You wouldn’t be wrong for believing that Walking and Meditation are two very different practices. At opposite ends of the activity spectrum, you could say!
Equally, however, Walking and Mediation CAN be (and often are) enjoyed together...sometimes with a greater outcome for health than when practiced independently.
Yes, meditating while walking (Walking Meditation) is a very real thing, AND... it’s making big waves in the realms of anxiety and stress management in our increasingly busy and emotionally challenging lives.
Just when you thought that mediation could only be achieved by sitting in the lotus position, eyes closed, and in the confines of a silent room.. this ‘active’ interpretation has cropped up to turn all we thought we knew - and all that might have previously put us off - on its head.
So what’s the benefits of Walking Meditation!?
Walking Meditation is thought to help promote calm, connectedness, and awareness. The theory is based on the idea of using the natural movement of walking to cultivate mindfulness, and it encourages you to pay attention to the lifting and falling of the feet, and the general sensation of walking, as a means to clear the mind and empty your thoughts. As your mind naturally wanders, the important thing is to guide it back again to the walking momentum.
Whether from a meditative perspective, or just for it’s sheer pleasure in it’s own right, walking is something that we tend to acquire an appreciation for with age. Specifically, one study by Regatta Great Outdoors found, by age 27! The belief (by 3 in ten) is that an affinity for walking is a response to technology and social media overload, with 70 per cent finding walking outdoors a good stress reliever.