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Have you tried a walking meditation?

There are many ways to cultivate and sustain a meaningful meditation and yoga practice. One way is a walking meditation.

This practice is a wonderful technique for beginners to meditation, as it builds the tolerance for focus and concentration.

Walking meditation isn't meant to replace a sitting practice, but it is a way to learn the key elements of a good meditation practice: focus, endurance and consistency.

Do this outside, on your daily walk if you have one or as a once-a-week practice.

FIRST, JUST WALK A BIT. Relax your body, enjoy nature, take some deep breaths.

ALIGN YOUR BREATH WITH YOUR STEPS. Next start to softly, and without strain, align your breath to the rhythm of your steps. Walk in a natural and peaceful way. Sync up each step or every few of steps with your breath. For example, inhale for three steps and then exhale over three or more steps. Cultivate a rhythm that works with your natural pace. There is no right way.

REPEAT A MANTRA. Mantra meditation known as JAPA in sanskrit is the practice of consistent repetition of sacred sanskrit sounds/ phrases / words. Mantras are not affirmations, or positive phrases of our choosing. They are sacred sanskrit vibrations that are meant to train or control the wild mind. The mind becomes tuned to these significant resonant vibrations through repetition with love and devotion. Mantra repetition is a powerful yogic practice and is advised for all yoga practitioners. Engaging the mind with mantra is very helpful for meditation as if gives the mind something to focus on and softens the mind's tendency to jump all around. There are many different mantras that help us to attune to different aspects of the divine - to a personality like Shiva (Om Namah Sivaya) or the abstract universe. Mantras, especially moksha mantras are significant sacred tools that are given to us by our gurus as part of our sacred lineage. Please consult your lineage teacher if you wish to work with mantras. In the meantime, or if you do not have a mantra, you may recite the universal mantra "Om / Aum". Repeat it in your mind or softly aloud. If you have a MALA (string of beads used to count repetitions) you may use it. Connect with the rhythm of the mantra and enjoy the repetition.

SYNC YOUR STEPS AND BREATH WITH THE MANTRA. If it feels natural, you can combine the rhythm of the breath and the mantra your pace of steps. Immerse yourself in the consistency and rhythm of mantra repetition. Practice with consistency and without interruption.

Ideally, you will avoid communicating with anyone that you meet, to keep your energy and focus inside. So, choose a time of day or place to walk that isn't busy, if possible. And if it isn't possible, that's ok!

Walk slowly, peacefully and without a particular destination in mind. Enjoy the process!

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