How To Turn Your Walk Into A Meditation
It seems like everyone has finally caught on to the benefits of meditation. Classes are being taught at local gyms. Athletes are talking about it on news shows. Teachers are using it in the classroom to calm their students.
There are good reasons for this. Meditating on a regular basis boosts physical and mental health. It lowers stress and blood pressure. It improves your breathing and heart rate. Its effects can be seen in the brain waves. The body and brain both relax. All great benefits, right?
But what happens if you just can’t get into sitting still, or you can’t spare the time? It might be time to combine meditation with another positive activity – like your daily walk.
Many people rave about how daily walks help clear their minds, so why not use that time to drop into meditation as well? After all, meditating is about being calm and present at the moment, and there’s no reason why that can only happen when you’re sitting still.
If you walk every day and want to give meditation while walking a shot, just be sure you can give it the same kind of focus you would if you were in a quiet room. Here are some basic steps to get you started.
- Choose the right walking path. If you want to meditate while walking, it’s going to be a lot easier if the route you take doesn’t require a lot of thought. You also want a walk that isn’t going to throw a lot of distractions in your way. If you’re going to do it on a treadmill, try to avoid a time when people are likely to try to talk to you. The same is true outside. Find a place where you can walk in a fairly straight line, that’s quiet, and where you don’t have to think about your safety, how you look, or who you might bump into.
- Start walking. Remember to breathe deeply while you’re doing it. After a few minutes, stop and stand still. Take a deep, cleansing breath in and then let it go. Repeat a few times, then scan your body, starting at the top of your head and moving to the bottom of your feet. Take note of how you’re feeling, without judging. Then start walking again.
- Now that you’re walking, take note of each step and what is happening around you. Think about how each step feels. Note the sounds around you. Think about how your breath feels when it enters your body, and when you breathe out. If you find yourself thinking about something else, just take note of it and then let it go.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. The point is to practice being aware and mindful, and that can happen whether you are moving or sitting still. If movement feels better to you than just sitting, you will be more likely to stick with it – and that’s the goal.
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