By Regina Wheeler
Walking meditation is an activity which can be used to complement wider self-care or mindful practices. Rather than walking to a specific destination, walking meditation allows you to focus simply on the act of walking itself. For this reason, it can be a good entry point into wider meditation practices for beginners. As well as allowing you to develop focus, it also provides a range of health and wellbeing benefits.
Walking As A Form Of Meditation
Walking mediations are usually slow in pace and incorporate the breath or even a mantra. In contrast to other meditation practices, walking meditation allows you to connect more fully to the wider world around you. As you walk, your focus remains on your body’s movements and sensations.
Walking meditation allows you to develop focus by clearing your mind and allowing it to become quiet.
“Many people find that focusing on the breath and its rhythm and relationship to the pace of walking can be helpful for allowing you to focus more deeply. Alternatively, some people find that listening to instrumental, soothing music can be a helpful aid to the practice,” says Andres Martin, a blogger at Australia2write and Britstudent.
Practice It Anywhere
One of the benefits of walking meditation is that you can practice it anywhere. You can choose to trek up a hill, go for a walk through a park or even walk through the busy city. The destination is unimportant and although the setting can help you to focus and relax, the main purpose is to allow you to find some time to be alone with yourself, your mind and your breath. As you walk, try to ignore any distractions you may encounter, focusing simply on the act of walking.
The physical act of walking has a range of health benefits, including helping boost your blood flow and subsequently increasing your energy levels. A walk after a meal can also aid digestion and walking has even been found to help improve blood circulation.
Improved Sleep Quality
As walking is a form of physical exercise, it can also help to improve your overall quality of sleep.
“It can be particularly effective to do your walking meditation in the morning as you’ll be more likely to feel the positive impact of it, both mentally and physically, for the rest of the day. Not only does it help to reduce muscle stiffness, but it helps you feel calmer and less anxious, which will allow you to drift off to sleep more easily and deeply,” says Mary Purdue, a lifestyle writer at 1Day2write and Nextcoursework.
Reconnect With Nature
Taking a walk in nature has been shown to help improve wellbeing and mood, as well as to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Reconnecting with nature can provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on your problems and worries and put them into context. Whenever possible try to walk in a park, garden or woodland.
Practicing Walking Meditation
The strength of walking mediation lies partly in its simplicity. Start initially with 10 minutes each day and as your practice evolves, build it up gradually. If possible, aim to undertake your practice at the same time each day. It’s most effective if you don’t combine it with any other activity. Instead, aim to devote your full attention to the walking meditation.
Begin by following the breath. Slowly, start to widen your awareness to the rest of your body, paying particular attention to your legs and feet. Notice how they feel as you take each step.
As you continue to walk, make sure that you keep your pace slow and that you remain present and focused on each individual moment. If you notice your attention beginning to wander, use the breath to refocus. Make sure that you continuously scan your body during your walk and remain attentive to your body’s sensations throughout.
Walking meditation is a simple, but highly effective practice. It offers a range of mental and physical benefits, whilst helping you to become calmer, more focused and re-energized. Begin slowly and over time, you will find that you can engage in the practice more quickly and deeply and the benefits will become increasingly apparent.
Regina Wheeler is a well-established e-learning consultant at Write my essay and Thesis writing service. She has been involved in numerous projects across a range of topics, including management, marketing and finances. Regina also writes regularly for Originwritings.com, where much of her work can be found.