If you’re someone who’s very into traditional meditation, then chances are you’re going to love the new kind of meditation I recently discovered. Maybe you’ve been doing it for years, but it’s semi-new to me and I’m completely obsessed. It’s called walking meditation. Ever heard of it?
It’s basically what it sounds like but very intentional. When I first read about it, I thought, well, I already do some walking and I already meditate (love the Calm app’s bedtime stories to help with my sleep anxiety), so why not combine the two and see what happens? Here’s how you can give it a try and why it’s useful.
How to walking meditations
First, you want somewhere kind of private because you won’t want any distractions. You also may not want anyone to see you because they might wonder what the hell you’re doing. You’ll see why I say this later on. Maybe a backyard or a remote corner of a park. You don’t need a ton of space, so you could even do it in your house if you want. Personally I prefer the outdoors – it just makes me feel a little more at peace.
Next, you’ll start your walking meditation by taking 10-15 steps. Once you’ve taken those steps, you’ll stop and take a few deep breaths. No need to rush at this point. Sometimes I’ll stand and breathe for a few minutes before I turn and take the next 10-15 steps.
As you walk, try to notice small things like raising your feet and then setting them on the ground again as you take every step. In the guide I read, it also mentions finding gratitude while you’re walking for things you’d normally take for granted. Things like the air coming in and out of your lungs or your ability to walk. Truly try to give yourself space to feel all those small things and every breath you take.
You’ll do this for about 10 minutes – walking, feeling all your movements and stopping to breathe.
Why it’s useful
Walking meditations are still new to me, but I try to do them a few times a week. It’s not as easy as it sounds because your mind inevitably wanders and it can be challenging to bring it back to focusing on your steps and breathing, but I love it because it’s training me to be more mindful. Studies have shown that learning to be mindful can actually reduce stress and anxiety in everyday life, which sounds pretty great to me.
Interesting, right? I think so! Have you given walking meditations a try? If so, let me know what your experience was like!