Walking

          Walking outside is the best exercise because it is holistic. You enjoy fresh air, you see the surroundings, you feel relaxed, your negative thoughts are distracted by seeing beautiful things in nature. When your mind is relaxed, then your awareness connects with all the life forms around you.  You are aware of your actions and hence the mind and the body co-ordinate. Walking is the basic, most effective and primary forms of all exercises. Walk for 30 minutes to one  hour every day.  Your pace should be neither too fast nor too slow. Brisk walking the best.

1. Brisk OUTDOOR walking.  No walking indoors because you do not relax as much as you do outdoors. Preferably in a park or areas with more trees and plants. 

2. Do not hookup music system to your ears. Walking relaxes your body and mind and that is the secret. Walking should not be mechanical. So avoid the music. Instead walk with awareness.

3. Walk alone; do not talk and walk. Walk in silence and do not have any carryover thoughts. The best and most relaxed walk is when you can observe your thoughts while walking. This again strengthens your awareness. Ultimately, you should be able to observe yourself walking.

 Doing a lot of walking at the work place or housewives walking throughout the day while working at home cannot be considered real walking because while working your mind is not relaxed.  So walking outside, where your mind would be relaxed, is very important. This could be a park, beach, lakeshore, riverside. Choose something that connects to nature.

     If you walk with full awareness, which means if your mind walks along with your body then you become fully aware of every cell in your body. This is the secret of healing. This is the way Yoga should also be done. Every movement should be the coordinated act of the mind and the body. Only when there is co-ordination the  body and mind are relaxed and stress removed.

What is relaxation?

Relaxation is to get over the grip of thoughts. 24 hours, seven days a week, 30 days a month, 365 days a year, 80-100 years we keep thinking, thinking, thinking. All our energy goes into that. Just a couple of minutes without the brooding thoughts would be a tremendous change in your body. Understand that walking alone, in a state of not thinking about you, your past, your future, your family....is relaxation. Walking with nature helps in getting to that state. 

How to walk in bad weather? When the weather is harsh walk inside your home, exactly like you would walk outdoors. Understand the purpose is to relax your mind. Keep walking in all your rooms, climb up and down the stairs, your basement etc. Feel all your muscles get exercise. Be conscious of your body when walking. Feel all your muscles. Park your car in the parking lot so that you can get some exercise, walking. Climb two to three flights of stairs to get into your office. If your office is on the 20th floor, get out of the elevator at the 18th floor and walk two flights of stairs to reach the 20th floor. Keep walking whenever you get a chance. But whenever you do, keep observing your thoughts and your body. This will increase your awareness, tremendously.