Meditation is the true heart of the yoga practice. Sitting in meditation comfortably takes a healthy and supple body. The primary goal of yoga asana is to prepare the body and the mind for meditation. The movements and shapes of the poses prepare the body for sitting and help to clear the mind. However, sitting for long periods of time, especially on the floor, is very difficult for Western bodies. Our bodies evolved to be moved. But we don’t use them like that anymore and it causes of lot of health issues. It is no wonder many people struggle with establishing and maintaining a regular practice of meditation. Before or after a long day of sitting in chairs and sitting in cars and sitting on a couch, why would anyone want to sit in meditation? Thankfully there is a solution.
Walking meditation is a practice of meditation that comes from Buddhism. World renowned Buddhist teacher Thich Nat Han says to, “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” This can be done indoors or outdoors and is just as beneficial as seated meditation. Considering how damaging sedentary lifestyles are, walking meditation is the best choice for anyone who wishes to meditate, but must sit all day for work. Each individual has different life demands, and we must choose the meditation that helps to keep us balanced.
What To Do
- Gently rest one hand in the other in front of you.
- Bring your awareness all the way down, into the souls of your feet.
- Feel the ground below you.
- Let the mind be totally absorbed by the sensation of touching the earth with the feet and the feeling of your exhales going out.
- As you walk, let your feet caress the ground.
- As thoughts arise gently label them ‘thinking’ and come back to your exhale.
- Let each step be precise and careful.
- Continue this way for 15-20 minutes or as long as you please.
- Decreases stress and inflammation.
- Increases circulation of fluids and energy.
- Greater control over the mind when practiced regularly.
- Helps release pain related to poor posture or sedentary habits.
- Increases connection with the Earth.
- Increases positive attitudes and decreases negative attitudes.
- To increase the effects of walking meditation, find a place outdoors where you can walk.
- To increase the benefits even more find a green space like a park or forest, and practice walking meditation with bare feet directly on the earth.