How to Practice Formal Walking Meditation for Mindfulness
Consider trying a formal walking meditation for mindfulness, which means you make special time and space to practice the exercise. You can equally introduce an awareness of your walking in an informal way, when going about your daily activities. You don’t have to slow down the pace at which you walk for that.
To practice formal walking meditation, sometimes called mindful walking, try the following steps:
Decide how long you’re going to practice.
Try ten minutes the first time, but whatever you feel comfortable with. Also choose where to practice. The first time you try it, practice walking very slowly, so a quiet room at home may be best.
Stand upright with stability.
Gently lean to the left and right, forwards and backwards, to find a central, balanced standing posture. Let your knees unlock slightly, and soften any unnecessary tension in your face. Allow your arms to hang naturally by your sides. Ensure that your body is grounded, like a tree, firmly rooted to the ground with dignity and poise.
Become aware of your breath.
Come into contact with the flow of each inhalation and exhalation. Enjoy breathing.
Now slowly lean onto your left foot and notice how your sensations change.
Then slowly shift your weight onto your right foot. Again perceive how the sensations fluctuate from moment to moment.
When you’re ready, gradually shift most of your weight onto your left foot.
Slowly take your right heel off the ground. Pause for a moment. Notice the sense of anticipation. Lift your right foot off the ground and place it heel first in front of you. Become aware of the weight of your body shifting. Gradually place the rest of the right foot flat and firmly on the ground.
Continue to walk in this very slow, mindful way for as long as you want.
When you finish, take some time to reflect on your experience.