Mindful Walking - Simple Steps for Walking Meditation
Give these simple but effective steps below a go for mindful walking.
If you're like most people you pretty much do some walking during the day, whether that be popping to the shop, commuting to work or even walking the dog. Mindful walking is a new way of meditating and can give you a different perspective compared to the normal meditation.
Every time you head out for a walk, walking meditation allows us to become aware and become less distracted. It's amazing how different you feel when you practice mindful walking because it familiarises you with the present moment.
In most cases, people start with standard sitting meditation, but if you're new to mindfulness that doesn't mean that you cannot start with walking meditation. Instead of focusing on the breath, as we would normally do whilst practising sitting meditation, we would focus and become aware of our walking rhythm.
Check out below some simple steps you can follow to give mindful walking a go!
Do a Quick Body check
As you begin to walk, become aware of how your body feels. Are you feeling tight or stiff? Notice your posture and the way you’re carrying yourself, are you slouching or are you walking up straight?
Observe your surroundings
Try not to change the way you're walking, just simply observe and notice your surroundings and start to bring your focus to it. The idea here is to become aware of your surroundings and then to simply, come back each time to the meditative state whilst staying natural.
Listen to the sounds
Whilst you're walking focus your attention to the sounds around you, the loud and the small. If you're walking in the city you there will be many sounds but notice which ones you focus on. Don't get too caught up in finding the sounds pleasing or unpleasing. Notice the sounds and move on.
Focus on the smells
Switch your focus to any smells, whether pleasing or unpleasing. Notice how you start to create a story within your mind about each smell you notice, the feelings you get from each smell and how they remind you of a past situation.
Focus on the physical
Turn your focus to notice any physical sensations. This could be how the weather is making you feel hot and sweaty, or how the rain is hitting your arms as you walk. Again, simply notice these sensations and let them go, without having to think about them.
Focus on your movement
Bring your attention to how your arms hang or swing as you walk, how your shoulders slouch or how your legs walk one by one, shifting from right to left one step at a time. Examine your pace and the beat you’ve become used to.
Use that beat and become more mindful as your feet start to touch the concrete. Repeat these steps throughout your walk.
When coming to the end of your walk, notice your feet touching the ground again and how the body moves with each step.
Finally, when you’re ready to finish your walking meditation, pause and consider how you could bring this kind of mindfulness into the rest of your day or afternoon.
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