My success rate with traditional meditation is poor. To be honest, it’s zippo. Enter kinhin, the act of walking meditation. Stillness is not something I’m good at, so for me, a moving meditation situation has loads more potential for benefit. Not to mention it’s a real value pack: doing something physical, while being outside and meditating all at the same time? Done. Sign me up.
I need an app to help me with this. If you prefer not to involve technology, scroll down to mindful walking and let me say right here that I am in awe of you. But if you need help (ME), then here are 3 apps to consider and you may already have one or more loaded on your device.
Insight Timer (a ReSet favorite)
This app has a long list of walking meditations of varying lengths. Sample some and see if one resonates with you.
- Sacred Walking Meditation with Ruthi Cohen Joyner is one I’m loving right now. The walking starts at 4:21 of this 30 min program.
- Walking Meditation with Celestine Fedley is one I use if I just can’t get outside. I walk back and forth down the longest hallway in my house. It’s just over 5 minutes so even I can manage it.
In the “Meditate” section of this app, try the “Mindful Walking” option. This program guides you through an awareness of your environment and your body including your movement.
The Headspace narrator is a forever favorite of mine. His voice earns him a gold medal in this space. Look in the “Movement and Sport” section of the app and consider trying “Walking in Nature” and “Connect with Your Body."
"Some Days are Diamonds, Some Days are Rocks." --Tom Petty
Some days my walking meditation efforts are just a no-go. Those days, I put on a podcast and get lost in a story while walking. Let yourself go there if you need to and pat yourself on the back for honoring what you needed at that moment.
Remember to be aware when you’re walking and don’t have your headphones so loud that you can’t hear enough to be cognizant of your surroundings.
Mindful Walking from Healthy magazine
Follow Your Own Footsteps
As you begin walking, deliberately put your mind down into your feet. Become aware of the physical movement of your legs. Notice the sensations of the contact of your feet on the ground. Be interested in the quality of each step. Are your legs tense or relaxed?
Switch On Your Senses
Staying connected to the physicality of your legs and feet, expand your awareness to notice your surroundings.
- What do you see? Notice the people passing by; the houses; the color of the trees; look up and check out the sky… be curious!
- What do you hear? Actively listen. Tune into the sounds around you, birds chirping, people talking, dogs barking, a lawnmower, etc.
Guard Your Inner Peace
We experience the world and ourselves through our senses. By paying friendly attention to the relay of information we’re receiving through them every second, the happier and more connected to our surroundings we become.
Think of your mind as your home. Instead of letting any old stranger barge into your sanctuary and potentially upset the balance, in being mindful, you stand at the front door, check out who’s there, and then decide who comes in. With practice, you can become expert at only allowing health and happiness-restoring thoughts.
Look For the Good
Left to its own devices, your mind can get negative: ‘They’re talking too loud!’, ‘It’s too cold!’ But you have a choice. Get stressed by your stress or switch tracks and choose to have thoughts that boost your wellbeing.
All you need to do is look for the positives during your walk. The blue sky, fresh air on your face, a child’s laugh, or someone’s beautiful flowers. Keeping an eye out for beauty is way more relaxing than staying caught in the hamster wheel of negativity.