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WHAT ARE THE EXERCISES OF WALKING MEDITATION ?INNER YOGA-43


WALKING MEDITATION ;--

1-Walking meditation is more than a simple stroll in the park. It is usually done much slower than normal walks, and involves either coordination with the breathing, or specific focusing practices. It looks more like meditation than like walking.

2-Unlike seated meditation, when walking your eyes are open, body is standing and moving, and there is a bit more interaction with the outside world. Because the body is moving, it is easier to be mindful of the body sensations and anchored in the present moment; for this reason, many people find walking meditation easier than seated meditation.

GENERAL GUIDELINES;--

Here are some things to keep in mind, regardless of the “type” of walking meditation you choose.

1-PLACE;-

It may feel a bit awkward in the beginning, so you might consider doing walking meditation first in your backyard. If you are walking outside, find a secluded place where you won’t be distracted or disturbed. Ideally, the walking path should be slightly enclosed, so there is less distraction from the scenery, and the mind can more easily go inwards.

B-Stay away from high-traffic and heavily populated walking areas. It’s also important that you feel safe in your surroundings.

2-LENGTH;-

Ideally practice for at least 15 minutes. Since there is no discomfort of seated practice or of not moving, you can naturally do it for longer periods than seated meditation.

3-PACE;-

Slow is better. Pace should be steady and even. If your mind is agitated, or your ability to focus is weak, walk very slowly, until you can stay in the present moment with each step.

4-ANCHORING;-

Before you start your walking session, spend a minute or two just standing there, breathing deeply and anchoring your attention in your body.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and balance your weight evenly on both feet. Take the time to feel the stability of the ground beneath you.

5-DEEP BREATHING;-

Take a few deep breaths.Close your eyes and do a scan of your whole body, starting at your feet. Make note of any sensations, thoughts or feelings and take the time to explore the sensations fully.

Bring your awareness to your body, noticing how your body feels as you are standing, and becoming aware of all the sensations going on in your body.

6-RE-FOCUSING;-

Just as in seated meditation, whenever your mind starts to engage with thoughts (or any type of mental content), bring your attention back to your walking and your breathing.

7-ATTITUDE;-

We are not going anywhere. There is nothing to achieve, except mastering our attention and presence. Simply be with the process.

8-TECHNIQUE ;-

Choose one of the six techniques explained here. If you don’t know which to try, read my recommendation at the end of this article.

EXERCISE ONE;-

STRAIGHT WALK WITH ''OM'' MANTRA;-

1-Many Yogis walk for long hours as a way of developing concentrations – sometimes as much as ten or fifteen hours a day.Of all walking meditations , this is the one with the most elaborate mental aspect of the training.

2-We stress walking back and forth on a single path instead of wandering about because otherwise part of the mind would have to negotiate the path. A certain mental effort is required to, say, avoid a chair or step over a rock. When you walk back and forth, pretty soon you know the route and the problem-solving part of the mind can be put to rest.

3-Walking in a circle is a technique that is sometimes used, but the disadvantage is that the continuity of a circle can conceal a wandering mind. Walking back and forth, the little interruption when you stop at the end of your path can help to catch your attention if it has wandered.

INSTRUCTION;-

A-For this type of walking meditation, choose a straight path of about 30 to 40 feet long.You can practice barefoot, or wearing light shoes.While doing walking meditation you need to activate the mind using a mantra, rather than calm it, so that it becomes more focused and awake.

B-The use of a mantra like 'OM' repeating it quietly to yourself over and over and over again. Increase the speed of repetition if the mind insists on wandering..We can take example of GOVERDHAN parikrama,where all the devouts are with their japmalas.

12 STEPS;-

1-Stand upright, with eyes cast down about a meter and a half in front (to prevent distraction), not looking at anything in particular. Some people find it useful to keep the eyelids half closed.

2-As you walk, place all your attention at the soles of the feet, on the sensations and feelings as they arise and pass away.

3-Feel the legs and feet tense as you lift the leg. Feel the movement of the leg as it swings through the air. Note the sensations felt.

4-As the foot comes down again into contact with the path, a new feeling arises. Place your awareness on that sensation, as it is felt through the sole of the foot.

Again as the foot lifts, mentally note the feeling as it arises.

5-At each new step, certain new feelings are experienced and old feelings cease – feeling arising, feeling passing away, feeling arising, feeling passing away. This should be known with mindfulness. Be constantly mindful of all sensations that arise in the sole of the feet.

6-There is no “right” experience. Just see how the experience feels to you.

Walk back and forth along the same short path. When you come to the end of your path, come to a full stop, turn around, stop again, and then start again.

7-In the beginning, middle and end of the path, ask “Where is my mind? Is it on the soles of the feet?”, and thus reestablish mindfulness. Whenever your mind wanders from this focus, you bring it back to your foot, and the sensations