test-A Walking Meditation
Energy, Stress and Mood
A Walking Meditation
Julie Larson, Certified Meditation & Mindfulness Teacher • May 20, 2024

Let’s Explore Together

Ready to unwind in the great outdoors? We’d like to invite ya on a journey to explore inner peace wherever you may be and participate—if you choose—in a walking meditation!

Meditation That Works for You

There are many ways to meditate and not all of them are a good fit for our individual needs; sometimes it can be difficult to quiet the mind through a sitting practice. Being mindful as you walk can help you focus on the present moment through cultivating a unique awareness of your body and mind, soaking in the senses of the world around you, whether you find yourself inside or outside.

A Walking Meditation Step-by-Step

While we often close our eyes when we meditate, it may not be the best idea to do that with a walking meditation. Stay safe through an awareness of your surroundings. To start, choose a location, either outside or inside, that has a clear and even path.

To start, soften your gaze into the atmosphere around you. Instead of concentrating solely on your breath, take a moment to center yourself in your body and try to release thoughts as if it were as easy as taking off a jacket. Begin walking slowly, focusing on your feet, stepping with your heel and rolling to the balls of your feet with each step. As you do, feel the ground beneath you. Your feet carry so much weight; allow them to loosen with movement and sense the rhythm they are creating.

From there move your awareness to your ankles as they move, allowing each foot to land one in front of the other. Do this again and again. Remain at a slow pace with steady breathing and allow your arms to move gently at your sides. Moving further up the legs, take a moment to feel your calves, how the muscles there enable you to move your feet and lower legs.

Next is the connection point found at your knees. Sense the way the knee allows each leg to lift and then land. Finally feel the upper leg, how they connect to the upper body through the hips. How they align on each side of the spine and help keep the balance of walking. Allow your legs to steady your frame so the tension in the upper body can release.

If you feel comfortable, you can increase your pace, but allow it to remain constant. Begin to breathe in the sensory world and awaken your senses to the beauty that surrounds you. What do you see through your soft gaze as you walk along the path? Perhaps there are tree branches being moved by wind or the grass is beginning to turn green. Maybe there is a brown dog or a rabbit.

Now think about what you can hear. The daily sounds of life. Perhaps there are birds singing or children laughing in the distance or the engines of cars or airplanes. Notice what changes as you walk. Think about which scents rise to the surface. Maybe the earthy smell of thawing soil or the opening of blooms like hyacinth or lilac. Now take a moment to explore the texture of something. Maybe it’s the feeling of your clothes brushing up against your skin. What your feet feel like in your shoes or on the grass. You might brush your hand against the rough ridges of a tree trunk or the smooth leather of a leaf.

Finally, take a moment to recognize the invisible world around you. The microbes from plants or animals that we breathe in: the phytoenes plants emit that are tasteless and have no scent. At every moment we are interacting with the world around us. Allow yourself to just be in the moment, in the stillness as you move. It is enough. You are enough. Awaken to a feeling of wholeness in your body and mind and release judgement and the temptation to form thoughts. It’s natural for them to arrive, but just let them pass by like cloud formations.

After the walk, take a moment to stand still. Feel the buzzing of blood and cellular activity you’ve initiated. I hope you feel invigorated and alive. If you feel tension, try and relax that part of your body. Gently shrug your shoulders, roll your neck and straighten your spine. Movement keeps your fascia, the inner mesh that helps provide a healthy body composition, more flexible. Remember you can do this any time, at whatever pace and frequency feels supported. Regardless of where you find yourself in this vast world, may the rest of your day be radiant with joy and a renewed sense of clarity.

Julie Larson

About Julie Larson

 Julie is a writer, researcher, and educator with an MFA in English who is passionate about poetry and  what helps the human body function optimally. Her goal is to empower others in their health journey by helping them make informed choices based on sound research. She believes optimizing the health of our bodies not only allows us to feel better mentally and physically, but also helps to fuel what we really want to accomplish.