The Art of the Walking Meditation
If there’s one thing that I think is severely underrated in the yoga community, it’s the practice of walking and meditating. It’s not… traditional. In fact, I’m not entirely sure it’s even something that’s recognised by the yoga gurus as a form of meditation. But that’s besides the point. The “Walking Meditation” as I like to think of it, is simply mindfully choosing to take a walk.
That’s right. You heard me. It’s that easy.
I try to leave my texting thumbs behind, listen to a podcast, my favourite song on single repeat, or just observe everything going on around me. It’s not necessarily a thoughtless walk though. I’m usually deep in my head with thoughts of the day for the first 10 or 15 minutes. After a while, though, everything starts to melt away – and I’m brought back to how much I just enjoy walking, particularly urban walking.
Sometimes it’s for hours at a time, and other times the walk lasts just twenty minutes. I don’t feel really “yogi” when I do it. There’s usually a bit of a spring to my step and I obnoxiously swing my head back and forth to a beat that only I can hear. I ignore the people around me and just let my feet and eyes take me to random destinations, ice cream shops and new cafes to eat a good slice of cake (yum). I’m not really bothered either, that it’s not the ultimate spiritual meditation, because for me – it works. I love the half-formed thoughts that buzz around my head and that burst of endorphins from getting in exercise while letting my eyes fixate on something other than a computer or phone screen.
One of my favourite things about yoga is that in the end, there aren’t any rules.
The Walking Meditation was created by no one. It’s legitimately just taking a walk and deciding that you want to feel the fresh air on your face. Maybe you want to make your daily walk to get coffee your “meditation” for the day? Perhaps your meditation walk is a 6 hour hike in the woods? One of my favourite things about yoga is that in the end, there aren’t any rules. It’s about knowing what is best for your body, whether it’s engaging in practice, meditating sitting on the ground, or walking around with a wide smile on your face. Don’t get me wrong, the classic meditative poses are great – but if you’re ever feeling the urge to try something new, give walking a try.
Yogis! Do you like to go for walks or do other active meditative activities? Tell us in the comments!