Gisele

Meditation

Walking meditation enables us to synchronize our body with our mind while going about our daily tasks. Walking meditation is a great alternative to seated meditation that still enables us to train our minds in awareness.

It is entirely possible to meditate while walking. Meditation is not limited to sitting on a pillow with one’s eyes closed in silence. Meditating while walking allows us to be present in the moment and connect with our surroundings and be one with nature.

Walking while meditating can help us be conscious in the busy world we live in. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to find time to sit down in silence and meditate. While seated mediation offers a host of benefits, walking while meditating offers various benefits and can be used as a mindfulness practice.

Benefits of meditating while walking

Meditating while walking can bring about a variety of benefits such as:

Reduce stress

Meditating while walking may lower stress levels as it slows your racing mind. Walking meditation encourages you to be present in the moment. It brings about a sense of tranquility by being aware of your surroundings and focusing on your breathing.

Alleviate depression

Staying active helps boosts physical, mental, and emotional health. Exercise through walking in combination with mediation allows one to experience the physical benefits of exercise while also quieting our mind, resulting in one experiencing fewer symptoms of depression.

Stimulates creativity

Walking mediation encourages mindfulness, which may result in more clarity, stimulating your ability to focus and inspire creativity.

Improves quality of sleep

Walking is a great way to blow off steam which helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Through walking mediation, you can reduce the physical effects of stress while quieting your mind, enabling you to drift off to sleep easily without racing thoughts plaguing your mind.

Makes exercise more enjoyable

Walking meditation may inspire a new connection to exercise, which may result in exercise being more enjoyable. Walking meditations may result in you associating exercise as a positive experience which may encourage you to be more active.

Boost blood flow

Walking meditation can help alleviate feelings of lethargy, especially for those who lead sedentary lifestyles. Practicing walking while meditating can boost blood flow and increase energy levels as the walking gets the blood flowing and the meditation helps bring about a sense of restoration which can fight the feelings of lethargy.

Improve blood sugar levels and circulation

Practicing walking meditation may have a positive impact on blood sugar levels and circulation.

Enhances balance

Walking meditation may encourage better balance as well as improving coordination.

Improve digestion

Walking after eating can be a great way to boost digestion. Practicing walking while meditating after a meal can encourage you to be mindful about what you’ve eaten, which could positively impact your relationship with food.

Improves well-being

Overall, walking has the power to enhance your well-being. Walking meditations allow one to feel more balanced and in touch with our surroundings while improving our overall state of being.

How to meditate while walking

  • Step 1: Body check
    • As you start to walk, be cognizant of how your body feels. Take a moment to release any tension you may be experiencing and adjust your posture. As you do this, you may become aware of your breathing. Practice taking deep breaths as you walk.
  • Step 2: Observe your thoughts
    • Observe the thoughts that come to mind without dwelling on them, let them pass by.
  • Step 3: Tune in
    • Notice your surroundings – other people, cars, nature. Acknowledge what you see without thinking deeply about it.
  • Step 4: Notice sounds
    • Listen for sounds that may have become white noise. Notice these sounds without focusing on them; merely recognize their presence.
  • Step 5: Notice smells
    • Tune into the smells around you, be that pleasant or unpleasant. Notice how these smells may change as you advance on your walk, but do not let these smells overpower you; simply acknowledge them.
  • Step 6: Notice physical sensations
    • Acknowledge any physical sensations you may be experiencing, from the wind blowing in your face to your breathing as your heart rate increases with each step.
  • Step 7: Movement
    • Observe your arms swaying as you walk and feel as your feet hit the ground with each step. Notice the rhythm you’ve picked up as you take each step.
  • Step 8: Focus on rhythm
    • Use the rhythm you’ve become accustomed to as a base for your awareness. If you find yourself drifting off, getting caught up in your thoughts, bring yourself back to the rhythm of your feet as a home base for meditation.

Meditation is not supposed to be a forceful strenuous exercise. Consider the steps above to be guidelines for adapting to your walk, rather than rules to follow. There is no minimum or maximum time that you should practice walking mediation for.

Listen to your body to determine how long you would like to practice this mindfulness exercise. In today’s modern world, you might struggle to find time to implement this practice, but as little as 5 minutes could be beneficial in improving your overall well-being.

Meditation tips

  • Be comfortable with discomfort: at first, meditation may feel unfamiliar. You may find yourself experiencing negative thoughts, restlessness, and frustration, wondering if you’re “doing it correctly.” Rather than trying to push these emotions aside, notice them and allow them to come and go until you find a comfortable meditation practice that feels right for you.
  • Start early: try to begin your morning with a walking meditation. This way, you will start your day relieving your body of cortisol (stress hormone) while also feeling mindful and refreshed for the day ahead. By doing your walking meditation early in the day, you ticked it off your to-do list and healthily started your day.
  • Be creative about location: because meditation is not limited to a certain place, it can be practiced anywhere at any time. Switching up your location enables you to take in new surroundings, which can broaden your consciousness.
  • Be open-minded: resist the urge to label each meditation walk as “good” or “bad.” Judging each practice can result in meditation feeling like a chore or a task that can be mastered. Rather, shift your perspective to see each mediation practice as a self-awareness exercise beneficial to your overall well-being.

Related questions

Is it better to meditate while walking or meditate sitting down?

Meditation while walking enables you to exercise while being mindful, which may enable you with the ability to be mindful in any situation. Meditation while walking also has physical benefits arising from the physical activity accompanying the meditation which seated meditation does not. However, seated meditation can bring about a greater sense of tranquility as it is a calming low movement quiet experience.

Both seated and walking meditations are of great benefit, and you can choose between the two based on personal preferences.

Can you meditate while exercising?

You can meditate while exercising. Meditating while exercising is very similar to meditating while walking. Although you might work up more of a sweat while exercising, most of the benefits and considerations applicable to meditating while walking apply to meditating while exercising as well.

What should you not do during meditation?

Avoid expecting a particular outcome from your meditation practice. Having a specific outcome for your practice can make it feel like a task. This takes away from the desired effect of meditation which is relaxation. Trying too hard and having certain expectations can result in you feeling like mediation is a chore.

Enter your meditation practice with positive intentions to bring yourself in tune with the present moment regardless of the outcome.

Can I meditate while listening to music?

Meditating while listening to soft music in the background may allow you to mediate better as it can improve your cognitive abilities and provide a sense of tranquility. However, in some instances music may be a distraction preventing you from being able to be aware and attentive which may affect your meditation experience.

Conclusion

Meditating while walking can be very beneficial for your overall health and well-being. At first, it may be difficult to remain present during your walking mediation, but try not to be too hard on yourself. There is no perfect meditation, it’s all about being conscious and meeting yourself where you’re at. Every meditation session will be different, but all the more enlightening as you tap into your consciousness and soak in your surroundings.