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Walk Play: Walking Breath Work

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  • Walk Play: Walking Breath Work

    Originally posted by Lannette 11-09-2004, 10:58 PM

    This is a great walk for a day when you’re feeling stressed and unable to get out from under the things which are stressing you. For that reason I think it's particularly great for the holiday season.

    Like any walk, which requires that you concentrate on yourself to the exclusion of your surroundings, it requires you be in a safe place.

    As usual it’s best if you begin this walk by first doing Primary Back Stretch and T-Tapp Twist. If you are unable to do this use the first few minutes of your walk to warm up keeping your pace slow and even and using good No big toe and linear alignment. Once you’re feeling warm and in a groove do a feet to head scan of your posture.

    Then begin to concentrate on your breath. Initially try to make your inhalation and exhalation equal in length. An easy way to do this is to inhale for three to four steps and then exhale for three to four steps. As you breath in think of smelling a wonderfully fragrant flower and as you breath out think of blowing out lots of birthday candles without getting wax on the cake. Begin to adjust the number of steps for each inhalation and exhalation to your comfort level and then settle into the best flow for you.

    When you feel ready to move on take it to the next level. If you were breathing in for four steps and out for four now put a pause or breath hang into the equation. Breath in for four steps and then wait to begin your exhale for and additional one to two steps. Then exhale for four steps and wait to begin your next inhale for 1-2 steps. Try to make this different than holding your breath. It’s more like you’re allowing the breath to hang in midair before reversing the airflow. Continue this breathing pattern for a while dispensing with it should you tire of it or especially if you feel as though you need to take a deep breath. This can be quite challenging so no concerns if you only last a few breaths.

    Now turn your attention away from your breath and to your body. Where is your form. Did it slip and if so in which areas? The answer to this question is quite diagnostic as far as individual postural weaknesses are concerned. Readjust your posture and then turn your attention to your legs. Notice how you push away from the ground with one leg, swinging your opposite leg forward. The forward leg then hangs in air for a second before hitting the ground and beginning the cycle all over. Spend some time trying to make this repeated cycle as smooth as you can. Right before you’re ready to move on take time to notice how you are breathing. Where did your breath settle in?

    Once your movements are feeling smooth, almost as if you’re floating along turn your attention to your thoughts. Just allow them to float through your head like butterflies fluttering across your line of vision. If you notice that your thoughts turn time and time again to one particular area this may be something you really need to address, especially if it causes you any distress.

    Now turn your attention to your surroundings and take in everything around you and notice how your body interacts with the surrounding environment. This is a tough one if you’re on a treadmill. In that case just center on the sensations you experience as your body interacts with the environment. Is your skin cool or warm? What noises do you hear? Is it humid or dry? How do your feet feel as they hit the treadmill belt? Right before you’re ready to move on take time to notice how you are breathing. Where did your breath settle in?

    If time allows go back to the beginning and start again. Cycle through the various types of breath work as time and inclination allow. Feel free to experiment with lengthening your inhalation and exhalation and notice how your body responds as you do.

    This walk play can be used as a stand-alone walking workout or in combination with other walk plays.

    It can also be used for as little as five to ten minutes at a time when you need to clear your head or center yourself.

    T-Tapp Trainer