Mindful Walking: A step toward Mindful Running

Leave the first response September 12, 2008 / Posted in Mindful Running, Mindfulness, The Running Mind

La Jolla Sunset

While walking is different than running both of them are a controlled fall. Gracefully or clumsily catching ourselves with each step we take. I will be talking about going for the grace as we go forward. PBS years ago had a barefoot monk walking barefoot along a road. Gradually the lens focused on his foot plant as he walked along the surface of the earth. It’s important to land only on the surface, otherwise the body weight attempting to drive through the ground is stopped at the surface. The forces are transmitted back up the body through bone, joint and muscle.

The camera then in slow motion showed the mindfulness and the grace of walking “over” the surface of the earth.

Mindful Walking takes on a whole new dimension. Running as mindfully is possible.
While the practice is about sitting and observing breathe. It is also about awareness from moment to moment when our sitting practice is finished.

Walking with Awareness: Mindful Walking

Many of us take the benefits of walking for granted.  Each day we limit the steps we take by driving or sitting for long periods of time.  But walking even a few blocks a day has unlimited benefits – not only for our health, but our spirit as well, for as we walk, we connect with the earth.

Even when walking on concrete, the earth is still beneath us, supporting us. Walking lets our body remember simpler times, when life was less complicated. This helps us slow down to the speed of our body and take the time to integrate the natural flow of life into our cellular tissue. Instead of running from place to place or thinking about how much more we can fit into our day, walking allows us to exist in the moment.

Each step we take can lead us to becoming more mindful of ourselves and our feelings. Walking slows us down enough not only to pay attention to where we are in our body, but also to our breath. Taking time to simply notice our breath while we walk, through the length of our inhales and exhales, and becoming attuned to the way in which we breathe is taking a step towards mindfulness. When we become more mindful, we gradually increase our awareness of the environment around us and start to recognize that the normal flow of our thoughts and feelings are not always related to where we are in the present moment. Gradually we realize that the connection we have with the earth and the ground beneath our feet is all that is. By walking and practicing breathing mindfully we gain a sense of calm and tranquility — the problems and troubles of the day slowly fade away because we are in the ‘now’.

The simplicity and ease of a walking practice allows us to create time, space and awareness of our surroundings and of the wonders that lie within. Taking a few moments to walk each day and become more aware of our breath will in turn open the door for the beauty of the world around us to filter in.

Reprinted with permission from DailyOM- Inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy and fulfilling day. Register for free at www.dailyom.com

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