Walk On The Mindful Side: Create A Moving Meditation

Walk On The Mindful Side: Create A Moving Meditation

Thursday, 26th June 2014

It is true that mindfulness walks look like ordinary walks. The difference is the attention to intention.

A mindfulness walk creates a healing experience that deepens your connection to your body and breath while simultaneously exploring the space around you. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, a mindfulness walk is a great way to move your body and mind in the process of wandering. The breath, your focus, and your senses are all tools for creating different experiences on your walk. Here are a few tips for crafting your own mindfulness walk:

1. Create a breathing pattern that supports you. The breath can be either a starting point or the main focus of your mindfulness walk. As you walk, establish a breathing pattern. If you are looking to de-stress, then breathe in to your belly for four counts and out for eight. If you are looking to energize, create an equal inhale and exhale and focus on filling your chest. As your breath fills you with light, let your new awareness guide you.

2. Play with the balance of external and internal. When we walk in the city, we are presented with a myriad of stimuli, from people to birds to trees to buildings. Our attention is constantly being transferred from the internal to the external. First focus on the external. What do you see? Try to take it all in. Then shift your focus to the internal. What thoughts arise on your walk? Notice your body posture and how it feels as you move from internal to external. Lastly, try to be aware of both the external and internal experiences equally. Is there a soft middle point?

3. Pause and stretch. During your walk, take a break at a point that feels right. Perhaps it's a street corner or maybe it's in front of a building you admire, a view that caught your eye, or a tree that graces the sidewalk. Stretch. As you hold a stretch and breathe deeply, experience steadiness. Notice as people and things come and go. What does it feel like to watch things move by you as you stand still? Perhaps find a new perspective on a stationary object by viewing it upside down. Stretch, play, and breathe. Once you continue your walk post-stretch, does your body feel different?

What are your favorite walks in the Bay Area? Do you have any special spots where you like to pause and take in the city?


Denmo is the founder and CEO of Earthbody. She is a writer, artist, therapist, and coach. You can reach Denmo here.

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