Walking Meditation: What do I do?

I’m writing this as an accessory to my recent guided walking meditation here on my YouTube Channel. Perhaps you weren’t sure if your New Years Resolution should be a mindfulness practice or exercise. Well now you can have both!

Like most forms of meditation, it’s simple: pay attention to walking. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. 10 steps in and I have already forgotten that I’m supposed to be meditating and I’m obsessing about something someone said to me in Grade 4, or thinking about what I want for dinner.

So here are some techniques to help you out…

Observe your breathing. Sounds familiar, right? Notice how the breath moves and evolves in response to going for a walk. Vary the speed of your walk and see how the breath changes. As always, open curiosity and a non-judgmental attitude are key.

Observe your physical walking movements. What is your natural speed? Posture? Arm swing? Are you heavy-footed or light?

Walk in sloooowwwww motionnnnn. Slow your walk right down so you can focus on all the fine details of planting the heel, rolling through the foot and pushing off the toes.

Open your 5 senses to take in the world around you. A listening meditation is another style of meditation that can be applied here. See how many sounds you can absorb. Notice that you have no power over them and may be unable to identify the source of the sounds.
Take in all that you can see. Notice details you have never noticed before. There is no need to look for beauty or appreciate what is seen, just let your eyes take it in.
Take a Scent Tour. Breathe deeply and see what you can smell. Notice your reaction to the smells.
Taste? I don’t know about this one. Play with it and see what happens.
Proprioception is your sense of where you are in time and space. You could try a walking meditation in which you change which way your head is pointed or close your eyes. I would suggest doing it with a buddy and having them be your “eyes” for safety sake. Then you can focus all your attention on the meditation and they focus all of their attention on you! It’s a great one to try indoors on a rainy day.
Interoception allows the mind and organs to communicate. Notice sensations of hunger, thirst, digestion as well as emotions while you walk.

The practice of walking is related to SO MANY health benefits. Get out there and enjoy what us humans are built to do! 🙂

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