AWARENESS WHEN WALKING

I am lucky to have a dog. In terms of fitness and feeling well, that’s super-lucky because I have to get out in fresh air and nature every single day! Except for when I am away on holiday and don’t bring my dog with me. Then I miss our walks as I know how they contribute to my wellbeing.

Last month I went cross-country skiing in the mountains in Norway. As I was skiing, I couldn’t help but become aware of how my yoga practice is helping me in my daily movements and “sports movements” – if you can call it that! As I was sliding one ski in front of the other, my awareness went straight to how my feet were helping me propel my body forwards, the muscles in the back of my body naturally engaging, and my shoulders felt free to move with strength in arms to push down and away through the ski poles.

Coming back to Wimbledon and walking my dog, I realised how cross-country skiing could be interpreted as exaggerated walking. Walking in Wimbledon Common on a daily basis, I can still use the balls of my feet to help my body move forwards. This helps me connect to the feel of muscles in the back of my body engaging (included here are heels, back of legs and muscles in the back of upper body). And from being aware of my feet going into the ground and activation of back of body muscles, I can allow my hips to roll freely. That’s how it works for me: First an awareness of feet, then awareness of muscles in the back of body, and finally the hips get to do their thing. Stability and freedom of movement at the same time.

There is something called walking meditation. This is when you place your attention on every single step to ground you in this moment, step by step. What I am describing above is not really it. However, directing your awareness to what happens with your body while walking will place you straight into the moment! This moment where nothing is wrong. You are a conscious being who is alive, breathing.

As a conclusion I wanted to include the cartoon picture below. I find it a good reminderĀ šŸ’š

Next time you are going out for a walk, know that you can choose to drop intentionally into this moment. Maybe by bringing your attention to your body moving and the muscles in your body engaging as needed. Notice the enjoyment of moving, the aliveness of your body, and that you are here, now.

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children and live in Wimbledon.