Do you know what I hear all the time? And by all the time I mean at least 3x a week?
"Kelly, I want to meditate and I know it's good for me but I just can't sit still! I can't just sit and do nothing! Meditation just isn't for me."
In fact, many of you reading this have actually peronsally said those words to me! But don't worry I won't out you here...it will be our little secret ;)
When I hear this I always respond the same way 1. meditation isn't just 'doing nothing' you're actually doing quite a lot you just can't see it 2. If sitting still doesn't work for you have you ever tried a walking meditation?
Often, people go wait...I can walk AND meditate?!
Yes, yes you can. And it is magical.
But how exactly do you do that?
I'm going to be completely honest with you. If you're looking to lace up your sneakers, burn some major calories while you power walk your way to inner peace and enlightenment, this isn't the thing for you. A walking meditation is not just being present while you take your dog on their daily walk or power walk around the lake with friends. A walking meditation is a specific meditation practice that weaves single pointed concentration with the action of walking slowly, purposefully and with intention.
Will this walk count as a workout? no.
Will this walk wear your dog out? no.
Will this walk give you the opportunity to try something new in your practice and practice your meditation without having to sit still? Yup.
Lately, I have been spending a lot of extra time sitting in front of my computer working on meditations, courses, and programs and also talking on the phone with my meditation clients. But thankfully since it is summer and being outside is very enjoyable right now I have been taking my meditation practice outside and adding some movement.
A walking meditation isn't just doing the same meditation practice that you normally would do while you're walking. A walking meditation is a way to experience the sensation of walking and your surrounds through all of your senses and enjoying the changing space, time, and sensation as you take each step.
So here's how you do it...
As you begin to walk intentionally picking up and setting down your feet experience everything that comes with walking. Feel your feet in the inside of your shoes (or maybe you're barefoot on the earth) notice what muscles are contracting and relaxing with each step, feel your breath moving in and out of the body, feel what parts of the foot touch the ground and when. Be completely immersed in the sensation of walking.
As you do this open up all of your senses and take in your surroundings. What do you feel, what do you hear, what do you smell? Try not to get caught up in any one thing, but just take in the moment from all of the senses and be present for each moment as it comes and as it goes.
Move slowly and with purpose. take your time with each step so you really experience it. Try doing this for 10-15 minutes and see what happens. If you're feeling bashful about doing a walking meditation outside or the weather is less than ideal you can do this walk in your home or even in your backyard.
This week on the Mindful in Minutes podcast I did a 10 minute guided walking meditation to help get you started and I have given you more insight into walking meditation and how to do it in this week's vlog.
I also cover walking meditation during the 7-day free meditation challenge that I recently opened up again. If you want to join this challenge just visit the homepage of the new Yoga For You website and there will be a pop-up prompting you to join.
What do you think about walking meditations? I want to hear from you!
Enjoy your walk, Kelly