You might have heard of the health benefits of daily walking. If you participate, what do you do while you stroll? Do you listen to headphones or scroll through social media? If so, you’re missing out on the complete benefits package.
Why not make your next outing a meditative walk? You don’t need any more equipment than you do for a regular stroll around the block — you should preferably leave the phone at home. Here’s how to implement this practice into your routine — plus, learn some of the benefits you’ll enjoy.
What Is a Meditation Walk?
What is a meditation walk, anyway? Isn’t that what Buddhist adherents do in flowing robes and bare feet? While you can leave your shoes behind if you like, a meditation walk benefits people of all religious faiths — or none. What the practice entails is similarly marrying the mind and body, as in yoga. However, instead of tying yourself into a pretzel to reach enlightenment, you lace up your tennis shoes.
The critical component includes drawing your mindfulness to the task at hand. You can do this in several ways. Some schools of thought have you break down the elements of each step and notice the actions you often perform automatically. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, you should practice sauntering slowly and taking small steps to immerse yourself in contemplation by focusing on each motion.
You can get creative, as long as you remember that the objective is to center yourself in the present moment. Close your eyes and feel the breeze against your skin. Can you taste the air? What sounds do you hear?