Walking meditation can be a wonderful addition to your self-care regimen. It’s also a helpful introduction to sitting meditation, as it’s easier for some people to do first. The renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has said that the “practice of mindful walking is a profound and pleasurable way to deepen our connection with our body and the earth." While most of us walk only to get from one place to the next, walking meditation asks us to refocus attention on the act itself — to be mindful of how we walk and our level of presence. Evidence suggests that the health benefits of meditation increase the more we practice. To start, though, it's worth trying walking meditation for just 10 minutes a day for a week. Like they say: baby steps. Why Walking Meditation? Walking meditation is usually slower than a typical stroll, and it incorporates breathing coordination or other focusing techniques. Part of its beauty is its simplicity: walking meditation does not need to be a time-consuming or complicated activity, nor does it require a specific setting. It teaches us to bring mindfulness into one of our primary actions. It also serves as an excellent starting point for beginning meditators, as it’s closer to our everyday experiences and routines than traditional sitting forms of meditation. Walking meditation teaches us to pay attention to the movements of our body, legs, and feet, as we walk. Unlike seated meditation practices, walking meditation gives us a deeper interaction with the world around us; our eyes remain open as we walk, breathe, and attend to our mindfulness. How to Practice Walking Meditation Walking meditation is best done outdoors, and it is recommended that it not be combined with other activities (such as exercise or running errands). It’s best to let this walk be focused solely on meditation so you can immerse yourself in the experience with undivided attention.
There are some slight variations to approaching walking meditation, so find the method you like best. This is a profound yet simple practice which can help re-energize, center, and calm you. As with any meditation practice there is no set amount of time you must set aside; start with ten minutes per day if you can, but even five minutes is beneficial. Begin with what feels manageable to you, and build your practice from there.