28-year-old Hemraj Burana will be walking barefoot throughout the marathon to create awareness on the benefits of the age-old tradition of walking barefoot which is unfortunately forgotten today. He feels that walking barefoot is a form of meditation and practicing this will help one achieve their goals faster.
How did you first hear about Trailwalker and when did you walk your first walkathon?
I heard about this from office mates who were extremely excited and pumped about the walkathon and they asked me to join the group. I have participated in Oxfam Trailwalker last year as well and had a great experience.
How long have you been walking barefoot? What is the reason behind it?
From the past five to six years I have been walking barefoot because I believe in our traditions of improving overall health, strength and cosmic powers by following the steps told to us by our ancient Indian rishis and gurus. These include regularly doing yoga (meditation), dyaan, and these things along with walking barefoot contribute to unlimited energy. For me, this is the key to a healthy, peaceful and forever energetic life, where you never old. By walking barefoot, your body gets in touch with cosmic energy present in the ground, which is really important for our bodies to survive and heal them inside out. And most importantly it heals your inner soul and makes it pure, peaceful and takes away all the negativity. It pushes us to achieve the ultimate goal in life which moksha which makes us invincible in this universe.
What are some of the difficulties you have had to face in walking uneven trails barefoot?
I think there were no difficulties as such except for constantly walking on hot asphalt roads which gave me blisters. Apart from that pain, it was fun.
How old are you and what do you do professionally?
I am 29 and I am an artist in Technicolor.
Tell us a little about your team for the Trailwalker and your support crew.
To be honest my team took it easy on track which led to only two of us finishing 100 km. Our biggest plus point was our support crew which was very proactive and supportive.
What kind of training have you been doing for the walkathon? Do you always practice barefoot?
While practice makes a man perfect, for me this didn't demand much, because walking barefoot has been a daily activity for me. Plus, in Trailwalker one just doesn't need physical fitness but mental fitness is indeed required.