Walking meditation, a mindfulness practice, brings mind and body together peacefully. It is a technique to put mindfulness into action and integrate it into daily life for various kinds of health benefits. It can help you feel more balanced and grounded. Also, it may help you develop a different awareness of your thoughts.
While sitting meditation is an extremely valuable practice to train your mind to redirect your thoughts, it offers a passive experience. Walking meditation allows you to reap the benefits of sitting meditation when performing real-world activities.
What is Walking Meditation
Also known as kinhin, walking meditation is a practice with origin in Buddhism. It involves movement between long periods of sitting meditation. Usually, it is performed by walking in a circle or a straight line over a long distance. Some also practice it in a labyrinth.
Benefits of Walking Meditation
Here, the objective is similar to other meditation forms – focus on each sensation linked to walking instead of letting the mind wander and worry about the past or future. Below are some benefits of the practice:
- It Reduces Anxiety
Typically, sitting meditation is one of those few techniques that come to the mind when it is about lowering the stress levels. However, research states that meditation is more effective when combined with walking.
People who meditate before a walk or walk before a meditation session may experience reduced symptoms of anxiety. This is not the case when people only walk.
- It Boosts Blood Flow
In today’s technology-friendly world, not everyone has time to go out and walk over a long distance. On the other hand, sitting for long periods alleviates feelings of sluggishness and increases the risk of chronic health problems.
Walking meditation is an effective practice for people who sit for many hours daily. Mindful walking fills them with energy and also boosts blood circulation.
- It Improves Digestion
Many people have a hunch that meditation is only connected to mental health. There are some forms like walking meditation that can also boost digestion. Walking after meals helps the digestive tract in moving the food.
Walking meditation can improve your mood, strengthen your mental health, and boost digestion. It may also be helpful in preventing constipation.
- It Improves Sleep
If you find it difficult to sleep at night, walking meditation can be an effective practice to improve your sleep quality. A study in 2019 showed that regular physical activity could have a positive impact on sleep.
Walking over a long distance strengthens muscle health and makes you feel better. Also, walking meditation can train you to control your thoughts, which is very helpful in preventing your mind from drifting off when you try to sleep.
- It Alleviates Depression
To get rid of negative thoughts and stay energetic, it is important to indulge in exercises that benefit your mind and body. Walking meditation promotes your physical and mental well-being.
A 2014 study showed how Buddhist walking meditations helped people with depressions. Participants who practiced the technique three times a week for 12 weeks noticed fewer symptoms of depression.
In the End
Make mindful walking a part of your daily life. Practice meditation for 10 minutes, followed by walking meditation. Be aware of the present moment and improve your overall well-being.