Double Your Pleasure Every Time You Walk With This Eastern Practice
You May Love Walking More Than Ever
Walking is a simple way to trim the waistline and boost overall health. But those steps can become a powerful meditation too, something to make you not only fit, but radiant … even enlightened.
People of the East have known this for millennia, often called Qigong Walking (qigong translates to the cultivation of life-force energy). This practice combines movement, breathwork and meditation.
In the West, we usually speed-walk to get somewhere more quickly, or to increase the aerobic exercise. But in the East, it’s as much about the journey as any outcome or destination.
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
Essentials of a good walking meditation
1. As you take each step, feel the gravity holding you to the earth. Notice how this invisible force supports you and keeps you safe and grounded to Mother Earth.
Paying attention to gravity tunes us into the subtle realms of our universe, which govern our physical realms. Once we notice gravity, we might also notice the wind, the temperature, the humidity, the scent of grass — all invisible realms that take us beyond what our obvious vision perceives.
2. While walking, breathe deeply and fully into your abdomen. We’re all born breathing into our belly as infants, but the stress of the modern world moves our breath up into our chess where we often breathe shallow, almost like we’re hyperventilating throughout the day.
That not only can take a toll on our health, providing less oxygen and keeping us in a state of fight-or-flight, but it’s no good for the mind either.
By becoming mindful of our breath, we immediately enter the present moment (that’s where breath happens). And by breathing consciously into our abdomen, we boost oxygen levels in our cells, and instill a sense of peace as our stomachs are filled with endorphins that circulate when we engage our breath there.
3. Observe the beauty and movement of nature, knowing you are an integral part of it. Notice the trees and branches, what state are the leaves in? Or have they already fallen?
Perhaps other people are passing by, remember they are a part of nature too.
See all movement, the swaying of greenery, the clouds sliding across the sky, the movement of you — your feet rising and falling and arms swaying as you glide along the earth.
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” — Audrey Hepburn
Place attention at your brow as you walk, which can elevate consciousness. Mystics believe the center of our brow is a portal to the pineal gland and the seat of our soul — where our intuition permeates our thoughts — often known as the third eye.
When we hold our attention in this intuitive center, we may see things in a different light. Our thoughts may become more philosophical and deep than the common concerns of survival that usually navigate our neurons.
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ― John Muir
Final thoughts and testimonial
I credit walking to turning around my health years ago when I was in a state of mental and physical disarray. I decided to take one light walk in the morning, and one in the afternoon — everyday.
That alone began to transform my health, and open up new doorways of wellness.
The next practice I took up was meditation, clearing old cobwebs in my mind and realizing my true inner state of being.
Now, with Qigong Walking, I can combine these two practices into one powerful routine. I stroll as if scaling the astral plane for epiphanies that could change my life forever. To everyone else, I’m just taking a walk…