Search
Search
Generic filters

Ready to change your life?Start Now! Contact Us

Mindful Walking Exercise

April 25, 2018

By Linda Smith, PA, MS

Description of Mindful Walking

Mindfulness is an ability that can be practiced at any point in our day, either in stillness or in movement. For many, the idea of sitting still to meditate can be challenging, especially with long days of commuting and sitting at work. Though generally performed with the sole purpose of getting from one place to another, walking is so central to our lives that it makes for a ready focus for mindful, meditative attention.

Mindful walking, or walking meditation, is a way to bring awareness to our bodies and tune into the sensations that arise while in motion. It allows us to practice movement without a goal or intention and to fully appreciate the impact of the external world on our inner experience. It encourages us to let go of the urge to overthink by using our breath to help ground us and connect to our external landscape with curiosity and kindness.

Mindful walking provides an opportunity to meditate during the gaps in our life as we walk to our car in the morning, from our cars into work, down the halls between meetings, or as we leave the supermarket. It can also be a more formal practice, performed in a park, along the beach, in the woods or in a labyrinth. In creating a mindful walking practice, we can become more aware of things outside of ourselves – the wind or sun on our body, the sounds of nature and other humans and machines in our external environments.

Impact and Support

Mindful walking has been shown to be a powerful tool for self-healing by reducing stress, increasing focus and attention, and improving quality of life. When practiced outdoors in nature, it can also contribute to uplifting mood and outlook. Since walking involves movement of the body, a regular practice creates a healthy habit of regular gentle exercise that supports the physical benefits of an active lifestyle.

Practice Considerations

Mindful walking can take place anywhere your feet will take you. It is accessible to those who use a wheelchair, as well. When practicing on sidewalks and along streets, remember to pay attention to street lights, traffic and other people. When off the grid in the woods or in parks, be aware of variations in the ground level, tree roots and branches, as well as other people.

If there are not easily accessible outdoor spaces, for either personal practice or training others, mindful walking can be practiced indoors by walking in a circle or straight line.

Interested in Attending an Upcoming Mindfulness Program?

Join us at Duke Integrative Medicine for Introduction to the Hakomi Method: Mindfulness, Loving Presence, and Embodiment. Register early by June 1, 2018 to receive a 10% discount. Click here to register now!

Join us for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Register early by June 21, 2018 to receive a 10% discount. Click here to register now!

Join us for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – Distance Learning. Register early by June 28, 2018 to receive a 10% discount. Click here to register now!

SUGGESTED POSTS

The Essential Posture You Won’t Learn in Most Yoga Classes

By Carol Krucoff, C-IAYT, E-RYT Relieve Pain and Enhance Health with Seated Mountain Pose One of the most helpful yoga poses for modern life is never taught in most yoga classes. Seated Mountain Pose teaches the essential skill of sitting properly in a chair, and--as a yoga therapist--I’ve seen ...

READ MORE

Ten Tips for Successful Habit Change

1. Connect your new habit to your best self Deep motivation for change comes from connecting your habits to what you most want for optimal health and how that supports you in being your best self. 2. Create a 3-6 month goal Three to six ...

READ MORE

Ten Steps for Awareness of Breathing Practice

A person typically takes around 22,000 breaths per day. So, bringing your attention to this occurrence for a few minutes daily can provide many health benefits. Furthermore, pausing for a short breathing break is a great way to enjoy a quick refresher during a hectic day. Conscious breathing or ‘breath awareness’ ...

READ MORE
BACK TO POSTS

For more information about

Duke Integrative Medicine and our various services and programs, please join our mailing list.


error: Content is protected !!