Anyone up for a walk?

When we think of yoga we often think of going to a class, whether it is in a building or in the open air, yoga mat in tow, with a teacher or instructor of some sort leading the way. However yoga, in its truest sense, is union with self.

This is an ever-developing awareness of our connection to not only ourselves but to everyone and everything.

Yoga, or union, is, therefore, possible in every part of our day and is not to be restricted only to a yoga class or practice. Walking, for example, can be used as a time to connect to our body and how we are feeling. This can be happening not only when we are walking on our own but also when we are walking with others.

We can either go for a walk and be thinking about a million and one things or we can go for a walk and simply focus on our body and what we are doing in that particular moment. The latter is walking with a conscious presence. Walking and thinking and walking with presence are two very different experiences. While they both may look similar to the casual observer, let's have a closer look at the difference between the two.

Walking and thinking Walking is a very physical activity, but it can also be a very mental activity too. When we walk and think we aren’t really there with the walk. We may not even be feeling our body or be aware of our movements. When we are walking and thinking of other things that have nothing to do with the walk, we are missing out on the benefits that walking actually offers.

When we walk and think we:

• Are not really there to experience the walk

• Are not present with what we are doing

• Are not feeling or aware of our body

• Are not receiving the benefits of walking

• Are left more depleted and drained after the walk

Walking with Conscious presence Walking can be a practical way to develop connection and presence with our body and to experience the benefits of this. When we walk and keep our mind focused on the walk and what we are experiencing at that moment the purpose and quality of our walk changes entirely. When our mind is with what we are doing we start to become more aware of how our body feels.

This may include:

• Feeling the soles of our feet as they take each step

• Feeling the movement of the ankle as the foot lifts off the ground

• Feeling the bend of our knees

• Feeling the movement of our hips

• Feeling the movement through the shoulders and upper back

• Feeling our arms as they swing by our side

• Feeling the rhythm of our walk

• Listing to the sounds around us

• Feeling the warmth or coolness of the air

Walking and thinking and walking in the union are two completely different experiences. In a world of incredible technological advances and access to endless information on anything we can think of, it is puzzling to see something as simple and accessible as walking with conscious presence be so overlooked and undervalued.

One leaves us connected, consciously present and more rejuvenated and the other leaves us disconnected, not really there and more drained after our walk.

As walking is an everyday activity for most, it is a great activity to observe how we are being with ourselves and how we are feeling. At the same time, it can be used as an opportunity to re-connect, let go of stress and enjoy the simplicity, beauty, clarity, and power that walking with presence offers.

* Esoteric Yoga, or ‘innermost union’ is the Yoga of Stillness, as presented by Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine. Stillness is a quality of energy that re-harmonizes and re-balances our entire body, from the inside out.