Now you can breathe summer everywhere: the schools closed, the holidays started, the great excitement in the streets, the heat, the vivid colors, the scents of flowers and ripe fruits, the light that accompanies us until evening.
We also feel the desire to do, the dynamic energy, the joy of this rebirth grow in us.
Yoga also accompanies us in this phase of the cycle of the year and with millenary wisdom it makes us start again from our roots: the feet.
The feet are the witnesses of the road traveled so far and of the infinite possibilities to be traveled in the future.
They are the furthest from our heads, we often forget them or lock them up in the dark inside uncomfortable shoes for too long.
And yet they are always there, humble, in contact with the earth, ready to support us at every step. They remind us of the importance of finding a balance between staying, grounding, resting and going, the freedom, the adventure of exploration.
We offer you a simple moment to enjoy whenever you want, leaving you with the instructions in the following lines to make your feet protagonists and give them attention and energy.
First of all, let's give them some time and attention. Let's free them! Let's take off our shoes and socks and sit comfortably and observe them. We can massage them starting from the ankles. We proceed by treating one foot at a time: we rub the entire back of the foot, the internal and external plantar arch. Let's draw circles with the thumbs all over the sole of the foot. With the knuckles of the hands we tap the entire surface and then we massage one finger at a time starting from the big toe. For each finger: let's rotate it in both directions (as if we wanted to draw circles), twist it (as if we wanted to unscrew it) and pull it (as if we wanted to detach it). Finally we go to grab the ankle with both hands and shake the foot keeping it soft and passive.
With closed eyes we observe the difference, record the sensations and repeat on the other side.
Now our feet are vibrating with energy, they are breathing again, they are ready to walk consciously.
What does walking consciously mean?
Often we walk for the sole purpose of getting from one place to another. But where are we in the meantime?
Our thoughts run to the past or the mind leads us to worry already about the future appointment.
If this summer you feel like dedicating some time to yourself, you would like to approach meditation, but the idea of sitting still scares you. then this practice is for you!
I have always loved walking and when I discovered Thich Nhat Hanh my passion also took on a new point of view and meaning. This Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk has left us numerous writings on breathing, mindfulness and meditation. According to Thich Nhat Hanh one does not meditate, but one is in meditation. This state can be reached at any time of our day, even the seemingly most banal.
The secret lies in doing that thing (from breathing to washing the dishes) with all of ourselves, with all possible awareness and presence.
The Master deeply loves Nature and has often brought his attention to the "art of walking".
It reminds us that at the beginning of our lives, when we had just learned to walk, we only walked for the fun of it. We walked and discovered every moment as we went towards them. Here is the invitation we address to you today: relearn to walk that way.
The exercise is simple and can be done anytime and anywhere: at home, shopping, going to catch the bus. 5 minutes of walking in awareness is enough to find benefit, hang up on the present moment and feel fully within ourselves. With every breath, with every step we "go home", we remember that we have a body, we say goodbye to it and we rediscover that it is a marvel.
I like to practice it barefoot in nature, if you are on the beach or on a beautiful green lawn and you have the opportunity, I invite you to try it. every sensation will be amplified and you will surely discover something new about the world inside and outside of you.
- We begin by bringing all our attention to the foot that touches the ground, to the sole of the foot and to the movement we make with each step.
- Let's slow down the pace and try to lighten the pace. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, it is as if our feet were gently kissing the earth.
- Now let's try to synchronize the pace with the breath. We try to take an equal number of steps on inspiration and expiration (for example 3 steps on inspiration and 3 steps on expiration) gradually trying to increase them.
- Keeping our eyes open in an attitude of wonder we can stop in front of something that attracts our attention, touch it, smell it, in conscious contemplation.
I can continue my meditation walk for as long as I want. I can try to change the pace, walk backwards or close my eyes. It will be fun to experiment with different types of terrain, temperatures and inclinations, rediscovering that same joy of the first steps, when we were children and played with balance.
At the beginning it will be difficult to keep attention to the steps, our mind will try to call us to order to maintain, as always, the center of the scene. We remain flexible, we observe the thought that arrives and let it go, to then resume our journey.
Slowly we will be able to dedicate more and more time to it, enjoy our steps and our breaths. Without any claim to arrive first, to arrive in a specific place, we will simply feel we have arrived at every step.
"When we walk mindfully, our feet massage the Earth. At every step we plant seeds of joy and happiness. A flower blooms with every step. "
Thich Nhat Hanh
Good breaths and good journey!
"And as the seeds dream under the snow, your heart dreams of spring" - Khalil Gibran