My yoga teacher taught me, nearly twenty years ago, to thank my feet, my legs, each and every part of my body while in shava asana. I do this everyday, more on days when my body hurts. On such days I complete my pranayama and stretch in shava asana. I stay with my feet, anchoring it in mindfulness and love. It does not decrease the pain, but it brings me closer to my hurting feet. I tend to complain of things that are outside me. I complain of a headache, stomach ache as I see the pain as different from me. This simple practice makes me come close to my pain.
Many years ago I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s ‘The Long Road Turns To Joy: A Guide To Walking Meditation’ .
In our daily life, our steps are burdened with anxieties and fears. Life itself seems to be a continuous chain of insecure feelings, and so our steps lose their natural easiness.
Our earth is truly beautiful. There is so much graceful, natural scenery along paths and roads around the earth! Do you know how many dirt lanes there are, lined with bamboo, or winding around scented rice fields? Do you know how many forest paths there are, paved with colorful leaves, offering cool and shade? They are all available to us, yet we cannot enjoy them because our hearts are not trouble-free, and our steps are not at ease. Walking meditation is learning to walk again with ease.
In my terrace among pots of plants I practice walking meditation every evening. When I place my feet on earth with so much love, remain mindful of the earth under my feet, I appreciate the beauty of my feet that can make this miracle happen. I thank my feet from the bottom of my heart.