When most people think of meditation, they imagine someone sitting in lotus position in a quiet room chanting ‘Ommmmmmm.” Because meditation is an inward activity, it seems odd that one would consider a walking meditation which, of course, requires outward activity. When we do walking meditation, we are using the physical, mental, and emotional experiences of walking as the basis of developing greater awareness.
Walking meditation is a great way to incorporate meditation into our regular routines. Everyone does some walking every day; whether it’s just walking from the house to the car or walking from the car into the mall or into work. Once you have learned walking meditation, each time you walk can be used in your meditation practice. Still skeptical? Then read on for 5 reasons why you should give walking meditation a try.
1. It connects you with nature
When we walk in nature, we are mindful of the earth beneath our feet, the air flowing in and out of our lungs, the sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes that we experience as we walk. Walking meditation helps us to feel more connected to nature. And, studies have shown that connecting with nature on a regular basis can help decrease stress, anxiety and depression.
2. It makes you more mindful of your body
Many people have contempt for their bodies which makes it very difficult to feel connected to their physical selves. Walking meditation helps to establish a deeper mind/body connection which will help you embrace your body and makes you more aware of how your body moves.
Your posture, gait, and balance all tell a unique one-of-a-kind story, which gives you valuable insight into how you can move with greater ease and comfort.
3. It clears your head
Walking can naturally clear your head. Taking a walk outdoors can break you out of a mental fog or a toxic train of thought. The act of walking might be all you need to get your away from your normal scenery and shift your awareness from destructive thoughts to a more positive, universal perspective.
4. It slows you down
Slowing down is the natural result of moving mindfully and consciously. Enjoy the opportunity to not have to reach a destination. Mindful walking is about taking your time, all the time you need. Remember, it isn’t about how fast you go, but how deeply you can feel.
5. You can do it anywhere
As I mentioned in the introduction, we all do some walking every day. You don’t have to take a long hike to gain benefits from walking meditation. Even if you walk in a busy city, allow your mind to focus only on the walk and the rhythm of your footsteps. The important thing is to be alone with yourself, even if you’re not alone.
For more details read: The Benefits of Walking Meditation by Sayadaw U Silananda