If you would like to see how you can combine stretching and meditation, then Walking Meditation is for you. Whether you are new to meditation or practice meditation regularly, this simple practice is something that you can make part of your daily routine to Pause, Focus & Recharge!
Mindful walking is an excellent way to clear your mind of clutter and help you focus. We know from many studies that even a few minutes of taking a break and being in nature can have a rejuvenating effect on the brain and help you reduce stress and anxiety.
So, what is walking meditation?
Meditation does not have to be only in a formal sitting posture. Ultimately, everything we do is an opportunity to practice and be in a meditative state of awareness. Be present!
“Mind Your Steps” Mindfulness Meditation
To practice walking meditation, start by finding about 10 to 15 feet of space. You can walk inside your home, outside in your yard, or anywhere you can access enough distance.
- Stand still for a moment and close the eyes.
- Feel your breath and your entire body from head to feet.
- Open the eyes. Choose which leg will be stepping first.
- As you lift the foot, feel the bottom of the foot lose contact with the ground.
- Moving it forward, observe the sensation of the foot coming back into contact with the ground. Lift the other foot and attend to the experience with the same awareness.
- Like any other meditation, when the mind wanders, simply come back to the feeling in the feet.
- Walk 10 or 15 feet, and mindfully turn around.
- As you turn, notice how the hips, legs, and torso adjust to turn the body.
- When you are done, stand still for a few moments.
- As you come back into daily life, bring back the calmness and focus.
Try to find your own pace – walking slowly, perhaps taking a step with a breath in and the next with a breath out.
Or, you can walk faster and instead incorporate a simple verbal practice, similar to a mantra.
- As you lift the foot, think (or say), “Lift.”
- As you move the foot forward, think, “Move.”
- As you place the foot down, think, “Place.”
“People usually consider walking on water
or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh