Walking mindfulness is a simple and universal meditation practice for developing embodied awareness. As human beings, we naturally tend to “check out” when we walk and fall into deep thoughts of remembering, dwelling, planning, worrying, or overanalyzing. Each time that happens, we move away from the present moment. However, as we learn to take time to develop feelings of calm and appreciation for the world around us, we enter into a state of peace and calm.
Walking Mindfulness Practice
Before we begin, find an open space to walk. It could be out in your backyard, or perhaps inside in a hallway or bedroom. Once you have settled into your space, take a moment to gather your awareness of your body. Feel the sensation of your feet in contact with the ground. Take one deep slow mindful breath – in and out.
Keeping your eyes open, begin walking at a natural pace. Not too slow, not too fast. With each step, pay attention to the sensations on the bottom of your feet as each foot touches the ground. It doesn’t matter whether you have shoes on or not. Simply notice the sensations on your feet. Feel the gentle pressure you experience with each step.
Now as you continue to walk, shift your attention to what you see. Take in all the colors, the shapes, the light, and the shadows that may surround you. Set aside any judgment that comes with what you see. Simply observe. Notice the color of the trees outside your window. Notice the color of the walls of your bedroom. Notice the colors of the blue sky.
Now as you continue to walk, shift your attention to what you hear. Notice the sounds that drift in. Do you hear the sound of distant cars or the birds chirping? Take time to listen and appreciate these sounds.
Now slowly redirect your focus back to the soles of your feet. Notice the change in texture and pressure. Take one deep, slow mindful breath – in and out. Again – in and out. When you are ready, gently bring your focus back to reality. Enjoy the rest of your day with an intention to take this mindful awareness with you.
References: Lizier, D. S., Silva-Filho, R., Umada, J., Melo, R., & Neves, A. C. (2018). Effects of Reflective Labyrinth Walking Assessed Using a Questionnaire. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 5(4), 111.
By Dipika Pandit, MD, MPHDr. Dipika Pandit believes in building a healthy lifestyle that empowers you to heal, not just getting you on the next pill. Dr. Dipika completed her medical training at Loma Linda University – including medical school, and a combined residency in Family Medicine & Preventive Medicine. She believes that health is more than just the physical body, and encompasses the relationships we surround ourselves with, as well as our own spiritual, mental, and emotional nurturing. Dr. Dipika is passionate about empowering people and community – to take control of their health through lifestyle changes, and to increase their quality of life.
We know how it feels when health issues get in the way of activities that you used to love, or spending time with your loved ones. Lifestyle Medical is a primary care provider dedicated to empowering people to make healthier lifestyle choices. Many of our members have reversed chronic conditions, reduced medications, and regained their energy and joy.