Spring is just around the corner here in the UK. After what has been a very long and rainy winter, it is so refreshing to feel spring in the air. We begin to notice the transformations around us, flowers emerging from the earth, trees with budding green leaves, daylight hours increasing, the smell of spring and the warm glow of the sunshine.
Spring not only represents changes in nature but also transformations within ourselves. We feel moved to get outside after our winter “hibernation”, to review our fitness and wellbeing, to begin new projects and to start afresh.
If you feel the call to be outside here’s a simple walking meditation. The body loves movement so may be this is the opportunity to reinvigorate your meditation practice or perhaps you’ve struggled with seated meditations in the past and this could be an alternative way to approach your practice.
Allow yourself 20-30 minutes and take yourself to an outdoor space such as your local park, nature reserve, woodland, open countryside or coastal path. You will be dedicating this time to your walking meditation so try not to combine it with other activities such as running errands, during your commute to work and so on. Remember to switch off your phone!
Before you start your walking meditation, draw some deep breaths into your body. Pay attention to your inhalation and exhalation. Be aware of your body and mind.
When you feel centred and present, begin walking. Walk at a normal pace, paying attention to your body as you walk. It is natural for the mind to wander or get distracted by your surroundings. Keep drawing your attention back to the sensation of walking and what is going on internally.
Really notice the sensation of walking in great detail, moving from one foot to the other, the swinging of your arms. Notice the movement through your whole foot, become aware of the soles of your feet, note when the heel touches the ground, the rolling movement through the sole of the foot. Spread your awareness to every part of your body, being fully present as you walk from one foot to the other. Scan your body and notice the sensations as you walk.
If you become aware of any tension in the body, allow the body to let it go. Keep your breath at an even pace, noting your inhalation and exhalation. Enjoy the experience of this walking meditation, remembering if the mind wanders off you can easily bring it back to your body and breath.
As your walking meditation comes to an end, take a few moments to check back in with your body and mind. Notice how you are feeling after your walking meditation. Feel the prana (energy) flowing around your body. Being outside during daylight hours can help replenish our Vitamin D levels, bringing many positive benefits to our general health and wellbeing. This simple walking meditation practice can easily be integrated into your schedule. You may wish to introduce this once a week or more frequently as a way of welcoming in new starts.