Walking Meditation (and Seated, Too): The Simple Mindfulness Practice You Can Do Anytime, Anywhere

One of the simplest mindfulness meditations you can practice is that of putting your awareness down into your feet. It’s so calming and grounding to connect with awareness in this way. Walking meditation is one possibility for undertaking this mindfulness practice, but you can also do it sitting down.

I’m lucky enough to live in San Diego, California, where I frequently have a walking meditation on the beach. I love to open all my senses to feel the air on my skin, to hear the birds, the surf, and the people, and to see the colors, shapes, and sights of the scene. I like to feel my body walking, concentrating on different parts of my feet, legs, and arms, and then switching back to all my senses taking everything into my awareness.

Getting Started

The walking meditation starts by grounding yourself through the soles of your feet. The soles of the feet exercise is great because it is easy to understand and feel, and you can even do it sitting in a chair. You just need your feet flat on the floor and to focus your attention of the soles of your feet. Notice whether your feet are warm or cold, moist or dry, in a sock and shoe or bare. Then you can move your ankles around to shift your weight to the sides and front and back of your feet and notice how your feet feel.

All this foot business keeps your attention on your feet instead of jumping to react to whatever stimulus is presenting itself to your brain at that moment. So to slow things down in one of life’s challenging moments and allow time to have your prefrontal cortex come on line to help you choose a more skillful response, you can drop your attention down to your feet.

You might be surprised how well this works to give you just enough time to respond rather than react on autopilot.

Please share your thoughts. . .
By |2017-11-15T07:58:40+00:00November 15th, 2017|Mindful Methods|

About the Author:

Julie Potiker
Author and mindfulness expert Julie Potiker is an attorney who began her serious study and investigation of mindfulness after graduating from the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program at the University of California, San Diego. She was trained by Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer and UCSD as a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher. She went on to study with Rick Hanson, becoming a graduate of his Positive Neuroplasticity Training Professional Course. Potiker also completed Brené Brown’s Living Brave Semester. Now, she shares these and other mindfulness techniques with the world through her Mindful Methods for Life trainings and her new book: “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos.” She holds a B.G.S. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from George Washington University.

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