Yoga Bites appears every four weeks.
Did you know that the best form of yoga is walking? By applying yogic breathing and meditation techniques to simple walking, one can practice "yoga walking," which delivers even more benefits with each and every step.
When we incorporate yoga principles into walking, it becomes not only good for the physical body, but good for the soul.
The health of our powerful legs, which include the biggest and strongest muscles in the body, is very important to our circulation, digestion, bones, inner state, fitness, coordination, blood pressure, and much more. As we draw energy up from the earth into the body, our legs are our roots and our mobility.
Yoga means union and the practice aims to unite ourselves with our
innermost selves and the universe at large. Staying present with the
breath in yoga on a mat or yoga on a walk offers us access to a deep
inner reservoir of calm, balance and strength. Yoga happens whenever we
feel fully present in the here and now.
Yoga walking can be done practically anywhere, anytime, by anyone.
It's safe, convenient, economic and enjoyable. Health experts across the
board agree that walking is the perfect exercise. Our bodies are built
for movement, especially for walking specifically. If you could bundle
the effects of a regular yoga walking practice into a pill, you'd have a
miracle drug on your hands. Research shows that walking four miles
burns more fat than running the same distance in less time.
To go on a mind-expanding walk, begin walking and feel into the right
pace and rhythm for your body today. Just like Goldilocks, not too fast
and not too slow. Walk at a pace that feels invigorating. Gently pump
the arms naturally with each stride to integrate the whole body into the
movement, powerfully and fluidly. Breathe in and out through your nose
as much as you can during the walk. Let your breath be full, long and
rhythmic. Breathing through the nose strengthens the lungs, filters the
air, increases energy, and stimulates the production of endorphins
Focus fully on the present moment. Easier said than done, I know. One
simple and effective way to achieve this is to use your senses. Begin
to notice the sky, the trees, the ocean, the cars, the people. Tune in
to the birds, the wind, the rhythm of your feet and breath. Feel your
feet meet the earth, the air moving in and out of your lungs, the sun
warming your face, the air moving through your fingers, your hair.
Absorb the energizing negative ions from the trees and ocean air.
Enjoy this gentle practice that generates total health and keeps us
connected to our bodies and souls as often as you can, ideally for at
least 20 minutes four times per week. You'll feel like you meditated
rather than exercised, with the added bennies. Incorporate yoga walking
into your daily life; park a little farther away from where you're
going, take the stairs, walk to the park for lunch, walk after dinner,
walk with a friend (two-legged or four-legged). Look for opportunities
to create your yoga anywhere and everywhere.
Sarah Hundley, a certified yoga instructor and massage therapist,
owns Shambala Studio in Crescent City. Email her at