Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware of what’s occurring in the present moment and engaging our senses to experience it. Mindful walking is to practice mindfulness when you walk.
It is a way of relaxing and allowing yourself to enjoy a walk without distractions, stay focused in the moment and understand how your mind and body reacts to the experience.
You can practice mindful walking in your house, up and down the stairs, outdoors during your daily walk, it doesn’t matter. Taking just 5 minutes out of your day to recharge yourself by mindful walking can do wonders for you. But how exactly do you start?
A step by step process to get started with mindful walking
Settle into your walk. As you start walking, settle in. Walk at your natural pace, without intentionally altering it. Get rid of all distractions, put away your phone and focus on the moment. As you walk, become aware of your breathing, feel your legs against the ground and start to enjoy and feel every stride you take.
Notice each step. Enjoy and feel every stride you take. Pay attention to your legs and the rising and falling sensation with each step. Try to walk at a steady pace and every step, touch your heel to the ground first followed by the rest of your foot. Keep your attention and focus on these steps and the physical sensations in your feet. Every time you notice your mind wandering, bring your attention back to your next step.
Engage the other senses. As you continue to walk, take a moment to look around you and notice your surroundings. What are the sounds around you? If you’re outdoors, try listening to sounds of nature like the bird chirping or the wind. Appreciate the beauty of these sounds and keep bringing your attention to your steps as and when needed. Don’t force yourself to notice any sounds or objects, just appreciate and enjoy them as you experience them. Each time, keep noticing how your body responds to these senses and how it makes you feel.
Notice your body functions. Notice the changes occurring in your body while you walk. With each step, feel your quadriceps when you move forward & hamstrings when you move back. Pay attention to other muscles and sensations like your stomach contracting and expanding, sweat falling down your brows. You’ll notice a change in your breathing too! Notice how your body responds and take a moment to appreciate and understand it.
Walking is a great physical activity and a mental boost. Taking the effort to practice mindful walking will help you get attuned to your mind and body. You’ll be able to observe and enjoy the moment without any judgment or distractions and clear your mind and balance yourself. Here’s some checklist items to keep in mind before you start your walk.
If you’re curious, try out Evolve’s guided mindful walk in order to refresh yourself!