6 Tips for Walking Meditation

March 21, 2011

Image via Flickr user Todd Huffman.

What do you do when you get tired of sitting and looking at the computer screen or something stressful happens with a client or project? If you work from home,  you may be drawn to all kinds of distracting temptations such as eating, cleaning, watching television or even taking a nap. One healthy option to alleviate stress and get you away from the desk is walking. Not as high impact and overwhelming as intense exercising, walking is mentally and physically healthy because it gets your blood flowing and takes your mind off of what was bothering you. Walking can become even more powerful and restorative when coupled with meditation. Here are six tips for walking meditation to help freelancers and creative workers escape the daily grind and maintain a sense of calm and focus. 1. Make time for daily walks. Whether it's a 30-minute walk through the park or a five-minute walk around the block, budget time for a daily walking meditation. As the walks become regular you will start to feel more at ease as you walk and you will feel continued positive effects. 2. Pick a path. Walk on a route that you find peaceful without too many distractions. Some people like to walk a short path and others like longer routes. You may also want to try walking in a circle versus a straight line. Stick to the same route so that when you walk, you are not forced to actively decide where you are going and can instead concentrate on the moment. 3. Stay in the moment. As you walk, random thoughts will pop into your head. To clear your mind, just acknowledge each thought and then let it go again. To get close to a meditative state, you want to keep your mind quiet and just be in the moment, walking. 4. Pay attention to patterns. When you walk pay attention to the pattern of your breathing. Count your steps or repeat a mantra that has something to do with what you see or the goal of the walk. All of these patterns can help you to stay in the moment and concentrate on how the walk feels instead of any outside thoughts popping into your head. 5. Mind your posture. You don't see sitting meditators slouching or shrugging their neck and shoulders. They sit upright in a formal meditation pose. When walking, focus on the motion of  your body. Tighten your abdomen and keep your spine straight and upright with your eyes looking softly forward. Use your arms to create a balanced motion. 6. Evaluate the experience. At the end of each walk, before diving back into work, think about the experience you just had. How did you feel? Why was the walk good or bad? It can also help to write these thoughts down in a journal before easing back into your daily routine. Do you do any walking or sitting meditations? If you have any additional tips or resources on walking meditation, kindly leave them in the comments.

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