The theme for this month’s practice is SLOWING DOWN. Over the last three weeks we’ve tuned in to the wisdom of the body, practiced mindfulness with our eating habits, and nourished ourselves with restorative yoga. This week we’ll turn our attention to how we walk—shifting awareness so that we can be present, connecting with the earth while walking more slowly and softly.
In our culture of busy-ness, we often rush from one place to the next, caught up in our heads, barely noticing the journey or our surroundings. What if every step you took brought you more awareness, presence, and peace of mind? As Thich Nhat Hanh, the world-renowned Buddhist teacher, says, “Walking is an opportunity to touch the fullness of life.”
In this 5-minute practice, we will SLOW DOWN our walking, something that can be done on a nature trail or a busy city street. You can also bring this awareness into your walking throughout the day as a reminder to slow down and feel your feet as you go from one place to the next.
Daily Practice: 5-Minute Walking Meditation
- Stand still for a moment, centering yourself. Sense into both feet, noticing how your feet are connecting with the ground. Take a long inhalation and a long exhalation.
- To create balance, curl the thumb of your left hand and wrap your fingers around it. Wrap your right hand under your left, resting your thumb in the crevice formed between your left thumb and index finger. Place your hands at your solar plexus.
- To help maintain focus, try dropping your gaze slightly.
- Begin walking by stepping out with one foot, noticing it land on the ground, sensing your foot, toes, and heel making contact. Then step with the opposite foot, maintaining a sense of presence as you start to move at a steady pace.
- If your attention wanders, bring it back to noticing the sensation of your feet touching the ground. If you’d like, take a cue from Thich Nhat Hanh and imagine that with each step you’re planting a lotus flower with your feet.
- Enjoy the spaciousness and presence that comes with slowing down.
We'd love to hear from you: How did you feel as you slowed down your walking? What did you notice?