6) Best foot forward
Walking can be used as a meditation practice in itself and is a great way to complement your seated practice. Because you are moving, you are able to tune into sensations in your body as they arise, bringing you into the present moment.
There are many ways to approach walking meditation. You may choose to coordinate your movement with the breath or concentrate on the placement of your steps. In all cases the key is to be engaged in walking as a process, rather than as a means to getting somewhere.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Before you begin, spend a moment grounding yourself by taking a couple of deep breaths, bringing your focus into your body.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and feel your weight evenly balanced on both feet, noting any sensations in your body.
Begin to walk. Be natural and relaxed but keep your pace a little slower than you usually would. With each step, pay attention to the sensation of lifting your foot, then leg, off the ground. Then mindfully placing it back down. Feeling each step as you go.
After a few paces, pause, take a couple of easy, deep breaths to centre yourself, then slowly turn around and begin to walk back again, always paying attention to each step.
Perhaps experiment a little with the speed, or direction, seeing what works best for you in staying in the present moment.
When you are finished, take a moment to rest, notice your breathing and any sensations in the body.
As you get used to being present with walking as a meditation practice in itself, you can bring this focus into your daily life.
We explore mindful walking in more detail during the 8-week courses I teach. Sign up now to book your place.
Image courtesy of Tamara-Menzi at https://unsplash.com/