No Time to Exercise? No Time to Meditate? Do Both in No Time ?
Try Walking Meditation this Spring!
by Rebecca Shafir M.A.CCC
Even if you're Crazy Busy, consider this combined form of stress release and concentration practice. You can practice walking meditation anywhere, anytime. A wooded path, the perimeter of a parking lot or a long hallway will do!
Agree with yourself to set aside your thoughts about the past and future. Resolve to stay in the present. When other thoughts come into your mind, let them pass and get back to your breathing and walking. It doesn't matter how often other thoughts intrude into your consciousness, what matters is how often you notice the diversion and get back on track. To help you stay in the present tense repeat this mantra to yourself while you walk:
"Breathing in, I know I am breathing in." As you begin your walk say this to yourself with every breath you take in. "Breathing out, I know I am breathing out." Say this to yourself with every exhale. Start to focus on your body movements at the same time with your breaths. Lift your torso, relax your shoulders. Feel your footsteps on the ground as you walk along. Feel the solidness of the earth. Feel the air enter your lungs. Focus on as much of your body as you can until it becomes natural.
You will notice that you are relaxing and your not stomping your feet. Your breaths will slow down as well. See if you can walk additional steps between breaths comfortably. Find your pace all the time focusing on breathing in & breathing out. As you breathe in feel your energy increase. As you exhale feel relieved of stress and past/future issues. Note the natural rhythm of your body, your heart beating in rhythm with your movements. Your movements will now feel more fluid and flowing.
When you are finished walking, you will find a greater peace. This will help you to concentrate on your to-do lists and get more done in less time with greater efficiency. Start with just a few minutes of walking meditation every day. As you begin to notice the benefits, you'll find yourself wanting to extend to your walks to 20, 30 minutes or longer a day.
Home remedies like caffeine (found in colas, coffee, and chocolate) can increase the likelihood of feelings of anxiety. Alcohol and marijuana can dehydrate you and affect your energy level needed for an upbeat performance. Very low blood sugar (from not eating) can cause feelings of anxiety, and food allergies can cause depressed feelings.