LEARNING AFGHAN WALKING
by Sylvie Alice Royer, founder of MAQ, author «La marche afghane pour tous», Thierry Souccar Editions, 2018
"Here is a clear and precise book which is not only an introduction to the practice and the benefits of the breathing exercises of the Afghan March, but which uses this method of rhythmic breathing as a complement when working on the different chakras or when meditating on the inner smile. Sylvie Alice Royer succeeds, thanks to her use of the Afghan march and her personal approach, to make us reach a revitalization and a complete regeneration in order to keep our capital healthy".
Corinne Stiegler, daughter of the creator of the Afghan March Édouard G. Stiegler (2014)
This educational book has been designed to accompany anyone who wants to learn Afghan walking as simply and effectively as possible. It is not a substitute for the support of an instructor who can best develop the data and validate the implementation of the lessons. However, you will find the information you need for a good theoretical understanding of the Afghan march. You will also find some basic tips on some personal hygiene approaches related to higher oxygenation.
This document is divided into four parts, as proposed in the teaching of MAQ. For a better understanding of the subject, we invite you, possibly after your workshop, to follow a similar mode of progressive integration, that is from one week to the next, ideally over a period of one month.
KNOW THE AFGHAN MARCH
Édouard G. Stiegler
The concept of the Afghan march was developed in the early 80s by Édouard G. Stiegler. He was already interested in the impact of breathing on health as an advanced practitioner of Dr. Hanish's breathing exercises. During an economic mission in Afghanistan, he had the opportunity to observe caravans and was interested in their physical endurance. Indeed, these caravans sometimes traveled hundreds of miles in one stroke, stopping only to sleep for a few hours. By mid-October, as the temperature was cold, he could observe the breathing of these nomads thanks to the formation of water vapors during the expiration. He then wondered whether their secret was not in the synchronization of steps and breath. He therefore experimented with various breathing rhythms associated with walking. Convinced of his results, he shared them with his friends who found the relevant effects. He soon systematized his observations and experiments in a walking technique he called "Afghan walking". He disseminated it through his book "Regeneration by the Afghan March". Stiegler’s work is particularly well known in Europe, where active walking is appreciated and practiced by a large number of people.
"The breathing rhythms I collected are similar to the tradition reported by Hanish. I tried them on all sorts of routes, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, on flat, uphill, descending paths, at various altitudes, as I had seen done by the nomads I had observed. [...] The results obtained at the physical, mental, spiritual and nervous levels have been so convincing, have enabled so many new followers elsewhere to regain increased vitality, restorative sleep, new resistance, bodily well-being and inner peace. ”
Excerpt "Regeneration by the Afghan March" Édouard G. Stiegler, Edition Guy Tédaniel
Corinne Stiegler continues the work of transmitting his father's teachings, notably through publication. Highlight his box "Regeneration by the Afghan March" and his website www.marcheafghane.fr. In France, the teaching of the Afghan walk benefits on the ground from the contribution of Marie-Laure Le Clézio, sophrologist and designated reference of the Stiegler family.
The teaching of the Afghan march has benefited from the contributions of different actors, mainly in the French-speaking countries of Europe. An approach often adapted to mountain walking. In this regard, let us underline the important contribution of Danilo Zanin, who died in 2019, author of the book "I walk therefore I am" at Editions Mango.
"Afghan walking can be done anywhere, but it is obvious that the clean air of the countryside or mountains is better than that of the cities. However, I know many city dwellers who have left their cars for the Afghan march and tell me all the benefits. ”
Daniel Zanin, mountain instructor
The Afghan March in Quebec
Sylvie Alice Royer, who founded the Québec reference platform for teaching Afghan walking in 2014, Marche afghane Québec, is working with a team of instructors throughout Québec to help develop and spread the word. In addition to offering a comprehensive teaching on the technique and spirit of Afghan walking, MAQ offers as part of its teaching health capsules related to higher oxygenation.
After more than 30 years of practice, Sylvie Alice has developed a sensitive understanding of the potential of the Afghan march, which she readily refers to as "benevolent march". His book "La marche afghane pour tous" published in 2018 Éditions Thierry Souccar participates, in Quebec and in Europe, in the vitalization of the practice. Sylvie Alice teaches Afghan walking, trains instructors and organizes Afghan walking trips abroad in the wild, especially in the desert and jungle.
The Afghan march is based on the principle of coordination of breathing to the rhythm of the steps. Breathing is done through the nose. Various rhythms are offered depending on the objectives of the walker and the different types of terrain. Easy and within reach, Afghan walking brings many physical and mental benefits through deep rhythmic breathing. Whether it is for a health practice, a sports objective or several days of hikes, Afghan walking is an effective tool.
Afghan walking is not a technique, it is a daily way of life that engages the main driving forces of the body: lungs, heart, muscles, brain. Walking is not a gesture, it is an innate relationship with the body and its environment. A state of the living human. That’s why walking engages the person in his or her own nature.To walk is to affirm one’s Being. When conscious breathing is associated with walking, we can say that we are connected to both heaven by breath and to earth by the will of our step. I gladly say to the people who follow my workshops that with the Afghan march, you "walk Afghan", you walk proud. In motion, the body finds its axis. He's self-righting. Belly and legs naturally tend their muscles. The thorax opens, confident; the heart vibrates with the environment. We are present, unified. It is the art of walking towards oneself.
What fundamentally distinguishes Afghan walking from standard walking is synchronized breathing in steps. Respiratory consciousness, combined with deep nasal breathing, allows for a greater supply of oxygen from which flows a natural overoxygenation. Afghan Walking allows to obtain all the benefits of walking, with an intensified ratio thanks to a higher oxygenation.