We know that walking and being in the moment are good for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Both novices and seasoned meditators will find the practice of walking meditation to be an easy way to integrate the two practices. Let’s learn how to practice meditative walking.
Walking meditation is a mild type of exercise that helps to offset the negative effects of our predominantly sedentary lifestyles by promoting mobility, digestion, heart health, and a host of other benefits.
By practicing present-moment awareness, one can improve their mood, reduce stress and anxiety, feel more connected to other people and their surroundings, and feel more at peace and well-being overall.
Walking meditation is a wonderfully pleasant and convenient technique to practice mindfulness if you find sitting meditation too difficult.
What is Walking Meditation?
Walking meditation is a technique that combines mindfulness meditation with slow, purposeful walking along a pre-planned path in a quiet area where you won’t be bothered.
You may simply pay attention to bodily sensations as you go, one step at a time, down your chosen path while preserving your consciousness in the present moment by using the physical motion of walking as an anchor or focus for your meditation.
Walking meditation is an additional kind of meditation practice that is particularly helpful after sitting for extended periods of time.
Walking in such a manner that we realize we are walking and it is a crucial mindfulness practice in and of itself. It was necessary for developing a deeper connection with the environment.
But, you don’t have to hold any particular beliefs to use walking as meditation. Even higher physical and mental advantages than walking or meditating alone can be obtained by developing your mindfulness abilities through mindful walking or walking meditation.
Walking Meditation Benefits
- Enhances balance
- Improve your sleep
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Aid in the management of mild to moderate depression
- Quell ruminating that drives emotional turmoil
- Promotes a general feeling of tranquility and well-being
- Enhances circulation and fat reduction as a mild kind of exercise.
- The attitude and outlook can be significantly elevated by a nature stroll meditation
- Encourages the growth of attention and focus as a mindfulness exercise
- Calm your mind and release some of that restless energy when you’re too anxious to sit and meditate
How to do walking meditation
- Go to your selected spot and give yourself a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Take a few cleansing, deep breaths and feel your feet firmly planted.
- Choose a hand position for yourself. There are three typical positions: freely hanging at your sides, held in front of you at your navel with one hand, and the other hand covering the loose fist.
- Look downward approximately six feet in front of you while softening your eyes.
- Start by taking slightly smaller steps and walking at about half the typical speed. The objective is to significantly slow down walking, which is often automatic.
- Start to become more conscious of your body. Start by paying attention to your breathing. Is the air entering your nose chilly, warm, sharp, or soft? While the air fills you, take note of any expansion in your body. See how your body unwinds when you let out your breath.
- Keep moving toward your body. Take note of your shoulders’ placement and the posture of your head relative to your spine. How do you feel in your hands? Just look about these areas with curiosity, letting your consciousness linger there briefly.
- Start focusing on how your body feels when walking: the right leg’s engagement as it lifts and goes through stepping; the right foot’s press into the ground (heel, midfoot, ball, toes); the left leg’s engagement as it lifts and moves via stepping; the press of the left foot into the earth.
- If you get to the end of your route, acknowledge it, take a moment to breathe, and then start gently walking in the other direction while still in meditation.
- Awaken your senses to the sensations triggered by your surroundings, such as noises you hear, the feel of touch on your skin, or a color that appears in your soft field of vision. Try to keep many sensations in your consciousness at once, such as the earth beneath your feet, a soft breeze on your face, and the sound of dogs barking nearby.
- Simply acknowledge it when it does so and gently nudge it to return to one of your anchors.
- During the duration of the meditation, keep walking down your route. When you’re ready to stop, return your focus to your entire body as you are standing, pay attention to how you feel, take a deep breath, glance around, and carry on with your day.
Try it for yourself, and you’ll find inner peace then.