Mindful Mondays are about paying attention to what you are paying attention to.
Today’s post is about walking meditations.
As we spend so much time rushing from one thing to another, we may not take the time to focus and notice what is going on. The following activity is a short 10 minute exercise designed to pay attention to something that you might be taking for granted, turning off our autopilot for a short time. It is designed to heighten your awareness and can help you gain a greater sense of control over your thoughts, feelings and actions. Walking meditations are a simple activity that can be done almost anywhere. You can include it on your daily walk, on your exercise cool down, or even in your hallway:
- Find a location that allows you to walk for at least 20 steps
- Walk along your chosen path ideally in a slower way than you normally would, breathing as normal
- You can let your arms hang by your side, swing them as usual, or clasp them in front or behind you, whatever feels most natural to you
- Take notice of each part of each step you take, including:
- Lifting your foot
- Moving it forward
- Placing the heal down on the ground
- Shifting your weight forward from the heel to toe as your body moves forward
- Repeat with the other foot as you take the next step
- If you are waking down a hall or indoor space, you may want to stop at the end of the hall/space and take a deep breathe in and out before turning and walking back the other way
- Continue the steps above for 10 minutes, focusing your attention on how your body moves, your breath, sounds you hear, sights you see, etc
- If thoughts pop into your mind, that’s OK. It is totally natural. Simply notice this, without judgement, then return to focussing on your steps
- You may find that the mind wandering or pop-ups happen less as you continue to practice this process each day