elephants-walking

As we move towards the new year, we could also move towards our true nature by this simple mindful walking exercise.

Just think of the times that you walk to the supermarket, or the bus stop, only to find yourself lost in thoughts. In the following exercise, we take advantage of the (almost) wasted time of daydreaming as we walk down the street. Daydreaming is still fine, however we could use these 5 or 10 minutes to come closer to ourselves – only a few minutes everyday is a tremendous step forward.

 


How to do it
Next time you go somewhere, be conscious of your breathing and walking. Inhale while you take 4 steps. On each step subvocally say one syllable of the sentences “Merging with One”. Do the same with exhalation; take 4 steps while you say one syllable on each step. That’s all to it!

Merging with One
step 1: Merg-
step 2: -ing
step 3: with
step 4: One

…and repeat till you reach your destination.


 

In the beginning, it may be difficult to coordinate your breathing with the 4 steps, yet you can easily master it on your next stroll 🙂 Notice how your walking becomes slower and slower and more conscious, as you coordinate your breathing with each step. You realise that you don’t have to hurry to go anywhere, to reach your destination; you just walk, you become present with the manifestation of each step.

The exercise may seem simple, but believe me it can help us relax by substituting the repetitive anxious thoughts of our daily life; it works as a mantra. Moreover, we become more conscious of our everyday activities, by only practising it while we (in normal circumstances) do nothing but daydreaming.

 

Variations
Below you can find some more sentences to practise. Experiment with these till you find your preferred one or feel free to invent your own meaningful mantras; remember, create one with 4 syllables in order to coordinate the breathing with the walking.

Today, I love
step 1: To-
step 2: -day
step 3: I
step 4: love

I am happy
step 1: I
step 2: am
step 3: hap-
step 4: -py

 

Another variation (for the more adventurous seekers!) is to use different sentences on inhalation and exhalation, for example:
Inhale and say:
Breathe in, Oneness
step 1: Breathe
step 2: in
step 3: One-
step 4: -ness

Exhale and say:
Breathe out, Oneness
step 1: Breathe
step 2: out
step 3: One-
step 4: -ness

 

Let me know if you find it useful and enjoy your walks!