Many of us want to bring spirituality into our lives but don't know where to begin. Or we think we have to sit still in silent meditation for an hour each day in order to be “spiritual.” Maybe you are you one of those who think yoga is a waste of time….with your crazy work schedule, you don’t have much time to exercise and so you feel like you need to get the most “bang for your buck” and yoga just doesn’t cut it for you.
Did you know that, walking is a great way to integrate mindfulness into your everyday life and has been used as a meditation practice for thousands of years?
So next time you are out for a stroll, focus on your feet touching the ground, the breeze on your face, the rhythm of your walk and the sounds surrounding you.
All you have to do is walk. Walk, and focus on the action of walking. If you need a specific focus to get you going, think, "I'm walking". Or, "Walk....walk....walk....", even humming the same few bars of a song might work for you.
There are two types of walking meditation; formal and informal.
In formal Walking Meditation you typically walk back and forth in a lane or around in a loop. This keeps your mind from having to navigate a specific route.
If you find the formal meditation challenging you may also try informal walking meditation, which is walking mindfully on the street, at work, or out in nature. Do what comes most naturally to you for ultimately it’s just a way to come back to our most fluent, relaxed, and empty state of mind.
Things to remember:
- Try to keep your eyes cast downward without looking at anything in particular.
- Notice each step as it comes and be fully present with it.
- Feel the sensations of walking in your feet, legs, hips, arms, and shoulders.
- When your thoughts, feelings, and sensations distract you from the present moment, come back to noticing your step and your breath.
Adapted from Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.