It’s no secret that the modern world as we know it today is a pretty hectic place.
It seems that from the moment we awake in the morning, until the time we lay our heads down at night, we have somewhere we need to go, or some thing we need to do.
Say goodbye to loosening your tie, or letting your hair down after a hard day at the office–in the age of the smartphone, work, and your many responsibilities have no official hours—we’re always connected, day and night.
You remember charge your phone daily, but did you remember to recharge yourself?
More and more people are feeling overwhelmed with the pace of their daily lives, feeling stressed, and unable to catch their breath. It’s no wonder that with the rise of our increasingly plugged in world, the west has seen a growing number of people turn to ancient traditions like meditation and yoga to unwind and relax. You need to unplug! You need to recharge. We all do.
Now meditation or yoga might be intimidating to some. You might say; “But I can’t sit still for 5 seconds, let alone meditate!” You may also ask; “I don’t have time to make myself breakfast, where will I find time to practice Yoga?!”
Well, dog lovers, if you’re a proud parent of a canine companion who needs walking every morning, I’ve got good news.
Today, you will learn a simple technique that will help you wake up, clear the morning fog, and transform your mornings.
Welcome to the world of “breathwalking.” Breathwalking is a technique based in Kundalini Yoga, developed by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D, and Gurucharan S. Khalsa, Ph.D, who has been an instructor at several notable universities, including M.I.T..
Breathwalking has several positive effects, from reducing anxiety and pain, to increasing your focus, strengthening your heart, and more!
And it’s as simple as walking and breathing. Seriously, it really is almost that simple.
Begin by filling your stomach with a slow, deep breath through your nose—trying not to raise your shoulders on the inhale. Then release your breath slowly and evenly through your mouth. As you walk, you will want inhale to a count of four, taking a short inhale in sync with each step you take. By the fourth inhale, you should have a full stomach of breath, and begin exhale, again, in stride with each of your steps, for a count of four.
When you first begin, it may help to imagine you’re climbing stairs as you count your steps and breath. After a few short minutes, you will begin to feel invigorated, with an increased sense of clarity. For more in depth instructions on how to breathwalk, I have provided a video at the end of this article.
So now that you know the technique, here is your challenge. Wake up in the morning, and before doing anything else, take your dog for his morning walk and use the breathwalking technique. It’s that simple—but a few more things.
No thinking about your hectic day at work ahead. No thinking about that argument you had with your partner or spouse the night before. You must stay in the present moment. If your mind begins to wander, as soon as you notice, bring your focus back to your breathing and your steps.
Listen to the sound of your dog’s tags jingling on his collar. Examine the patterns of his fur, the way his nostrils move when he sniffs the ground, the way his ears move when he’s aroused. If your pampered pooch stops to investigate something that grabs his attention, simply continue to breath deeply, with focus.
For the first 15 minutes of your day, every day, there is nothing else that exists but your focused breath, and the wonderful ways of your loving companion.
It’s not always easy to keep your busy mind at bay, but like a muscle, you will build strength and ability with each day. What better tool exists to assist you in staying focused on the present moment than your furry best friend?
Commit to this for 2 weeks, make it a habit, and you won’t regret it.
We use positive conditioning to train and improve the lives of our dogs all the time—now apply it to yourself, and transform your mornings!
Breathwalking video tutorial:
The Science of Breathwalking:
Chris Floyd, CDW
Chris Floyd, CDW, has been providing trusted & reliable service for your pets in the Queens Quay & Harbourfront area of Toronto, Canada since 2013. Dedicated to professionalism & continued education in the pet care industry, Chris Floyd is among the first Toronto graduates of the Dog*Tec Dog Walking Academy — the first program of it’s kind to offer official certification for dog walkers in Canada. Chris Floyd is also a Whatta Pup! Pet Professional Course graduate, pet first aid certified, insured & bonded, and a member of Pet Sitters International.