Hey hey yall!
Day 8 of our cleanse brings us to another cleansing tip. Yesterday I provided a yoga pose to help with cleansing the body.
Today’s cleansing tip is walking meditation to cleanse the mind.
Many people know walking has great benefits for the mind and body. Just 30 minutes of walking 3-5 days a week can improve your overall physical health tremendously. However, walking is also great for your mental and emotional state. Walking helps to increase endorphins (our feel-good hormones) and blood flow to the brain which helps to clear out negative thoughts and feelings.
Meditation provides similar results as it helps to calm our minds and relieve stress. We often see meditation presented as a practice done sitting in silence. This is can be incredibly challenging for most people, especially for individuals with high stress levels, feeling of overwhelm, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD or any number of other concerns that make silence and sitting still for too long difficult.
The good news is, meditation is not such a limited practice and can be done in a number of ways. Mindful meditation is simply the act of focusing on an object, moment, or activity. During mindful meditation, as with other forms of meditation, the mind may wander. This is normal. Practicing mindfulness includes accepting wandering thoughts, being kind with yourself for having them and then redirecting your mind back to the area of focus.
Many mindful meditation practices will include focusing on the breath. Today’s practice is taking a walk and guiding your focus to the present moment during the walk.
Here’s how it is done:
- Schedule it: select a time and location that works for you (try 30 minutes in the morning before your day gets hectic or in the evening right after work to release the stress from the day or even your lunch break and go to a park, beach, garden or trail. Truth be told you can practice mindfulness anywhere but why not practice in a peaceful place while soaking in some vitamin D.)
- Put on comfortable walking shoes and clothes
- Bring water
- Leave your phone, ipod, etc at home or in the car
- Before starting your walk: take a few deep breaths and pay attention to how you are feeling (Do you notice any tension in your body? Are there any emotions you feel coming up?), maybe even set an intention for what you want to release or increase during your walk
- WALK and BREATHE
- During the walk: pay attention to what is happening in your body, starting at your feet and working your way up to the top of your head. Pay attention to what it feels like to walk. Notice how your feet feel on the ground. Acknowledge how your body moves through the space, how your arms swing, how your breath feels. Bring your attention to the environment around you: the plants in the area, animals along the trail, the color of the sky. Notice how you feel as you go through this process or simply keep bringing your attention back to your intention.
- The most important step is to be gentle with yourself. Your mind may wander, especially initially and begin reminding you of all the things you need to do or worry about. Your only job is to acknowledge the thoughts and remind yourself of what is happening in that present moment. You will get around to everything else when you are done!
- After your walk: drink water, bring attention back to your body and notice how you feel physically and emotionally.
I have found walking meditation to be much easier than sitting meditation for many people. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you in the Actualize Your Healing Facebook Group.
In Perfect Love,