People often ask me “what is Mindful walking and why is it becoming more popular?“
I find myself including mindful walking as an exercise in my corporate mindfulness stress management programs. I encourage people to walk mindfully as much as possible.
Have you noticed that sometimes when we walk, we get to our destination and we don’t remember the journey?
Mindful Walking allows us to be present. It teaches us to slow down and enjoy “the journey”. We can become aware of our breath, be aware of what is happening in our bodies, and especially in our feet, we can start to notice how our clothes feel on our bodies and notice and feel what is happening in our surroundings.
Mindful walking can be great for those folks who find it hard to sit and meditate.
There are many benefits from walking mindfully:
- It can reduce stress.
- It can improve your mood.
- It can boost your energy levels.
- I have noticed that it helps keep me motivated to get things done.
We feel connected with our bodies when we walk Mindfully and not so much caught up in our heads or a stream of thought. I teach my clients to feel the sensations in their bodies as they walk. This allows us to escape the “crazy thinking monkey mind” and give it a rest for when we really need to focus on something.
How do we walk mindfully?
You don’t really need a destination. Make sure you have enough time. If you can walk in nature that’s even better. Make sure you are dressed appropriately, and it is best NOT to wear headphones.
Feel your breath as it enters and exits your nose, notice how your body and mind feel.
Do you feel any tension or stiffness in your body? How does the ground feel under your feet? How do your feet feel in your shoes? What is your mood like? What sounds and sensations are there?
Try and notice the sounds and sensations without judging them. Don’t rush and walk in your own natural relaxed pace and rhythm. Enjoy the journey as you elevate your senses.
When you finish just sit quietly and simply notice how you feel.