Breathwalk – A revitalising form of meditation while walking

Feel good, General |

We know that breath and meditation practices support the well-being of body, mind and soul. A short break in a peaceful environment promotes relaxation and helps restore inner balance. However, it’s sometimes difficult to allow ourselves this little break in hectic everyday life.

In order for you to still enjoy the beneficial effect of your breathing, here is a practical suggestion: Combine breathing with another activity that is just as natural – walking! Once you start doing both activities in a conscious and synchronous way, this will have a positive effect on your health.shutterstock_225622588 - Copy

The technique of coordinating breathing and walking, which is also called Breathwalk, has its origin in Kundalini Yoga and was brought to the USA by Yogi Bhajan. Breathwalk is ideally practiced in the fresh air and is also well-suited for those who have not yet had any experience with yoga.

A Breathwalk programme consists of the following 5 phases:

  • Awaken: Body, mind and soul are awakened and vitalised with breathing and stretching.
  • Align: With the first walking exercises, attention is directed to the movements of the body.
  • Vitalize: Now the walking and breathing become harmoniously attuned to each other. The Breathwalk begins.
  • Balance: The walk becomes slower. In the following stretching exercises, concentration is focused on all of the senses.
  • Integrate: During the Inner Walk, which can be done during slow walking or while standing, the results of the exercises can be integrated into our body’s system.

There are various breathing patterns – each has a special effect on our health. Here are the two basic breathing patterns:

  • The Eagle: Inhaling and exhaling in 4 parts (4:4)

Walk with even steps and inhale through your nose for the length of 4 steps. Then exhale through your nose for another 4 steps. There should be a small pause between the breaths. Do this breathing pattern for 3 minutes and then continue walking normally for 5 minutes. Repeat this several times. This exercise will give you energy and clarity. You can connect the primal sounds of SA TA NA MA with the rhythm of walking by saying one syllable in your thoughts for each breath segment and each step.

 

  • The Dove: Inhaling and exhaling in 8 parts (8:8)

Coordinate your breathing and steps with each other. As you do so, inhale 8 times through your nose and exhale 8 times through your nose. The breathing pattern of the Dove is based on the Eagle but demands a bit more concentration and is generally done with slower steps. Here as well, you can once again combine the primal sounds of SA TA NA MA with the walking rhythm. Also do this breathing pattern for 3 minutes and then continue walking normally for 5 minutes. Repeat this exercise several times in a row as well. It will give you energy and clarity.

 

This post describes a simplified introduction to a fascinating and beneficial type of meditation that will also remind you a bit of a sport. If you are interested in further information, please contact a specialised yoga school. Last but not least, here is a book tip: Breathwalk: Breathing Your Way to a Revitalized Body, Mind and Spirit by Yogi Bhajan and Gurucharan Singh Khalsa.