While mindful walking has no single definition, the goal is clear: ‘to be consciously aware while moving through the environment’.
The journey becomes less about the destination and more about an awareness of what is outside and inside us. When moving – perhaps to an even greater degree – it is possible to find stillness, to become aware, and be present.
The steps that follow describe how to perform mindful walking:
Find somewhere safe to walk where you will not be disturbed, your garden, a city park, country lane or even a busy street.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes for walking.
Stand still and become aware of how you feel.
Consider your posture, the weight of your body, feet in your shoes and your muscles as you balance.
Take a few deep breaths and slowly bring your awareness into the present.
Begin walking a little slower than normal.
Maintain awareness of your body and how you feel in your body - your feel, legs, breath.
Notice the motion of the feet as you walk, Feel the way the feet touch the ground and the movement and muscles elsewhere in your body.
Keep your attention within yourself and on your breath throughout.
Take your attention to what you can hear - spend time listening to what is around you and what you can hear further away from you as well. Keep your breathing relaxed. Hear the wind, the trees, animals moving around, insects, cars etc.
Then notice what you can smell - wood, grass, flowers or anything else you notice.
Feel the ground as you walk, touch a tree, or a plant, your own hands, feel the rain, sun or wind on your body.
Then take in all the sights you can see - notice things that are close to you, on the ground, nearby you, next to you, around you, the sky, the clouds, other people, the path etc.
Is there anything you can taste - this might be more challenging but see if you can taste anything as you walk around - rain, the air.
Be aware of each breath - do not force your breath and if your mind wanders just bring it back to you and notice again where you are and start to tune into one of the senses again.
Continue walking for as long as you want.
When you are finished. Stop and stand still. Tune into your breath and comeback to a more natural awareness of where you are.
If you a have drink with you sit down and drink it slowly and mindfully - smell it, feel the sensation of it in your mouth, savour the flavour and taste, feel the warmth or coolness it brings. Try to maintain a relaxed awareness of your surroundings and how you feel throughout the day so you can use your breath to come back to your centre if your breathing has become shallow or fast or anxious.