Participants expressed their appreciation in learning about different health modalities. Marcus Penn M.D. led participants in poses that strengthened the core and improved balance and flexibility. The poses reflected the natural environment (such as tree pose, eagle pose, downward dog).
Participants greeted each other in several languages that included English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Swahili, French, Tagalog, and Taiwanese. The parents were especially pleased because their children were becoming more curious about learning something new from other cultures. Linda Lee, a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor and acupuncturist led participants in meridian tapping to stimulate the immune and lymphatic systems. She also discussed nutrition, herbs and healthy lifestyle.
The participants represent several ethnic groups in the Bay area. During the walk, they had opportunities to interact with members from different cultures. Many said that they have never spoken (beyond a few words), walked, danced Zumba, or shared bread with a person from another culture.
Comment shared by participant: “I go to the neighborhood Korean store to buy fruits and seaweed packages, but I never speak to the clerks.” Now they look forward to these multicultural walks to continue to meet, converse and share across cultures.
Participants learnt about the history, ecology, wildlife and habitats in the settings ranging from shoreline to ridge-top. Many of adult participants have since returned on their own with their children and friends to walk the same route. They are keen to experience the park at different times of the day and season, as well as, to solidify their confidence in identifying, recognizing and hiking the trails, especially in parks with large tracts of land and wooded areas.
During this walk, participants enjoyed Yoga, laughter yoga, naturalists’ explanations, and healthy snacks.