Most people associate meditation with sitting and stillness, but you can meditate while moving around.
Meditating while moving usually involves something simple and repetitive so you can somewhat lose yourself and find stillness inside.
Walking is a healthy habit that is not only good for your body but your mind too. It’s fairly easy to begin a walking meditation. It can be done pretty much anywhere: outdoors in nature, a large room, a hallway, or a city street.
Mindful walking is meditation on-the-go. You become aware of how your body moves, what’s happening around you, listening to people or objects, and your breathing. It’s a way to practice moving without goal or intention.
Below is a walking exercise to try. Ideally, plan for 30 minutes if you can.
- Prepare: Find somewhere safe to walk and dress comfortably. Stand still while becoming aware of how you feel. Now take a few deep breaths and focus on the present.
- As you begin, walk at a natural pace. Pay attention to your body, such as the rise and fall of your footsteps, the feel of your feet hitting the ground, or your muscles in your legs. Breathe easily but deeply.
- Take in your surroundings. Notice the sounds around you whether they be people or objects. Absorb all of the colors with sustained awareness. Feel the air on your skin and the smells you are experiencing. Bring attention to these sensations that you normally take for granted.
- Keep an open awareness of everything around you, wherever you are. There is nothing to do, fix, or change.
- Now come back to the physical sensation of walking.
It is normal for your mind to wander. Whenever you start to feel your thoughts drifting away, gently guide them back.
The journey is less about the destination and more about bringing awareness to this everyday activity. Consider how you can bring this type of awareness to the rest of your day.
“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” -Henry Ward Beecher