How to practice walking meditation
Walking meditation is so important to me. Most of my week is sitting down. Either in my office typing up reports or sitting in meetings. I can get very stressed with the whole thing and some weeks are worse than others. I know that walking though helps me get through it. I also know that meditation is helpful but the last thing I want to do after sitting all day is sitting some more and meditating. That is why I have started walking meditation instead.
Walking meditation, or what it is commonly known these days is mindful walking. It is the practice of walking which requires you to be aware of your environment. This is certainly different to other forms of mediation that requires you to focus say on your breathing. For me, mindful walking brings me closer to nature, to my surroundings and what is happening to my body. I’ve also found that it helps to strengthen my concentration, it makes me more aware of what is going on around me and it helps connect me to the present moment rather than rushing ahead to what is in store later or indeed tomorrow.
Walking meditation on a regular basis lays a great foundation for dealing with stress and anxiety. Practicing it on a regular basis is also great for improving your quality of sleep, enhancing your concentration,, reducing stress and anxiety and providing you with a connection to nature.
To practice walking meditation it requires you to be aware of your environment. I do this especially every Sunday and I wanted to share with you the reasons why I believe you need to practice mindful walking before sharing with you one of my Sunday walks so you can see where I go!
As already mentioned walking meditation gives you a unique set of benefits so let’s get to it and share with you my reasons why I believe you will enjoy mindful walking:
Walking meditation connects you with your surroundings
When you practice walking meditation, you are engaged with your surroundings no matter where you are. You are aware of the grass or sand under your feet, the waves on the beach, the wind rustling the trees. If there are other sounds, smells. It really is an eye opening experience.
Mindful walking allows you to connect with all these things and raises your awareness senses. This is really important as most days people walk without even reasling it and can often walk in to people and things if they are mindlessly looking at their phone!
Walking meditation helps you get out of your head
The process of walking meditation allows me to get some peace from any stress that I have been under. It also helps you break out of any mental fog you may be experiencing. This can often help you deal with any issues, to clear your head and put things in to perspective. It can also clear your head enough to help you put in to practice a to do list to deal with any issues.
Walking meditation allows you to connect with natureI just love mindful walking on the beach. it’s not that often you get a chance to connect to nature and it’s mindful walking that allows you to do that. It’s a great opportunity to look at and feel the nature all around us. You can practice mindful walking in forests, the beach, even built up areas.
It helps you tune in to your bodyWe can go round for months not recognizing the stress and strain our body holds. Mindful walking allows us to tune in to how our body feels. Mindful walking also allows us to check in with our body such as our posture, it can be a valuable insight in to if we need to sort out any issues with our health and well-being.
It helps us to slow downThe world moves so fast these days and we are expected to keep up with it. Walking meditation helps you move mindfully and consciously. Focusing on each and every step so you are aware of it. Mindful walking helps you move slowly, deliberately and measured. It’s important to embrace mindful walking.
Walking meditation helps your concentrationMindful walking can distract you with traffic, the weather, other people. All these things fight for your attention but mindful walking allows you to acknowledge them and then bring your thoughts back to the present moment to mindful walking. It is so easy for your thoughts to drift away but mindful walking will bring them back. The more you practice the better you will get.
Walking meditation allows you to be aware of your intentionWhen you practice mindful walking you continue to have a deeper understanding of your intention and it gives you a clarity to your dreams, ambitions and dreams. It allows you to get clarity and choose your route to help you become fulfilled and happy in your life.
It makes every day mindfulnessThe more you practice the more you will become mindful in other areas of your life over time. It will become part of your daily routine helping you have a deeper awareness of what is happening all around you. We walk all the time during the day so when you do practice mindfulness even if it is just for 5 minutes.
Mindful walking helps you connect to the present momentYour awareness of the present moment will continue to grow the more you practice mindful walking. It will allow you to feel more at peace and allow you to experience more of your soul.
How to Start with walking meditation
I now want to share with you my tips and tricks for how you can start your walking meditation journey: Before you start wear shoes that are comfortable but also try and have clothing on that is appropriate for the weather. Start your journey by standing still and being aware of your body, how does it feel? How is your posture? Feel the weight of your body as it touches the ground and the heels in your shoes. Keep yourself upright and balanced.
As you begin to walk bend your knees and allow yourself to feel firm on the ground. Take some deep breaths and bring your awareness to the present moment. Walk slowly, slower than your normal pace and as your heel strikes the ground be aware of what is happening as it makes contact with the ground. Breathe fully by filling your lungs with each breath. Keep your eyes straight ahead and focus softly taking in what is in your periphery vision too. Try to remain relaxed as you walk. If your attention drifts away from the awareness you have of walking and breathing, take notice of these thoughts that are entering your head without any judgment. What I mean is that it’s not a good thing, it’s not a bad thing, it just is. Then bring your mind back to the present moment and back to your mindful walking.
At the beginning you can do this for 5 minutes and extend to up to 30 minutes.
When you have reached the end of your walking meditation, allow yourself to come to a gentle stop. Again feel and listen to your surroundings before taking a few deep breaths as your mindful walking comes to an end. You are now ready to continue with what you are doing. I do hope the above benefits will help you establish a routine for walking meditation. I’d love to know what you think of mindful walking. Other posts you may be interested in: 35 Reasons to Start Walking Now How Walking can help reduce stress and anxiety
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