05 Sep Mindful Walking, by Kimberly Gibson, LPCC, ATR
This month at Recovery Help Now we are exploring the how and whys of meditation. This post is about Walking Meditation. Walking Meditation may be for you if you know you need some activity and movement in your life, but would also like the benefits of meditating.
Getting started is easy. Before walking, stand still with your knees slightly bent. Become aware of your posture and the weight of your body pressing down. Feel your heels pushing on the ground. Recognize the subtle movements & adjustments that your body is making in order to keep you balanced and upright.
Now, begin walking slowly. Slower than your usual pace. Be aware of your steps, focusing on how you roll from heel to toe. Breathe fully and deeply. Focus on the sensation of breathing and stepping. When your attention drifts away from your steps or your breathe, just take notice. Notice the thoughts and feelings that are distracting you. Notice without judgment and guide your awareness back to the present moment and back to your steps and to your breathe.
Try to walk for twenty minutes or so & when it is time to stop, stop in a gentle manner and take several deep breathes. Feel the Earth below your feet and recognize the moment.
Many people find mindful walking to be a nice way to start a meditation practice. The benefits can be felt right away, including connecting more deeply to one’s environment, slowing down & improving one’s ability to concentrate.