It allows us to dip deeper and calmer into our own physiology. It puts us in touch with that part of us still and eternal.
This ability to walk without fatigue is accessible to anyone and brings very important benefits. The natural oxygen enrichment from this type of walking provides revitalization and has a very positive impact on our inner serenity and peace.
The Afghan walk focuses on synchronizing the breath with the rhythm of footsteps.
Walking and breathing must be synchronized in the following manner, with this basic rhythm (3–1/3–1), on flat ground:
- Inspire progressively through the nose for the first 3 steps.
- Hold your breath on the 4th step (lungs filled).
- Expire progressively after the following 3 steps through the mouth.
- Hold your breath on the 8th step (lungs empty). You need to mentally count your steps throughout the process.
Repeat again this cycle in the same way, as long as you feel comfortable. This rhythm can be maintained without inconvenience over a long distance, while hiking.
The red blood cells and all body cells will receive much more oxygen, as we will use a bigger part of our lung capacity.
Rest the heart thanks to the pause with empty lungs.
Stimulation of the arterial and venous circulation.
Stimulation of blood flow in the coronary arteries.
Stimulation of basal metabolism with the reduction and elimination of fat.
In short, a true regeneration.
Depending on the terrain and its inclination, the rhythm can be changed.
For example 3/3 (3 steps of inhale, followed by 3 steps of exhale, no more breath holds if the conditions get tougher) and as soon as the terrain becomes steeper, you can perform 2/2.
It relieves the heart rhythm and prevents heart acceleration.
The gentle but firm obligation to monitor our breathing and the number of steps is a smart and easy way to experience the present moment, and get a relief from our own mental defilement and monkey mind.
The sensation of air touching the nostrils is one of the most anchoring experience and allow us “to stay” in the present moment. No one has ever breathed in the past or in the future.