Wednesday, May 16, 2012

EXERCISE: Walking Meditation

I am reposting this entry straight from Walgreen's "Walk with Walgreen's" site. It seems to be sound advice!

Walking meditation is an active form of meditation which is done while in motion rather than while seated. It's easy to do and is a great way to find calm and relaxation anywhere you go. In walking meditation, the experience of walking becomes the main focus; becoming mindful of the experience while walking can lead to greater awareness and an overall sense of wellbeing.

Here’s How To Do A Walking Meditation:
  1. Dedicate a specific time to practice walking meditation. Once you are more familiar with it, you will be able to practice meditating even during normal walking, but in the beginning it's good to set aside a time devoted to the experience.
  2. Have no destination in mind, walk just to walk. You'll want to focus on the walk itself, not on any particular place you want to go. When you have a set destination, your mind will be preoccupied with getting to that place and the walk itself will no longer be the focus. For now, think of the journey as the destination! This new way of thinking will help you to be present in the moment rather than always thinking about the future.
  3. Pace your breathing with your steps. Take one step as you inhale, take another step as you exhale. Don't focus your eyes or thoughts on anything in particular. When thoughts about anything other than your walking come to mind, you can acknowledge them but make it a point to let them go, and bring your mind back to the actions of your body; your steps, your breathing, etc... Keep the pace and your breathing slow and relaxed.
  4. Try to live in the moment. Focus on what you are experiencing right now, not the past or the future. If your mind begins to wanders, let those thoughts pass, and then bring your attention back to the present, to your breath.
  5. When you are more comfortable with it, you can begin to incorporate this practice into your daily life - taking three or four slow, mindful steps whenever you remember to. Notice how this changes the quality of your day. At first it might feel difficult or strange, but it gets easier and feels more natural with practice, and the benefits will be obvious!

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