Wake Up with a Walking Meditation
Hooray, another “mental health” post! While we are obviously “physical” fitness trainers, we know that without the mental part, you haven’t got much. Today, we bring you a walking meditation. What is a walking meditation, you say? Well, it’s rather simple–you meditate while walking. These doesn’t mean your humming “om” to yourself while walking blind down the street. It’s more about leaving your own concerns about yourself behind and simply become an observer and a sponge. You take everything in while simple taking step after step. You listen to your breath, you listen to the birds, you feel the wind, you see the sun rising, and so forth. This exercise can be incredibly rewarding while also saving time. If you have a dog, I hope someone in your household walks it every morning. This can be done with your dog! Let’s get started. And if you think you can master the walking meditation, consider running, but first check out Nicer Shoes for their comparison between the two activities.
Start your walk. Preferably, this is somewhere on the quieter side which is why I choose to do these in the early mornings.
Take a big breath as you walk. Feel the air (whether cool or warm) pass into you and exhale out.
Continue to focus on your breath here as you walk so it becomes (mostly) the only thing within your mind. Feel the inhale and the exhale. If it helps, count your inhale to 3 and count your exhale to 3. You should feel some peace here as you walk as one with your breath.
Once you’ve calmed your “monkey mind,” slowly turn the awareness outwards. Keep a steady breath, but open up your senses now. As you continue your walk, feel everything you can in a non-judgmental way.
Feel how the ground feels beneath your feet or how the wind feels against your face.
Listen to the birds chirp, the click of your dog’s paws, the trees rustling in the distance.
Smell the air in a big inhale which is always fun to do in different seasons.
Look all around you–see the trees swaying, people possibly doing their morning jog, birds going about their business, the sun slowly rising.
Remember, you’re doing this with non-judgment. Simply observe, take it in, breathe, and walk.
Continue to do so until you’re a minute away from your original location and finish those final steps observing your breath.
As you “exit” this walking meditation, I find it helpful to express gratitude in your mind or in a whisper. Realize we are all part of a world much greater than ourselves.
I encourage you to try this at your next convenience! Your mind will probably drift and wander, but just gently guide it back to the meditation. If this seems overwhelming to you, then take it in small tries. You can try with a short five-minute walk and gradually extend it. Remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. This exercise is a way to increase your mental happiness and clarity. I find it most refreshing and it can bring me back from any dark place I encounter. Do a walking meditation to stay hungry and fit!
BONUS CRITTER PIC