendly and works in harmony with the land. There is no noise, no pollution and no damage to the habitat where so many plant and animal species live. As you mow, the field mice, ground nesting birds and grass snakes have plenty of time to move, and with luck you’ll get to see them too. You’ll become more attentive to the different species of grasses, wildflowers and butterflies and will become an expert in no time!
9. It promotes social wellbeing
The aftermath of the global pandemic has left many people feeling the contradictory anxiety of wanting to get back out and spend time with people again, but feeling anxious about just remembering how to socialise, not to mention the added stress of social distancing rules. Scything is a great way to reintegrate and make new friends, but without the pressure of a social situation - plus you have to be well over 2 metres apart so you can swing your scythe!
10. It links you to the past
Scything is an ancient skill that has been practiced by many generations before us, and in the exact same location on our Iron Age hill fort. As well as learning a new skill, you’ll also gain a powerful sense of perspective on your own life and how it fits into the larger scheme of things. After a day or two of scything you may find that the quotidian stresses that were weighing you down when you arrived no longer feel so burdensome.
If you’d like to come and try scything at The Forge, we are running two courses this summer from the 16th -18th and from the 18th – 20th August. It costs just £240 pp which includes absolutely everything – tuition, hire of equipment, all meals plus two night’s accommodation in our luxury glamping tents.
You are very welcome to come for the whole week if you prefer, for just £450 for four nights.
And if you’d like to bring the family along to stay in one of our tents and marvel at your handiwork, the price will be £360 for two nights, and they’d be very welcome to join us around the campfire for all their meals too.
“He thought of nothing, wished for nothing, but not to be left behind the peasants, and to do his work as well as possible. He heard nothing but the swish of scythes, and saw before him Tit's upright figure mowing away, the crescent-shaped curve of the cut grass, the grass and flower heads slowly and rhythmically falling before the blade of his scythe, and ahead of him the end of the row, where would come the rest.Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina