Walking Meditation – Walk Away From Your Stress!
Mindful walking meditation is the perfect complement to the regimen of seated meditation – it’s “meditation in motion.” It is actually an introduction for some individuals and beginners because it is simpler to start with, and we all are familiar with this everyday experience. Walking is an excellent physical exercise and one that is often used as a way of training the mind in multiple spiritual traditions. For walking meditation, we don’t particularly need a unique setup to meditate. We can practice mindful walking meditation while studying, singing, listening to music, etc.
Guided walking meditation is more than just strolling around. Take into consideration that we are learning to be as conscious as possible: this exercise is all about being mindful of our body and physical movements as we move. Our eyes are open, and the present is implanted in the mind and body.
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Your Guide to Meditation Walking
Walking meditation has roots in Buddhism and can be used as part of the practice of mindfulness.
There are several potential advantages to the technique, and it may make you feel more grounded, calm, and serene. It also helps you create a new level of knowledge of your environments, surroundings, body, mind, and thoughts.
1) Picking a Place
Look for a spot where, without hurdles, you can slowly walk. In the beginning, it might feel a little weird, so you may consider doing walking meditation first in your own garden or backyard. Indoor practise can be a beneficial choice as you can concentrate directly on mindfulness with fewer chances to be disturbed by your environment.
If you’re going for a walk outside, find a place that needs to be quiet and without any kind of traffic, and it should preferably be flat enough so that you don’t have to worry about falling. The walking path should ideally be somewhat enclosed, so there is less interference from the surroundings, and the mind can go inner more freely. It’s also vital to feel comfortable in your surroundings. If you’re walking in a public place, be careful not to block other people’s paths.
2) Head Start
After you have the perfect spot as per your likings, start each session by anchoring yourself. As you put all of your focus into your body, take a minute to breathe deeply. Feel the ground under your feet and see how solid it is. Be mindful of the many different sensations within your body. Take a mental note of your thoughts and emotions as well.
You may now start walking but remember in walking meditation, rather than focusing on your breathing, pay attention to the rhythm of your legs and the rotation of your body as it goes forward. Simply walk in a circle or back and forth slowly and mindfully. If you’re turning around or turning a corner, pay attention to the movement of your feet, the position of your feet, and the vibrations they create.
3) Maintaining Mindfulness as You Walk
Take note of your emotions, thoughts, and moods as you experience the different physical experiences that unfold as you walk. There’s no need to make a list, evaluate, approve, or deny these mental events; just note them as they occur and return to your walking routine. When walking, strive not to be stiff or robotic. Go with the breeze by walking naturally with goodwill and an open spirit.
4) Speed and Posture
It is not a race, so you should not be in a hurry just to be done with your walking meditation. Your pace should be steady and even. It can range from slow to exceptionally slow. If your mind is agitated or your ability to focus is weak, you may stroll until you can stay in the present moment with each step. If your mind is racing or your ability to concentrate is wobbling, take it nice and slow until you can hold each step with the present moment.
Allow your arms to swing freely by your sides, or you can hold them behind your back or in front of your body around the height of your navel. Now, as you walk, your leg muscles should be relaxed, and your movement should be relaxed and comfortable. Keep your body straight, connected, and graceful as you walk. Walking with poise may sound daunting at first, but you will get the hang of it with time.
Ideally, it is advisable to do guided walking meditation for at least 10 to 15 minutes. As there is no pain from sitting or not moving, you can do it for more extended periods of time than seated meditation. But do not exhaust yourself. You can always take a break, stretch it out, stop for a moment to catch your breath.
Spend a minute or two standing still, breathing slowly, and concentrating your mind on your body before initiating your walking session.
- You may stand with your feet shoulder apart, equally spread your weight on both feet.
- Take a moment to note how secure the ground is.
- Take a few deep breaths in and out.
- Close your eyes and inspect your entire body, beginning with your feet.
- Make a mental note of any sensations, thoughts, or feelings you have, and take the time to explore them fully.
- Bring your attention to your body, noticing how it feels while becoming conscious of all the present sensations.
You are not catching a flight, and we don’t have a train journey scheduled. No one is going anywhere. Except for mastering our attention and presence, there is no other competition and anything else to achieve. Simply allow yourself to be carried away by the process.
Walking Meditation Benefits
Walking meditation is more than just taking a leisurely stroll through the park. It is usually performed at a much slower speed than usual walks, and it requires either breathing synchronization or complex concentration strategies. It seems to be more like yoga than walking.
Unlike sitting meditation, walking meditation involves keeping your eyes open, standing and shifting your body, and communicating with the outside world. Since walking meditation is better than sitting meditation because the body moves, it is more comfortable to be aware of body experiences and grounded in the present moment.
- Walking meditation is a powerful tool at your disposal. It quickly enhances our ability to focus on the daily routine activities in our everyday life and in the seated regular meditation when there are fewer sensory stimuli.
- Walking meditation can help overcome the inevitable malaise and lethargy that follows by doing long seated meditation sessions.
- The guided walking meditation also creates an incentive for the body to replenish.
- Walking meditation can be rejuvenating when we are exhausted or sluggish.
- Walking after waking up from a nap or after a long time of sitting meditation can be very useful.
- Walking meditation can be more calming than sitting meditation while you are feeling strong emotions or tension.
- If practiced regularly for a more extended period of time, walking meditation can build strength and stamina.
- Walking has a range of health and well-being advantages. It’s excellent for anxiety control, stress management, and calming down any emotional agitation.
- Walking after a meal is an excellent way to help digestion, particularly if you’re feeling bloated or stuffed. Movement assists in the digestive process into the intestinal system and can help to avoid constipation.
- If we’ve been sitting in silence for a while or if we’re feeling sleepy, mindful walking meditation keeps the circulation going.
- Movement meditation, when done in combination with sitting meditation, may offer new perspectives.
- Walking is something that most of us do every day, so it’s easy to add to our busy schedules.
- It’s important to remain active as we grow older. Regular exercise increases health and mood in older adults. Walking can help reduce blood pressure and improve functional health.
- Taking a stroll in nature whenever possible, such as a park, garden, or a spot with trees, improves your overall feelings of well-being and makes you feel more relaxed. This is what walking meditation is all about.
- Mindful walking meditation can help you achieve more insight and concentration in your thinking processes, helping you be more innovative.
- Better balance, leg and ankle strength, and coordination will all be strengthened by walking meditation.
- It is not necessary to perform an intensive workout to enjoy the advantages of exercise.
Walking can make you feel better physically by improving flexibility and reducing muscle pain. You’ll probably be more likely to relieve stress and anxiety, mainly if you walk first thing in the morning. Both of these advantages will help you relax and sleep each night peacefully by leaving you with a calm and clear mind.
- Walking meditation allows us to remember the earth that sustains us and develop gratitude.
Mindful Walking Meditation
Mindful Walking Meditation is an adaptation of traditional Buddhist walking meditation by the modern mindfulness movement. It is an open controlling practice instead of a ritual of concentration (focused attention) as it is in the Theravada tradition. In other terms, it can be said that here the watch is not immensely focused on the soles of the feet but is present to the variety of sensations and perceptions of the present moment.
Here are some tips and tricks if you want to practice mindful walking meditation;
- Pay attention to the walking experience, and keep your consciousness engaged in this experience.
- Feel the ground under your feet, your muscles moving, your body’s constant balance and rebalancing.
- Pay attention to any areas of rigidness or stiffness, or pain in your body, then slowly and consciously relax them.
- Bear in mind where you are in space. Be aware of the sounds and vibrations around you – the temperature of the air.
- Be mindful of the steps at the beginning, the middle, and the end.
- As you walk, allow your mind to travel up into each part of your body, feeling the sensations. Progressively scan all areas of your body as you walk, allowing your mind to travel up into each part of your body, feeling the sensations. Then, gradually focus on the heels, feet, skin, legs, elbows, knees, thighs, hips, pelvis, back, stomach, shoulders, arms, neck, and face.
- Become conscious of the existing physical and behavioural states. Note your emotional condition. Is this peaceful or chaotic, cloudy or centred?
To Walk it Through
Mindful Walking Meditation is simple. You just need time to cultivate the habit of staying aware of each moment.
Bring your mind to the present moment whenever you are walking. Focus on your surroundings, your breath, the sounds around you, or any bodily sensations. Tune yourself to your thoughts and observe how many of them come and go.
You can observe the difference when you’re walking to a place in a rush versus walking slowly. Learning to meditate while walking is also an art, and once you grasp that skill, you’ll consciously notice the tiny details, and your mind can find a quieter groove. Walking meditation is a fantastic way of learning to be mindful without taking out a particular time for seated meditation.