So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. – Dr Seuss
Jacquie is a life coach in Vancouver. She spends many of her sessions walking with clients around the woods and mountains near her home. She says that her clients find it easier to relax and talk about their challenges when they are moving. As they stroll through nature, they become more creative, resourceful and solution-focused.
Walking allows an anxious mind to quieten. Runners report the same thing.
This practice explores the impact of walking on mindful awareness.
‘Walking The Space’ means allowing everyone in the room to quietly walk around, in any direction, at any speed. The aim is to let everyone wander around, at their own pace, as they become familiar with the room. As they move, the group will take ownership of the space and inhabit it with their energy.
Make sure the room is adequately spacious for the group, or practise outdoors.
Begin by standing still and bringing your awareness to the breath. Take a few moments to let yourself arrive and allow the breath to draw you gently into internal awareness.
Start by Walking The Space (see Mindful Tip).
Now, let the gaze drop down a little towards the ground a few metres ahead. Keeping the eyes open, bring the focus of your awareness inward and slow your walking to half-pace. Keep moving forward but with absolutely no hurry. With each step become more present, more aware.
Pay close attention to your own body by directing your full focus to the physical sensations of these slow steps. As you do this, notice what you are feeling.
Next, practise going between normal walking pace and half-pace. Notice what differences arise in the quality of your awareness when doing so.
Now, slow from half-pace to walking as slowly as possible. Decelerate every motion. Slow every footstep. Breathe.
How still can you be, whilst keeping the continuous movement flowing?
Walking at this pace, what do you feel in your body?
For the next few minutes modulate between walking pace, half-pace and slow before bringing the practice to a close in your own time.
Record your experience in your Mindfulness Journal noting in particular anything intriguing that you discovered about your body and its movement.
If you are practising with others, take turns sharing your discoveries.
This practice is an extract from 100 Mindfulness Meditations: The Ultimate Collection of Inspiring Daily Practices by Neil Seligman published by Conscious House and available on Amazon priced £12.99.
10 Mindfulness Meditations is an album of audio meditations to accompany the book and is now available on iTunes priced £7.99.
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