If finding time for a yoga class is a fantasy on a par with having a child who loves brussels sprouts, try yogic walking. By striding to the rhythm of your breathing, you can get the benefits of relaxation, mental clarity, and energy — without striking a pose.
When you’re outdoors
With each step, swing your right arm forward as your left leg steps out, and vice versa. Inhale and exhale once with every three or five steps. Keep up a brisk pace for 20 minutes or more.
Benefits: Coordinating arms and legs improves focus by encouraging the right and left sides of your brain to work together, says Garrett Sarley, president of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA. And walking’s a cardio workout.
Kid-friendly twist: Tote your baby in a front or back carrier so your arms are free to swing.
When you’re inside
Clear a circular path in any room. With your back straight, gaze down at your feet. Begin walking very slowly, focusing on each foot as it shifts from heel to toe. Continue walking the circle in this manner for about ten minutes.
Benefits: Slowing down relaxes your mind and body, and the meditative quality of this walk may even help you sleep more soundly.
Kid-friendly twist: Have your child trail you or lead the way if he’s old enough to follow directions. Tell him it’s a contest to see who can go the slowest.