Ten ways to en­hance your bush­walks

Aus­tralia is lucky to have an abun­dance of bush­walks that are spec­tac­u­lar, safe and have easy ac­cess. They can be a cheap way to get fit, re­con­nect with na­ture and great way to de-stress.

Living Now - - Contents - by Sha Rah­man

Re­con­nect with na­ture and de-stress in one of Aus­tralia's abun­dant spec­tac­u­lar, safe, and easy to ac­cess bush­walk­ing lo­ca­tions.

1) Stretch and do a light warm up be­fore the walk

Work the calf mus­cles, ham­strings, quadri­ceps, an­kles and back. I sug­gest stretch­ing for one minute per ev­ery year of age. Treat your­self as a rub­ber band; don’t over ex­tend or jerk as you might snap. Slowly the rub­ber band will be­come longer and longer. The walks won’t feel so painful af­ter­wards.

2) Mind­ful walk­ing

Hey, it’s great to off­load your prob­lems to a friend or think about what’s wrong in your life but let’s switch off and look at the sur­round­ings, hear the birds, breath the air, be present where you are...give the chat­ter a rest and con­nect with na­ture.

3) Tai chi & qi gong

The Chi­nese have been do­ing it for thou­sands of years. Find a peace­ful spot, bend your knees slightly, back straight, but­tock tucked in, and imag­ine a chord run­ning up to heaven, hands by your side. Just stand silently and feel the buzz. Tak­ing a class be­fore­hand al­ways helps.

4) Draw­ings

Find a scenic spot and take a break. Why not grab some pa­per and crayons and just scrib­ble lightly on a piece of pa­per? You don’t need to be an artist to draw. You will be amazed at what comes up. This will trig­ger your cre­ative side and give the log­i­cal brain a rest.

5) Ground­ing

Find a good earthy spot, take your socks and shoes off, and just walk on na­ture. The earth can dis­charge all that ex­tra elec­tric­ity you ac­cu­mu­late in the of­fice. Stand for a while and imag­ine you are a tree.

6) Re­flex­ol­ogy while you walk

If you man­age to find a place with a lot of smooth peb­bles or a rocky area, walk bare­foot and let your feet have a mas­sage. If you find a spot that is ex­tra sore, gen­tly mas­sage it. Walk­ing like this in the bush can have its dan­gers so make sure you choose a safe place and limit to a small area that you can scan for in­sects, glass, sharp ob­jects and plants you are fa­mil­iar with.

7) Tap while you walk

Acu­pres­sure and tap­ping are a great way to stim­u­late your body and re­lieve stress. You could tap three fin­gers be­low your ab­domen while you walk. There are so many points on your arm you can slap or tap up or down it (again, a class could be a great way to learn more about this).

8) Chant om / aum

Dif­fer­ent sounds can have dif­fer­ent ef­fects on you/your vi­bra­tion. Ex­per­i­ment with what works for you while walk­ing (and/or find a place to sit). Some sounds can stim­u­late the chakras, so see what works best for you (you could try lam-vam-ram-yam-ham-om).

9) Con­nect with your body

Take time as you walk to sense your body. Feel the air around your hands, the blood cir­cu­lat­ing , the cells in your fin­gers, any aches and pains. Send good thoughts to them or imag­ine them glow­ing in a bright colour of your choice.

10) So­cialise

Join a meet-up group and walk with like-minded peo­ple and talk to them in per­son rather than on your phone. Meet­ing new peo­ple can al­low you to share ideas or just give you a dif­fer­ent point of view. There are hun­dreds of groups around Aus­tralia (and the world) with peo­ple get­ting to­gether to get out into na­ture. n Con­nect with other read­ers & com­ment on this ar­ti­cle at www.liv­ing­now.com.au Sha Rah­man has been prac­tis­ing tai chi for over 20 years, trained in over 10 heal­ing modal­i­ties. He fre­quently leads bush­walks in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in NSW.

PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: DAVID DU­RANCE

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