Walking Meditation: What It Is and How It Can Benefit YouIt's no secret that meditation is hugely popular— and that there are lots of ways to meditate. One type of meditation that's gaining traction is walking meditation. Unlike traditional meditation in which you're lying down or sitting, you're on foot during walking meditation.
Like traditional meditation, the goal of walking meditation is to be mindful and fully present in the moment. In fact, you may hear walking meditation referred to as mindful walking meditation or even zen walking meditation.
There are several reasons people enjoy walking meditation. Some are restless and have trouble sitting while meditating. Others enjoy the connection to nature and exercise benefits they receive from walking meditation.
Walking Meditation Benefits
So far, researchers have discovered that walking meditation benefits people's mental as well as physical health. Recent walking meditation research shows that walking meditation can reduce symptoms of depression; increase muscle strength, flexibility, agility, and endurance; and reduce levels of cholesterol and the stress hormone cortisol. Many of these benefits were only seen in people who practiced a walking meditation as opposed to simply walking.
Research has also found that any kind of meditation can:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase attention span and memory
- Improve sleep
- Decrease blood pressure
- Foster empathy
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Boost the immune system
Types of Walking Meditation
Many people practice their walking meditation unaided. But others prefer a guided walking meditation from an audio recording.
There are many free and for sale meditation apps and other recordings that offer guided walking meditations. (For a try-before-you buy option, search for guided meditations on YouTube try see if it's something you like.)
If a guided meditation sounds up your alley, you'll want to invest in quality headphones. SleepPhones® are popular with the meditation community because they offer unbeatable comfort and quality. They feature flat speakers embedded in a soft, stretchy headband–a big improvement over bulky headphones or uncomfortable earbuds.
Check out the SleepPhones models below to enjoy your walking meditation to the fullest!