When we think of meditation, what comes to mind is sitting alone in a quiet room, with meditation music in the background, or perhaps chanting “om.” But there are different types of meditation, and walking meditation will engage not only your mental and emotional being, but your physical being as well. When you practice walking meditation, you become more aware of your surroundings, while engaging in a healthful, physical activity. We all walk every day, such as walking the dog, and you could use this time to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts, and gain positive clarity.
What are the advantages of a walking meditation?
You are connected to nature: Walking in nature fosters mindfulness of the earth beneath your feet, the air that you breathe, the gentle breeze in your hair, the smell of flowers, and the sounds of birds, water, and the wind rustling through the leaves.
The awareness of everything natural around you connects you with all of them. Studies have shown that a connection with nature is one way to reduce stress, and other harmful emotions, keeping you mentally, emotionally and physically healthy.
You are connected to your body: Some people are not comfortable within their own bodies, they feel as if their body is a burden that must carried throughout life. This can make it difficult to connect with one’s Self. When you do a walking meditation, you can slowly establish a relationship with your body. The process can make you aware of your body’s movements; your gait, you posture, and balance, and teaches how you to move with ease and comfort.
You are connected with your mind: Stress from work or having too much responsibility, can overwhelm your mind, clouding your thinking, making you prone to negative thoughts. But when you walk outside, it puts you in a different world. As a physical exercise, walking helps your body to release endorphins, the brain chemical that triggers positive feelings. After a long walk, you will have cleared your mind, and your thinking may shift to more positive thoughts.
You are connected to your natural pace: When you move consciously and mindfully, your pace will slow down. A walking meditation is not done a brisk walk, it is taking your time, and establishing an awareness with your surroundings.
A walking meditation is not the distance you have you covered, but how deeply you feel. Slowing your pace also can clear your mind, making you focus on the things that matter.
You can do it wherever you are: Walking in nature can give you a great benefit, but when circumstances wouldn’t allow you to be out in nature, simply take a walk wherever you are. Walk around your neighborhood, with your mind focused on your breath, and the rhythm of your footsteps. Walk along the hallway at work or school. The key is to focus on your breath, while walking alone. Do it for yourself, and the positivity it brings will not only benefit you, but everyone you come in contact with as well.