An exercise for practising mindfulness of walking. Before you start, prepare the space. Removing your shoes is good, if that’s possible. And find a place where you can walk for about 12-14 steps before you have to turn.
Now first notice your body as you stand in stillness. Feeling the connection of the body to the ground, or the floor. Becoming aware of your surroundings, taking in any sights, smells, tastes, sounds or other sensations. Notice any thoughts or emotions and let them be. Notice your arms by your sides or if you prefer, hold your right hand in your left hand at the front, or clasp your hands at your back. Notice your breath, moving in and out of your body. No need to change it; just let it be.
Now shift your weight to the left leg and begin to lift your right foot up. Move it forward, place it back down on the ground. Mindfully shift the weight the right leg and begin to lift the left foot up, move it forward, place it back down on the ground.
And continue with this walking… walking mindfully, walking slowly, and paying attention to the sensations on the soles of your feet. As each part of the sole, from heel to toe, touches the ground. Lifting, moving, placing. Lifting, moving, placing. Notice how the body moves as you walk. Walk with awareness. One step at a time.
When it is time to turn, maintain the flow of mindfulness and bring your awareness to the intricate process of turning. Slowly, and with attention to each movement necessary to turn, begin to walk back to where you started. One step at a time. Lifting, moving, placing. Lifting, moving, placing.
Find a rhythm that suits you. That suits your body and your balance. As you move forward, notice your body, notice your head sitting on your shoulders, your arms & hands, your torso, your legs, moving you forward, step by step.
Notice any thoughts that arise and let them be. Returning your focus to the sensation of walking. Lifting, moving, placing. Notice your breath. Has it moved into a rhythm; a rhythm that fits with your pace of walking, step by step? There’s no need to change your breathing, but you might find that it has changed without you noticing it.
Continue walking, taking care to notice each intricate movement required at the turns. One step at a time. Practice this for a moment.
And next time you return to your starting place, be still. Notice the sensations in your body; bring awareness to your breath. Notice the stillness when movement ceases. And appreciate the time you have spent today, practising mindfulness of walking.
Source: Living Well Australia