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Conscious walking: recharge your energy while walking

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By : Vik

About 1 month ago

I am a big fan of walking, trekking and hiking. But I'm not as fit as I used to be after my cancer, I'm more tired and I get sore faster. 


Walking longer and releasing tension 

I became interested in techniques that allow me to walk longer while releasing my tensions. This is how I discovered conscious walking, also called Afghan walk! 

I was also looking for a certain coherence between muscular effort and breathing, which is too often left aside when walking! 

I now use this technique during my hikes or Nordic walking training sessions, and I feel better! 


But what is the conscious walking? 

Halfway point between physical exercise and meditation, this discipline brings another vision to walking and the power of breathing. It's a bit like the yoga of walking!  

Conscious walking is also refered to as “the Afghan walk”. The Afghan nomads, who walked long distances in the mountains, would set their steps to their breath to better conserve their energy. 

The basic sequence - the one that respects natural breathing the most - is divided into 8 beats: breathing through the nose on the first three steps, then you suspend your breathing with full lungs on the fourth, then you breathe out through the mouth on the next three steps before suspending your breathing with empty lungs on the eighth and last beat. 


To summarise: 

➡️ I breathe in for three steps 

➡️ I hold my full lungs for 1 step 

➡️ I exhale for 3 steps 

➡️ I block my empty lungs for 1 step 


To begin with, I advise you to walk slowly, to take very long steps to have time to breathe in and out, and to work on 6 beats: 

➡️ I inhale for 3 steps 

➡️ I exhale for 3 steps 

The objective is to feel good, not to walk faster... 

But it's up to each person to find their own rhythm of breathing while walking! 


What are the benefits?  

It is known for its impact on the metabolism, cardiovascular functioning and the feeling of fatigue and sleep. It will also allow you to improve your upper body posture, to open your rib cage, or to better feel your bearings. 

Of course, this practice does not replace a follow-up by health professionals. 

Practice regularly, once or twice a week or more, and you will see the benefits. 


Take care of yourself. 🥰 


Éléonore Piot 

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