Conscious Walking

Let Cobblestones become your New Project

Lately I heard of so many people falling, with some suffering a sprained ankle, or a fractured bone. After these accidents, the fear of falling is even greater, and people become tend to become more careful and insecure in their movements.

I really have to say, that no day goes by in my practice, that I don’t hear someone complaining about the cobblestones.

It is time to talk about them? How we can actually turn our fear, hate, worry, and complaints into something that’s very positive, funny, challenging, and useful.

My favorite hobby is hiking. I especially love to do it by myself, enjoying the oneness of the nature – without being distracted, rushed, or having to talk to anyone. During my last hike, I thought about the benefits of walking on uneven ground, and how much it helps the feet, the ankles, the legs, and one’s balance of the body.

When I was a child, my father taught me how to walk and climb in difficult and dangerous areas. He always said “be sure, that you have at least with one foot steady, and a secure connection to the ground.” I was not allowed to talk (which by the way I disliked very much), which meant that I was not distracted, and was able to fully concentrate on the terrain.

Today for me, this means being centered and aware of what surrounds me, and where I’m going.

Returning to the cobblestone; as much as you dislike them – please be open to a new point of view. First I suggest changing your perception from cobblestones as a problem, to cobblestones as your new project.

As you know, when we evolve consciously, we learn how to look for something positive, in everything that seems to be negative.

Much has been expressed in poetry and literature about cobblestones. They contribute to the picturesque scenery, they slow down the speed of water, after a heavy rainfall, or they allow us to cross the flooded streets by stepping just on the big outstanding ones.

Again, I want you to see them being used as an exercise tool, something that gives you an opportunity to learn (it helps the brain), and train your body.

Choose a cobblestone street in your neighborhood, maybe 10 m or 100 m (depending on your feet/ankle condition), and then begin to practice “conscious walking” on them. Do it alone, and definitively not with a dog! The only purpose is to walk, to feel how your foot becomes unstable, and how the uneven ground challenges your balance, etc.

Each step you take, you’ll take with awareness, feeling how the ankle adapts, and adjusts to the different shapes, heights, and angles of the stones. Lift your foot with the front part up. People stumble if the toes are not lifted high enough! Touch the cobblestone with the heel and feel the foot adapt to the surface as it goes down.

Do it slowly, and practice it every day as an exercise. Your ligaments and tendons will become stronger and more flexible, your brain will be involved, and it helps you with better balance.

At the beginning of this project, wear good shoes. Later, if you feel more comfortable, wear softer and lighter shoes, which serve almost as a little foot massage.

By the way, studies have shown that exercising on imitations of cobblestone mats in gyms helps with circulation, and brings our blood pressure down.

As I wrote in an earlier article, we are not designed for our modern life. We are a sitting society, and we pay a high price for that. Falling can happen to anyone, but many of the accidents can be avoided, if we just walk consciously, and learn to adjust to the unpredictable holes and stones of our streets.

Barbara Rotthaler, German certified Health Practitioner and Naturopath can be reached at 01-376 766 1987 or email:

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