Walking Meditation: Anytime, Anywhere
By Wendy Quan
Did you know that you can meditate when you walk? There are many types of meditation techniques, and here is an easy one that you can do anytime, anywhere. Try this at work while you’re walking from one place to another in the office or while outside walking to or from work.
Walking meditation is simply done by paying full attention to the sensations of your body when you walk.
How do you do a walking meditation?
- As you lift your right foot, notice the weight of your leg and how your balance adjusts. Think to yourself ‘right’ as your foot touches the ground. As your left leg lifts up notice the change in balance.
- Lift your left foot, and think to yourself ‘left’ as your left foot touches the ground.
- Notice what your body is doing. There is a lot going on – balance, weight shifting, muscles contracting and releasing. Notice how your weight starts on the heel and shifts to the front of your foot.
- The focus is on your feet feeling and touching the ground.
- It’s as simple as paying attention to your body as it walks.
- Your pace can be slow, regular or quick. At some point, try walking very, very slowly where you won’t feel self-conscious (if no one is around, or at home). You will be surprised at how you will notice all the work your body is doing to complete a seemingly simple task.
Why would you want to do this?
This is a mindfulness practice, which means centering and grounding yourself in the present moment by using your body’s senses. When you are being ‘mindful’, you are bringing your attention completely to the present moment, which helps to refocus your attention away from ruminating about a past event, or worrying about some future event.
During your busy work day, it can be difficult to take breaks, even though you could use them. Think about all the opportunities you could create for yourself to do a brief walking meditation while you are walking to the printer, to a meeting or heading to the washroom. No one will know you are doing this, and you can grab these wonderful, frequent opportunities for a mindful moment just for yourself.
Walking meditation is a wonderful alternative to the traditional seated meditation, and is great for people who are always on the go.
You can even try a standing meditation when you are waiting for an elevator or the bus. Again, simply notice what your body is doing to just stand, and notice that you are likely not completely still at all. Using the body to ground yourself into the present moment is always available to you, whether seated, standing, walking or running.
Wendy Quan provides mindfulness meditation facilitator training and certification online courses which are available to CPHR BC & Yukon members at a preferred rate. Find out more. Also, CPHR BC & Yukon member can access her on-demand sessions Mindfulness for Busy HR Professionals and How to Bring Mindfulness into Your Workplace with No Ongoing Operating Costs free!
Wendy Quan, founder of The Calm Monkey, is an industry leader, helping organizations implement mindfulness meditation programs and combining change management techniques to create personal and organizational change resiliency. She trains meditators to become workplace facilitators.