Mindful walking or walking meditation, is a relaxing way to slow down, breathe, come back to your senses and enjoy the present moment in nature.
The practice has been around for at least two and a half thousand years, and it is said that the Buddha taught this as a form of mindfulness-on-the-move.
These days, people from all cultures and backgrounds practise mindful walking.
This practice is not religious and is simply a way for us to notice our inner experience as we walk slowly and mindfully, allowing us to calm down from the stress and excitement of everyday life.
It also has many proven health benefits for both both and mind.
Scientists say that mindful walking slows down the heart rate, the breathing and calms the parasympathetic nervous system. It has been shown to reduce back pain and to reduce the symptoms of depression twice as effectively as recreational walking.
So why practise mindfulness while walking rather than sitting?
Seated mindfulness practices are a great way to find a natural stillness and sense of calm. One benefit of mindful walking is that we are less likely to fall asleep when we are physically moving.
Secondly, walking is an excellent way to release stress tension or restlessness while maintaining our mind-body connection.
Thirdly, practicing while walking helps us to integrate mindfulness into daily life.
If we can become more aware by walking mindfully, when physically moving with our eyes open, then we might find this same wakeful quality during other activities, such as eating, washing the dishes, speaking to a colleague or driving.
Want to try it right now?
Here is a 15-minute practice of Mindful Walking.
And if you’re in the Brisbane area, Mindful Walking Brisbane are offering two weekly classes, starting May 3rd. More information here.