Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How To Practice Mindfulness: Let's Go For A Walk.

Were you able to follow last week's 3 minute body scan meditation? In my case, although it sounds simple, it can be challenging to calm down this "restless monkey mind"!

As you may already know, these series of blog posts, on how to practice mindfulness, aim at providing you (and me) with tools to train your mind, and develop a set of skills to improve our overall well-being, while reducing negative emotions and hopefully respond with resilience to factors outside of our control.

Mindfulness of Walking

The principle to perform a walking meditation is similar to the one used for the body scan: basically bring awareness to what your body is doing. It's all about mindful meditative attention.

  • If you prefer, and it's possible where you are, remove your shoes. Please don't go barefoot down a snow covered street, ha! Find a place, where you can walk for, at least 10 steps.  It could be outside, or in the comfort of your own home.

  • Start by being still. Feel the connection of your feet to the ground. Notice your breath. Don't make any effort to change your breath flow. Simply notice how your body breathes.

  • Notice your surroundings. Sounds? Sights? Smells? Is it cold? Hot? Let your thoughts and emotions be. Hold or clasp your hands at the front or at the back. Or let your arms be by your sides.

  • Shift your weight to the left leg and move your right foot forward, feel your right foot hit the ground. Now shift your weight to the right leg and lift your left foot forward, repeating the process. (Yes, I am aware that you may already know how to walk, haha!)

  • Continue with this mindful walking, paying attention to the soles of your feet, your heel, toe, heel toe moving, lifting, placing.

  • Find your own rhythm. Notice your breath, your spine, your torso, your head over it, and your shoulders and arms.

  • Notice any thoughts, become aware of them, and let them go by returning your attention to your mindful walking.

Now that you know what this is all about, next time you go on a walking trip to the store, try this technique. It's a great way to enjoy the experience of, actually having a body, that is able to take you places. 

As Dr. Seuss once said...Oh, The Places You'll Go!

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who will decide where to go..."

Let me know how your mindfulness practice goes! Have you tried any of these techniques yet? 

Stay tuned for next week's mindfulness practice post! It's one of those topics that extend to more meaningful levels of our daily lives...Hmm...very mysterious of me to put it that way.

P.S. How to mindfulness: Try This Easy Technique First and A Breathing Meditation. Also on Cultivating Well-Being

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