The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, so we have lots of hours of daylight sunshine, so this month we thought we would take our meditation outside and share with you a walking meditation.
Walking is something that we often take for granted, we tend to dash from one place to another without really stopping and noticing what is happening within our body as we move.
In this walking meditation, we share this month how you can slow down and really notice what is going on.
Why practice a walking meditation?
A walking meditation is a fantastic practice to ground yourself, to become present in your body and to raise your internal awareness. Mindfulness is being present – of your breath, sensations, emotions, thoughts and/or the “environment” in its entirety. By focusing on your walking you can learn to practice mindfulness as you move. It’s a great alternative to a seated practice and it has the added benefit of being highly portable – you can do it almost anywhere!
When is it best to practice a walking meditation?
You can practice your walking meditation any time of the day – or night if you want to do it in your garden! It´s great if it is a quieter time of day, so there are less noise distractions around you, to enable you to really focus inside.
What do I need for a walking meditation?
All you need is a place to walk. It is lovely to be able to do this barefoot, so that you can really feel grounded and connected. Light shoes are okay.
Where shall I practice my walking meditation?
If you are new to walking meditation, then I suggest that you find somewhere quiet, where there are few distractions and where you are on your own. It is really lovely to practice on grass, outside beneath the sky, but you can also do it inside or anywhere really where you have a few metres of space. With practice you can do this walking meditation anywhere – in your lunch break in the local park, in the back garden, on the beach. If you are going to walk bare foot, check that the ground you will be walking on is clear of debris and safe to go barefoot!
How to practice my walking meditation?
In our walking meditation you learn to be aware as you walk. There is a natural movement in the body – throughout the whole of the body. As we slow down, you can start to become more aware, mindful of all of the movements. You can bring your awareness first to your feet. Become aware of the movement of the foot as it lifts, moves through the air and then returns back to the ground – heel, ball, toes.
What do I do with my hands and eyes?
There are many options for what to do with your hands so test it out and see what works for you. One hand position we like is where you wrap one hand around the other. Curl the thumb of your left hand in towards the palm and wrap your left hand fingers around the thumb. Place your left hand just above your belly button and wrap your right hand around the left hand, then rest your right thumb over the left thumb. If this gets uncomfortable, you can loosely link the fingers in front of your body, or behind your back. Keep your gaze down towards the ground, maybe a couple feet (50cm) in front of your body. Keep the gaze soft.
How do I keep track of time?
Set a timer – you can switch your phone onto airplane mode and still be able to use your alarm clock.
La Crisalida Retreats 15 minute walking meditation
- Start in a neutral base position: stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms by your side. Feel the weight of your body resting on your heels, then the toes, noticing how you lean backwards and forwards slightly and slowly moving the weight and noticing the sensations in your feet. Come back to neutral. Notice the outsides of the feet and the insides of the feet. Notice how the feet feel grounds and connected to the earth.
- Bring the hands to the belly button (as described above).
- As you inhale, slowly light the left foot, noticing all the sensations in the leg as you lift.
- As you exhale, slowly lower the left foot to the floor, noticing the sensations in your leg as it lowers. As the foot touches the floor, notice what part of the foot comes down to the floor first, then the whole of the foot, becomes grounded.
- As you inhale, lift the right foot, again noticing sensations, the movement through the knee, the shifting of the weight in the body.
- As you exhale, place the right foot down towards the floor. The movement goes naturally with the breath.
- Keep the breath natural and slow. The gaze stays lowered towards the ground.
- Continue walking slowly. Aware of each step, the foot lifting and grounding.
- When the timer goes off, stop for a moment. Notice how your body feels. Notice the stillness in the body. Notice your breath. Notice the sensations in your body. Notice how present you feel.
- When you feel ready, lift your eyes. Look around at where you are walking. Connect with your surroundings. Acknowledge yourself and the world. Namaste.
More information about meditation at La Crisalida Retreats
We include a meditation session, a time for silence, most days, for you to practice your meditation. For more information about meditation at La Crisalida Retreats click here.
We hope you manifest peace and calm this month. Namaste.
About the author
- Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).