Learn to do Walking Meditation to Relax and Exercise

The practice of mindfulness is extremely beneficial for calming the mind and coping with psychological stress. Learn to unite your mind and body through the practice of walking meditation.
Learn to do Walking Meditation to Relax and Exercise

Last update: 27 March, 2019

When you walk, everything flows. In fact, you not only manage to lose those extra pounds, sometimes you can even lighten many of the daily loads that make you a captive of your own stress. In order to achieve a deeper state of relaxation and provide you with emotional catharsis, we suggest that you learn to do walking meditation.

This is what’s known as “breathwalk” (breathing while you walk). It’s a practice that combines synchronized breathing and moderate physical exercise with mindfulness.

For many people, this is a type of mindfulness that can be applied to your daily life while exercising your body and relaxing your mind through deep meditation.

At first, this concept might seem somewhat confusing. We assure you, however, that the benefits are incredible and that many athletes already apply this in their daily routines.

Walking Meditation: Train Your Mind as You Walk

Person walking on sand white feathers
There are lots of people who start to practice meditation but don’t get the results they’re looking for. Mindfulness, as you know, is much more than a mode of relaxation.

It invites you to experience a different plane of consciousness during which you relax your mind and learn to be more present and receptive to this complex environment while reaffirming your essence.

Although the goal is very satisfying and promotes true personal growth, not everyone is able to apply this in their lives.

If you add the interesting dimension of physical exercise, however, you make a leap that has already provided direct benefits to many people: walking and meditation can go hand-in-hand.

Let’s look at this in a little more detail.

Walking Meditation: an Ancestral Practice

Buddha statue in the park red leaves walking meditation

In this modern, stressful, and demanding world, meditating the traditional way is almost impossible. How can you sit down when there’s so much to do?

This is something that many people have probably thought. However, there are times when you’re acutely aware of two things:

  • You need to manage your stress.
  • You also know you need to get some kind of exercise. Leading a sedentary lifestyle can destroy your health.

So why not combine them both? These two issues give you an idea of why breathwalk has gained such remarkable success.

  • Walking while you meditate has its roots in the practice of zenith Zen Buddhism.
  • In Japan, for example, it’s common to see groups of people walking while others guide them, ringing a bell from time to time.
  • This practice is focused on synchronized breathing and taking regular steps that will train you to live in the present moment while you focus on the exercise itself.

According to ancient scriptures, Buddha himself used to walk in the forest in order to relax.

  • First of all, he would sit for a few minutes and meditate. Then he began walking. As he explained, what began while he was seated was applied as he walked.
  • The simple act of walking, of putting one foot on the ground in front of the other and of feeling them contact the earth while your mind is focused, invites you to meditate almost automatically.
  • To do this in an authentic way, it’s necessary to learn how to breathe.

Walking Meditation: a very simple practice that’s worth doing every day

Woman walking her dog on the beach walking meditation
While it’s true that this approach has a spiritual component, you can’t lose sight of the fact that – whether you have these beliefs or not – it’s beneficial when it comes to calming the mind.

To this day, for example, mindfulness is integrated into many psychological techniques that help a person become more conscious of their emotional world in order to manage it.

On the other hand, if you want to enjoy some good physical exercise while learning to manage your stress a little better, there’s nothing better than applying these simple “breathwalk” meditation techniques.

How to Do a Breakwalk

  • You should wear comfortable clothing and closed-toed shoes to protect your feet.
  • Before you start your walk, sit for five minutes. Rest your hands on your chest and breathe deeply.
  • Feel how your chest expands. Hold that breath for 10 seconds and then exhale deeply.
  • Repeat this exercise several times. Then you’re ready to start walking.
  • Start your walk little by little. You need to feel your feet come into contact with the ground, become aware of your legs and heart that begins to beat as if it were following some inner music that brings you calm.
  • It’s important that you feel your breath, that you hear it liberating you: breathe in, feel the pressure expand in your abdomen, and release deeply.
  • Rest every 10 minutes and resume the walk again.

Unite yourself with your body so that your mind is aware of the here and now: it’s the only thing that matters, and it’s where the true calm lies.

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  • Hanh, T. N. (2011). The long road turns to joy: A guide to walking meditation. Parallax Press.
  • Hanh, T. N. (1985). Guide to Walking Meditation. Fellowship of Reconciliation.
  • Roth, B., & Creaser, T. (1997). Mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction: experience with a bilingual inner-city program. The nurse practitioner22(3), 150-2.
  • Khalsa, G. S., & Bhajan, Y. (2008). Breathwalk: Breathing your way to a revitalized body, mind and spirit. Harmony.