Take a walk on the bare side…

It is a sign of the times we live in that walking barefoot, or 'Earthing' as it is now commonly known has become an 'alternative medicine' or 'counter culture' activity. When you look back into human history, having comfortable, fully covered shoes is a relatively recent 'invention'. Having evolved from Apes; for Millennia Humans would have hunted, gathered, played and pondered in barefoot, with perhaps only basic footware  reserved for special occasions or the well off. Today I will look into some of the advantages of reverting back to our primordial selves, even if it be for 30 mins a day.

Upon deciding this topic I thought hard about whether I have walked barefoot consistently since my adulthood. Although I have spent significantly more time than most in nature in the last decade, it has always been with footware (usually cheap Chinese sandles) and apart from when at the beach I think most adults from the West would have a hard time pin pointing the last time they walked barefoot outside. So, why is this? Well the 'civilized' world, for many centuries now has becomes obsessed with comfort, and technology; and to be seen in public showing off this now accepted social norm. Walking barefoot in the West is reserved only for dirty hippies, right? So, it's no wonder it is frowned upon in modern society.

On my travels however I have noticed many locals going about their daily routine barefoot. Especially in West Africa and parts of Central Asia this seems quite common. Whether it is due to economic circumstances or a conscious understanding understanding of the benefits, I am not sure.

So what are the benefits of walking barefoot? Well firstly it should be mentioned that if you are going to walk barefoot it should be done on natural ground, whether it be dirt, grass or sand. Don't go walking around the mall or a concrete surface thinking the effect will be the same... It will still be beneficial, however one of the main advantages, if looking at it through slightly scientific eyes, is that by walking barefoot on a natural ground the contact draws electrons from the earth, which helps stabilize cortisol rhythm and creates a balanced internal bioelectrical environment, which can help with people suffering from insomnia, or any sleep/stress related issue. If we are more physically connected to Mother Nature it makes perfect sense that our biochemical reactions will be more in tune with nature itself.

Walking barefoot also increases the surface charge of red blood cells. As a result, the cells avoid clumping, which decreases blood viscosity;  High viscosity is a significant factor in heart disease. Earthing can also increase your immune system. The soles of the foot are supplied with numerous sensory receptors and nerve endings, which send positive vibes to our brain for making our immune system more powerful and prepared for attacking any foreign bodies. Apart from these maybe less obvious advantages of walking barefoot, there are the obvious advantages of improvement to  your posture, balance, the curing of any foot abnormalities; and of course just being in and around nature is always a boon for the body and soul.

So, after doing a little research on this topic I think I will definitely now adapt my daily walk to the lake by going barefoot! 🙂

A barefooted Rickshaw wallah in Calcutta, India.

http://atmavikasayoga.in #yogainmysore #atmavikasa #yogatherapyindia

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