Why Rain-walk is Priceless?
It was drizzling today when I woke up and when I opened my window, the fresh drizzle washed my face. I felt a sense of joy running in my veins. That feeling was mesmerizing that pushed me to think if few fresh raindrops have such great power or it’s just my mind.
It is a monsoon time in Mumbai. It has been raining persistently since beginning of August. I always wanted to cherish the memories of getting wet in my childhood, that I believe are precious for me, for my life.
I wore my rugged synthetic shorts, a white t-shirt and crocs. I really wanted to be bare foot today but then I realised, the roads won’t have flower beds for me. I pulled the door of my flat but kept the window opened as my wife decided to continue to laze in the bed. I almost ran out of the building.
Today there weren’t too many people out for morning walk. I walked in the rain and played with water on the roads. I jumped on the water, it felt awesome and to my surprise, the unknown pain I was carrying went off. I felt as if the nature is showering ample love on me and saying not to feel lonely.
The sea breeze was strong. It was difficult to hold the open umbrella. My shorts were drenched, I craved for a strong adrak-wali chai.
When I felt that all the wounds of my heart are flushed away by the rain, I went to my son’s home, on same walking track, to play with my 18 month old grandson, Sufi and have adrak-wali chai. An icing on the cake was an old song playing in neighbouring building at full blast, Rim Jhim Gire Sawan. Sung by Kishore Kumar in 1965 film Manzil.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/kAU8_00hAhs
Would you still be tempted to spend a rainy day indoors?
Grab your waterproofs – here are all the benefits of going for a mindful rain-walk.
It’s worth heading outside even if it’s wet because rain offers some very real walking benefits. Get ready to nourish your mind and body.
In Mumbai, July and August are characterised by monsoon weather and thunder showers. Day after day of drizzle can get you down, disrupting fitness regimes and hampering social plans. But the people going to work do not abstain from the office. Due to potholes on the road the traffic crawls at snake speed. But local trains and metros run jam packed. The work life goes on as usual.
However, walking in the rain helps to speed up your metabolism and has a positive effect on your physical and mental health. Raindrops also clean toxins from the atmosphere so the air you breathe is cleaner.
The next time you hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on your window pane, resist the urge to hole up indoors. Instead, grab your umbrella for a spot of rain walking. These are all the mood-boosting benefits you can expect to reap.
Once Charlie Chaplin said, ‘I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.’
Have you ever noticed the smell of rain? The smell of the ground and air when it is raining. If not, the next time you’re out in a downpour take a deep breath. That sweet, fresh, soothing scent, called petrichor (पेट्रीकोर), is seriously good for the soul.
Think of it like rainy day aromatherapy, since it provides calming and mood boosting properties.
How do I take a mindful rain-walk?
The next time you’re faced with a drizzly day, don’t feel glum. Instead, take the opportunity to practise mindful rain-walking and reap the plentiful benefits. But how do you step out into the rain with a positive outlook and wellbeing in mind? It all comes down to being truly present in the moment.
- Choosing to become fully present always begins with breathing, so bringing your awareness to your breath is the first step.
- Mouth-breathing triggers a subtle anxiety response which is very distracting, but deliberate and focused breath works wonders for clearing the mind. Before you step outside take a series of deep, steady inhales and exhales through your nose, releasing slowly and focusing totally on the process at hand.
- As you walk into the rain, continue this conscious breathing and let go of distracting thoughts. Don’t try to ignore or suppress them; instead, listen, acknowledge and then deliberately let them pass. As you let stress-filled thoughts slip away, always return to your breath and what you are doing right there, in the moment.
- Now, extend your presence to the new, wet world around you. Notice the smell of petrichor and observe how it effects your mood. Really look at your surroundings and take in the unique qualities rain brings to everything.
- Feel the droplets on your skin and listen to the meditative sound. Try to find place in your mind and body where you are accepting of everything around you, internally and externally, yet you cling to nothing. Simply exist, let go and be with the rain.
Despite the health benefits of walking in the rain, experts warn not to spend more than 15-20 minutes in wet clothes. When you’re ready to go back inside, allow yourself a little time to ease back into normality. Take a hot shower, enjoy a cup of tea or simply sit quietly in thought for a short while in a warm room. Reflect on your new experience of rainfall and the positive impact it has had on your day.