Sunday, August 1, 2010
Tips for foing for a walk
By: Marissa Anteby
The simple act of walking can do wonders to get your blood flowing throughout your whole body and up to your brain. You can reap the rewards of clearing your mind without having to hold your body in complete stillness as in other traditional meditation practices.
To maximize your experience, focus on 'present moment awareness.' It's helpful to walk slowly and deliberately, being conscious of each step, each breath, each sensation. If your mind wanders off, just re-direct your attention back to your feet. What does the earth beneath your feet feel like? Then let your mindfulness travel up from your feet to your legs, taking your time, to sense each part of your being, all the way to your head.
What's going on in your body as you move? What is it like to be alive in your body today? Where is energy moving freely inside of you? Where is there congestion, or an excess of energy? Take the time to experience whatever it is you are experiencing today. Deepen your physical perception by making a concerted effort to move as effortlessly as possible! In other words, try NOT to try.
Experiment with your pace and see what's comfortable to you. Layer on more awareness by using all of your senses. What sights, sounds, smells, tastes, energies, are found around you? Heighten your connection to each new moment by allowing it to present itself to you. Don't get caught up in what 'should' be happening. Let your unique experience unfold organically, naturally.
Connect with yourself by connecting with what's going on around you, then retracting this awareness closer and closer inside. Imagine that you are 'walking away' from your everyday responsibilities for a few moments. You may be surprised how answers to your questions seem to materialize when you release the problem for a little bit, while walking. See if you can let go of your usual preoccupations and find new space in your mind for your thoughts to roam free.
Use your journey to bring fresh awareness to the inner workings of your body and mind. Whatever comes up, let it. Allow emotions, images, insights, etc. to come and go on their own. Honor these arrivals and departures without having to 'make sense' of anything.
If you enjoy your walk, try it again later, and perhaps again tomorrow. Maybe you'll make this part of a new routine, for a new you!