When was the last time you walked bare foot, on the grass or on the sand? Do you remember how did it feel? Did you feel more connected to the Earth or, did it just feel comfortable. Soft and warm on your feet with a quite liberating feeling spreading all of the toes across the surface. ( which we don’t get to do normally as our shoes can be tight ). As we are moving into more warmer days, maybe is a good time to explore more of that… more time without shoes.
Barefoot walking known as Earthing or Grounding
Over the past few year, I’ve witnessed a growing interest in reconnecting with nature, and one such way to achieve this is by walking barefoot on the earth. Known as “earthing” or “grounding,” this practice is more than just a fad; it offers tangible health and wellbeing benefits that are backed by scientific research. There are some physiological and psychological benefits of walking barefoot.
The earth’s surface is brimming with free electrons that can be absorbed through direct contact with the skin. These electrons have antioxidant properties that help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation, thereby improving overall health. When you walk barefoot, you create a direct connection with the earth, allowing your body to absorb these beneficial electrons.
Embracing the Earth: Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Barefoot Walking
Barefoot walking has number of health benefits and here are few:
Reduced Inflammation and Pain
Studies have shown that walking barefoot can help reduce inflammation and chronic pain, as the free electrons absorbed from the earth help neutralize free radicals and decrease oxidative stress. This effect can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other chronic pain disorders.
Grounding has been found to help regulate cortisol levels, a hormone closely linked to our sleep-wake cycle. By walking barefoot, you can help balance your cortisol levels and improve your sleep quality, leading to increased energy and better overall wellbeing.
Stress Relief and Emotional Balance
Connecting with nature has long been associated with stress reduction and improved mental health. Walking barefoot can help create a sense of calm and tranquility, allowing you to release pent-up stress and anxiety. The physical sensations of the earth beneath your feet can also help ground you in the present moment, promoting mindfulness and emotional balance.
Enhanced Immune Function
By reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, grounding can help boost your immune system, making you more resilient to illness and infection.
Improved Posture and Balance
Walking barefoot can help strengthen the muscles in your feet and improve your proprioception, or the awareness of your body’s position and movement. This can lead to better balance, improved posture, and a reduced risk of falls and injuries. ( And, that’s why we practice yoga barefoot so we can spread those toes wide and, create better balance and posture. )
Tips for Incorporating Barefoot Walking into Your Life
If you’re new to walking barefoot, begin by incorporating short walks on soft, natural surfaces like grass or sand. Gradually increase the distance and time spent walking as your feet become accustomed to the sensation.
Choose Safe Ground
Be mindful of the terrain you walk on to avoid potential injury from sharp objects or hazardous substances. Opt for well-maintained parks, beaches, or nature trails for a safer and more enjoyable experience.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Listen to your body’s cues and adjust your walking pace and duration accordingly. If you experience discomfort or pain, take a break and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary.
Make it a Habit
Incorporate barefoot walking into your daily routine, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Regular practice will help you reap the full range of benefits associated with earthing.
Walking barefoot on the earth provides a simple yet powerful way to reconnect with nature and improve your health and wellbeing. By incorporating this practice into your daily life, you can experience reduced inflammation, improved sleep, stress relief, and a myriad of other benefits. So kick off your shoes and embrace the earth – your body, mind, and soul will thank you!
So stay tuned, as Yoga in Nature is coming up ( end of May ) and, we can incorporate barefoot walking before hand too… Meantime, come and spread your toes and connect to your feet, your body in yoga practice with me. If you like a gentle to start with, Sunday morning gentle yoga is the one to begin. Here is the class schedule, explore classes and book yourself here.
Have a fun and be safe barefoot walking. Till next time…
From a barefoot enthusiast,