Breathwalk for Energy and Stress Relief
Breathwalk is the science of combining specific breathing patterns synchronized with your steps and enhanced with the art of guided meditative attention.
Breathwalk exercises aim to produce specific effects to revitalize the body, mind and spirit.
The effects of breathing exercises include:
- Increased energy levels.
- Mood control
- refined mental clarity
- feelings of connection
Air walking is based on yoga breathing techniques and adds exercise and walking cadences to create the desired effect.
The effects are backed by research that has shown that the techniques actually produce the desired effects more than just walking. Khalsa is teaching breathing through the book "Breathwalk", available at bookstores or by purchasing it online.
The mental and physical benefits of breathing are a perfect match for today's workplaces that combine high stress and low physical activity.
Take a breath walk
Each breathing exercise has five steps:
Awakening: the awakening exercises are coordinated to obtain the desired effect. Three to five different exercises are performed for one to three minutes each. These are simple arm exercises, posture, and mindful breathing. The breathing patterns used include fully conscious breathing, rapid "fire breathing" and segmented breathing.
Align: Now the journey begins. Hikers go out for a few minutes to establish a smooth, comfortable pace. They verify the correct alignment of the body and the stride. Khalsa recommends that hikers learn good walking technique just as they would on a sport hike. Hikers scan their bodies, feeling every connection from foot to leg to thigh and moving up.
Vitalize: A specific breathing pattern is used to achieve the desired effect chosen by each walker, be it energization, mood control, mental clarity or connection. Techniques include segmented breathing and the use of primitive, muffled, or softly audible sounds.
Segmented breathing is coordinated with your walking cadence, taking each step in time with your breathing. Most breathing techniques are done through the nose rather than the mouth. Combinations of breathing and walking, especially when combined with thinking or whispering primordial sounds, clear your mind of the constant chatter and allow you to feel the rhythm of your walk.
The vitalization rhythm is performed for three to five minutes, then a normal breathing and walking rhythm is performed for three minutes. This was repeated three or more times during the walk.
Balance: Finish the walk by gradually slowing down your walk and allowing your senses to expand. Then finish with a good stretch. The triple balance stretch is described in the book "Breathwalk."
Integrate: This is an "inner walking" exercise to connect mind, body, and environment. Various exercises include "Play and Play", "Gather Your Senses" and "Expansive Bubble".
Who should do the Breathwalk?
A breathing class is enjoyable even for science-based skeptics. Meditation and breathing practices are not buried in mysticism and can be incorporated into athletic walking.
Knowing how to breathe properly can help you a lot when you're walking fast or going uphill. Doing a full breath walk is a great walking exercise for "easy" days when you are recovering from an intense or long workout the day before.
A breathing walk can also be a great energizer at lunchtime or calmer during the workday, depending on your needs and the energizing approach you choose. The walk through the air can be done alone, with a friend or in a group. It is adaptable for use in walking groups or for use on its own.
Using walking for mental clarity and stress relief
Walking can be used to improve your mood, clear your thoughts, and relieve stress. These effects can be felt when walking without any specific style or focus, but practices like breath walking can improve them.
Mary H. Frakes's book "MindWalks" uses a variety of ways to transform your daily walk into a time for mental and spiritual rejuvenation. Another practice that can be used is walking through a maze, which is an ancient practice in both Christian and pagan traditions. It also focuses on breathing and meditation.
Enjoy Watching This Video About Breathwalk
Source: Andrew Weil, M.D.
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