Walkasana For Mental Clarity

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October 11, 2011

In the past, I’ve written about the importance of hugasana, but today I’d like to share one of my favorite forms of asana – walkasana. What exactly is walkasana? Well, next to meditation, it may just be one of the best ways to clear your mind.

Yes, walkasana is a walk, but it is so much more than a leisurely walk if you add in some pranayama breathing and turn it into a walking meditation. Walkasana is a quiet time when you go outside, breathe fresh air, clear your mind, and refresh. It’s kind of like a reboot for your brain.

I’ve always been a fan of walking, but this exercise form became much more spiritual for me when I went through my yoga teacher training. Each afternoon, usually after lunch, my YTT instructor had the class go out for walking meditation. Sometimes we would talk; sometimes we would walk in silence. I did my yoga teacher training throughout the winter months and no matter how cold and snowy it got, we always went out into nature, even if it was only for a few minutes.

There is something about the freedom of being outdoors and walking that is therapeutic for me. My mind starts to wander away from the stress of the day, and inevitably it relaxes enough that I can come up with a solution to a problem or find a stroke of creative genius. I’ve started to carry a little notepad and pen on my walks to jot down all the ideas that sprout up along the way or bring along my iPhone to record my thoughts.

All this extra creative energy got me thinking that maybe there is something to this walkasana, and sure enough, I did find there is medical proof to back it up. If you are interested, please check out this article about recent medical studies that prove walking or any form of exercise is often accompanied by mental clarity!

Now that it is fall in Ohio, I have even more of an incentive to get out there for some walkasana because it gives me a chance to check out the fall foliage and feel the crisp, cool air along the way. Even if it is just for a few minutes, I’m going to make my best effort to get out every day after lunch to give my body and my mind the break it deserves with a little walkasana. If you live in an area without fall foliage, here are a few pictures from my fall walks last year.

Doesn’t going for a short walk sound better than sitting at your desk during lunch and catching up on email? Give it a try, and put a little walkasana practice into your life (just be sure to remember your notepad and pen).

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