Here at Sanctuary Yoga and Mindfulness, what we do is all in our name. Mindfulness in particular can take many forms. Yoga asana is a form of mindfulness, a moving meditation so to speak. The same can be said of a walking japa meditation.
Walking japa can be a welcome alternative to a seated meditation as part of a busy schedule. There are a number of different ways in which to practice. Some important things to consider are the setting, the length of the walk, and maintaining a steady pace.
When participating in a walking meditation, especially when new to the practice, it is important to do so in a familiar environment. There are lots of external factors to be conscious of, so when starting out it may be a good idea to walk in your backyard, living room, or for those of us living in the city, on your block. Anything from a crack in the sidewalk to other people in your path could interrupt your concentration, so it is important to keep the gaze down and forward and maintain awareness of your surroundings.
The length of the walk is another important factor to consider. A walking meditation practice should be a minimum of 15 minutes in length, longer when new to the practice. If that is not realistic at first, just walk for as long as you can. Keeping the gaze down and forward, take short steps coordinating each one with your breath. Over time as you begin to reap the benefits of the practice, you might find your walks increasing in length even more.
Finally pacing is an important factor to consider. Much like a seated meditation practice, a walking mindfulness practice cannot be rushed. When first starting, the slower the better. In order to allow yourself to really connect to your breath, it is important to keep the gaze down and forward, to take short punctuated steps, and move as slowly as you need to in order to stay fully engaged in each moment.
Like any mindfulness practice, it can be challenging to stay engaged at first, so stick with it. When the mind wanders, which it will, draw the attention back to your breath and it will allow you to remain firmly rooted in the moment. One foot in front of the other friends, and this will become a welcome addition to your self care routine.
Written by Matt Lynch
SANCTUARY YOGA & MINDFULNESS
Sanctuary Yoga & Mindfulness is a healing haven in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. Our premier yoga studio offers weekly yoga & mindfulness meditation classes, as well as workshops and teacher trainings of the highest caliber. “Sanctuary Signature” yoga classes all place an emphasis on: excellence in alignment; thoughtful sequencing; inspiring & uplifting verbiage to support your body, mind and heart, allowing you to feel enhanced on every level. Each yoga class and yoga practice offered also contains 3-5 minutes of mindfulness meditation at its conclusion to further punctuate your profound experience during your time with us.
Our expert and exceptional teachers are highly trained, warm, and knowledgeable in areas of therapeutics, bio-mechanics, philosophy, meditation and so much more! All our classes are highly curated with an excellence in sequencing and intelligent alignment for the body; artful language for the mind; and inspiration for the heart. Come experience our amazing teaching tribe for yourself!