This section is from the book "Holistic Medicine", by Shriniwas J. Kashalikar.
Lvocomotion is a characteristic of most of the animal species But as far as we, the human beings of this era are concerned locomotion has been replaced by automation [vehicular motion] Our legs are neither used for supporting the body nor forbalancing it. They simply exist. They simply hang from our chairs or merely rest on the cushioned foot-rest under the table Even economically weaker sections are seen avoiding walking. Those who have to do it per force, do so, but very reluctantly.
It will be easy to understand why the phyllogenehc aspect of walking is very important if I recall from the previous articles on YOGA that the many YOG AS ANA i.e postures simulate the postures of many animals and plants In other words, simulation of the postures of animals is one of the b rilliant and effective ways of evolving YOGAS ANAS.
It will surely be wise to appreciate and conceptualize and practice walking as 'LOCOMOTIVE OR MOBILE YOG AS ANA" from Spiritual point of view.
GAM ANA VIPASHYANA, the method of meditation involving walking is already known but not yet adequately popularized. This is because its advantages are not sufficiently understood and/or appreciated GAM ANA VIP ASHY ANA as a method of mediation is especially good for most of us who find it difficult to sit in one place with patience and stable mind Walking gives sense of moving forward on the one hand and holds back uncontrolled Sights of mind on the other It does it naturally and gradually helps improve stability of our mind It prevents the mind from getting dragged behind the fears or worries of the future.
From physiological point of view, walking involves synchronous activation of general sensory afferents in die nervous system and the general motor (somatic) afferents in the central nervous system This fairly synchronous activation of the general sensory and motor nervous system involves relative sparing of prefrontal, limbic and related structures which involve reverberating circuits. The reverberating circuits can cause disturbing and distressing effects as are experienced by most of us in the form of repeated and irresistible appearance of die memories of painful or sad events, insults, trauma, fear, loss etc. This makes die mind disturbed.
If walking is practiced intelligentiy and with this understanding, then it can be evolved into a most effective technique of acquiring HOLISTIC HEALTH.
While walking one should do NAM ASM ARAN A which simply means JAPA or chanting the name of God One need not utter the name of God or Guru loudly but just remember it. This can be done with a rhythm that can be synchronized with steps. NAM AS M ARAN A is a time tested meditative way of self realisation It is a key to and also a cardinal sign of individual and universal HI being. It is impossible to describe the advantages of NAM AS M ARANA in one article Because NAM AS MARANA is a subject of books Another point is observing MAUNA MA UNA is observing silence. Not talking. MAUNA is an essential and overlooked aspect of life MAUNA helps us develop a safety valve between emotional upsurges and correspondingly disastrous speech, plans and actions MAUNA helps us to develop VIVEKA MAUNA is called as MANASA TAPA Walking usually provides an excellent opportunity for solitude i e EKANTA EKANTA is one of the most neglected necessities of life Man needs reflection, upon himself so that healthy self-criticism is evolved and this gives nse to healthier and tolerant approach to life which is especially important in family, working places, but as such it is important in every field.
Walking has a great potential to free us from addictions, obsessions. And dominance of ones life Walking in general but especially the walking for longer and longer tame associated with NAMASMARANA, MAUNA, EKANTA, can be a good way of overcoming addictions Because mind and body acquire a sort of rhythm and pleasant tiredness as every step is synchronised with NAMA Backbiting promotes inconsiderate attitude It promotes self aggrandisement Walking can save us from this sick attitude and promote positive thinking and thus strengthen our mind This process is called VACHASHUDDHI.
Walking gives us compulsory mental rest from crushing mental preoccupations Businessmen, executives etc. have their so-called p no noes under which they gradually get crushed Denying oneself a vehicle and deciding to walk, prevents one from getting trapped into such self imposed tortures.
Walking and NAMASMARANA help us nse above the onslaughts of pains and pleasures and ride on the situation. Thus it gradually makes us less and less miserable and less and less pitiable and less and less helpless in our own eyes'
From physical point of view one of the most important things I lack is sweating Air-conditioners, fans, indoor sedentary work or all of these together almost deprive us of sweating This lack of sweating is likely to lead to blockade of our sweat glands and favor skin infections. Walking and subsequent sweating opens the pores of the sweat glands and thus promotes skin health Saline dressing, described in surgery is favorite of many surgeons Saline prevents bacterial growth. Sweat contains saline viz. sodium chloride. Sweat thus mechanically by washing and also by chemically by acting as antibacterial help to prevent bacterial skin infections. In addition to sweating, exposure to sun has the benefit of promoting vitamin D production But in addition to this thebihrubinis converted to lumirubin which is more soluble and hence this is an additional mechanism for facilitation of excretion of bilirubin The sweating may reduce the burden of excretion on kidney (This is authors unpublished hypothesis) Excess Weight can create multiple problems. These problems include wide range of illnesses ranging from skin infections to heart disease and diabetes to arthritis. Besides (overweight is usually associated with abnormal hike in expenses on food, clothes as 111 as deodorants)