Hello my name is MizFit (hi mizfit!) and Im a fast walker.
It’s not so much if we’re ambling together but alone I tend to walk purposefully—with a destination in mind.
A destination and, typically, said destination has a time associated with it.
I stride purposefully, quickly, and exceedingly mindlessly.
As a result, my recent trip to NYC was a tremendous gift.
I had meetings (for which I got fancy & took a cab) yet for the most part my time was my own.
I still wanted to do my daily meditation–but was hesitant to “waste” any of my precious NYC-time in the hotel room.
Enter the notion of breath walking.
Breath walking, a blending of walking and Kundalini yoga, was initially designed for people lacking in stamina and flexibility.
Quite frankly the only thing I have going for me in yoga is my stamina and flexibility—so Ive
always scoffed at never made time for moving meditation.
Quite frankly Id still not have made time to try it had I not read an article (on the flight to NYC. there are no accidents) which described it this way:
In walking meditation we use the experience of walking as our sole focus.
As a woman with tremendous monkey mind I was sold.
I can walk. I know how to walk. I can focus on the walk.
Continuous stepping + measured breaths + a mantra = a breath walking, NYC strolling misfit.
I practiced moving meditation each morning during my trip and have tried it a few times since Ive returned.
It rocks. It’s super challenging. Here’s why.
Why moving meditation ROCKED:
- Breath walking is a needed change. It was perfect when I didnt want to meditate indoors. It was invigorating *and* I felt part of the city. Now home, Ive found breath walking (instead of haul-a** walking) a way to intersperse meditation into the zaniness of my day.
- It works *with* my monkey mind. Ive grown better at stopping distracting during meditation but Im far from perfect. Ive found my mind SLOWS during breath walking as it tunes into/becomes more aware of bodily sensations. This still isnt completely emptying my mind—but it’s better than distracting, fretting thoughts.
- It makes sense! Walking rocks (walking 75 minutes weekly may add two years to your life. walking 64 minutes daily may add 4.5 years.). Meditation rocks. Why not walking meditation?!
- It’s easy and fast. Commit. Pull on your shoes. WALK! There are specifics (addressed below) but more than anything it’s choosing a mantra and walking slowly. It’s focusing on how your body feels as you move, how your breaths flow in & out, and on the releasing tension from your physique.
Why breath walking was a challenge:
- I struggled with inward focus. When I meditate at home Im rarely visually distracted as my eyes are closed. In New York it was a challenge not to ‘sight-see’ and at home it’s a challenge to watch where Im going yet not grow distracted by people or things in my path.
- Im a wonky breather. Who knew? During breath walking you match your breath with your stride. Im getting better at slowing down both pieces—but initially Id have been panting had I matched my breath with my steps.
- I cant walk and tap at concurrently–yet. It’s suggested as you breath walk you tap your fingers (thumb to pointer, thumb to middle etc). While this sounds easy–it consistently trips me up. My mantra (I am stress-free) fits perfectly with the taps and yet, while trying to focus inward and move *and* not bonk into anything, I’ve consistently forgotten to tap.
All things considered Im smitten with the notion of moving meditation.
It wont replace my morning minutes but I enjoy how breath walking brings meditation to mundane activities from walking to school to strolling to the post office.
- Have you tried breath walking?
- Do you meditate with a mantra? Care to share?
- Did you see me BONK! into a pole the first time I movingly meditated in my ‘hood? (<—-please say no even if you did)