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Meditation is an activity that can help clear your mind and reduce your stress level. It’s been shown to improve your relationships and your mental well-being, as well.
Choosing a place to meditate is a first step to beginning your own meditation practice.
Here are a few tips for how to choose the ideal place.
Choose a Place That Makes You Feel Good
Meditation is designed to improve your happiness, although getting to a happy state can be a challenge for some individuals. Choose a meditation place that makes you feel good.
This will ensure you start off your practice in a way that promotes happiness. This feel-good place should be a room that has appropriate lighting and little traffic.
Selecting a place that is calm and contemplative is important!
Choose a Place That Is Convenient
Sometimes, you may not have the luxury of selecting a place that is calm and contemplative and will need to choose a meditation spot that is convenient .
This could be an elevator, a bathroom stall, the shower, a red light, a stairwell or even the subway—anyplace you can find a small piece of Zen. I turn off the lights in my office, shut the door, and meditate during my lunch break.
Finding tiny moments of meditation can give you that boost you need to get through the day.
Choose a Walking Meditation
Have you ever thought about participating in a walking meditation? This sounds like no place at all, but is a great way to meditate in action , out in nature.
Walking allows you to focus your attention as you experience each part of the journey. There are several types of walking meditation, and practicing this form of meditation allows you to become more aware of your bodily movements.
Your first attempt at walking meditation should be in a large, open park where you can walk for 20 minutes uninterrupted.
This will give you the basis for starting this contemplative practice.
Choose to Go to a Meditation Retreat
There are many meditation retreats you can visit to learn more about meditation and deepen your individual practice. Many of these retreats offer a variety of meditation techniques, including tai chi, yoga, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and Ayurveda.
Make sure you know the type of retreat you would like to visit and what types of meditation you want to engage in.
Attending a retreat is a great way to take your meditation practice to the next level of consciousness.
Choose to Create Your Own Sacred Space
If you are like many of us, a retreat may not be a viable option. So, how about creating your own in-home sacred meditation space? Start by thoroughly cleaning up your designated area, from washing the windows to cleaning one of the germiest areas in your home, the carpet.
From there, you can add mementos, stones, shells, visual art, candles, incense, musical instruments, sacred texts, personal divination tools such as the I Ching, photographs, flowers, plants, and fountains.
Whatever makes this place special to you should be added.
This will help to create a space that will promote your meditation practice.
Choose to Meditate at the Same Time and Place
Choosing a consistent time and place can aid in continuing your meditation practice on a recurring basis.
The goal is to engage in it consistently. Establishing a place and time where you can practice meditation is important to sticking with it.
No one time of day or place is the best for everyone. You should do what fits your needs and your schedule.
Meditation is a wonderful way to improve health, well-being, and balance in your life. You can choose to go to meditation spots in nature, or you can create your own space at home. Finding a place that works for you, where you can consistently engage in your meditation, is the best way to realize its many benefits.
Here is a block quote – The sounds they emit work as a type of energy medicine that has been known to heal pain and stress disorders.
We’ve got you covered with this quick breakdown.
By now, you’ve heard that meditating is good for you, but putting it into practice seems easier said than done. Luckily, meditation also comes in all shapes and sizes. This means the length, style, and purpose can vary while still offering benefits like reduced stress, a stronger mind-body connection, calmer breathing patterns, and improved emotional well-being. Our experts explain the most common forms, what you can expect from each, and how to choose the right styles of meditation for you and your lifestyle.
Aaptiv has hundreds of meditation classes if you’re interested in adding it to your daily routine.
What styles of meditation exist?
There are several different forms and styles of meditation, all of which can be applied as a spiritual or secular practice. Additionally, many of them can be paired together.
- Focusing on something specific, like the inhale and exhale of your breath or an intention
- Doing an activity, such as walking, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, or yoga
- Practicing mindfulness by staying in the present moment and noticing emotions and sensations in the body
- Visualization of a certain scene
- Chanting a mantra or phrase aloud (like Transcendental Meditation)
“Breathing meditation focuses on controlled breath cycles with an emphasis on sitting in stillness,” says Aaptiv Trainer Ceasar Barajas. “Visual meditation still encompasses controlled and conscious breathing but can be done on the move—i.e., commuting, traveling, walking, etc. Visual meditation can also include sitting in stillness and focusing on your physical surroundings. Intention meditations may include repeated mantras, affirmations, or a particular intention and can be done sitting or moving.”
Just as various types of yoga exist, there are thousands of ways to approach meditation, adds Susan Shumsky, who has taught meditation for 50 years. And all varieties use certain methods to get out of the mind, says meditation expert Jennifer Pennell,
“One approach is to categorize meditation based on the practicality of how you are meditating,” says Ian White, a yoga teacher who has been teaching meditation practices since 1991. “For example, sitting meditation, moving meditation, contemplative meditation, reflective meditation, and mindfulness are all forms of meditation that take place in different contexts. This way of categorizing meditation gives us an immediate idea of how a particular meditation practice is performed and what is required in order to do it.”
Are there different benefits to each?
The benefits vary, says Barajas, but you can basically pick and choose which styles of meditation you need on a given day. In general, research indicates practicing meditation as a whole results in more energy and focus for anyone. But some styles of meditation may affect your mind and body differently.
Here’s how, according to White.
- Sitting meditation—”Benefits include getting to a quiet mind, a lower heart rate, lower body temperature, possibly lower blood pressure, improved sleep, and access to a creative self or higher self.”
- Moving Meditation—”This opens meditation up to the busier, more active body and mind. It will be a lighter meditation than sitting but could get your mind quiet quickly. Typically, the movements are slow. However, a short practice for a fast-paced person can be highly beneficial.”
- Contemplative Meditation—”Use your mind to contemplate something, an opportunity, a path in life, philosophy, spirituality, maybe to run through potential future outcomes. This is contemplative in a calm way, not just left brain analysis but more of a pondering and surrendering process.”
- Reflective Meditation—”Great for when your mind keeps holding onto events of the day. Take the time to sit and reflect on the things you are holding onto, how they are serving you, how to let them go, or if you need to act on anything. Journals are a great way to practice reflective meditation.”
- Mindfulness—“The major benefit is you can notice the triggers to your own stress and reactivity and ultimately diffuse them. So you carry less stress through your day. If you are insanely busy, this may be a very challenging way to practice. Just choose one moment or activity to be present with.”
Give it time.
Whatever you choose, know with time and practice you’ll probably start to notice a difference between lighter forms of meditation, like walking, versus deep meditation, which guides you toward a state of deep relaxation, says Shumsky. “There can some benefits from just sitting by a body of water, relaxing in the sunshine, or taking a dip in a lake. You might call that meditation because it’s relaxing. But a true deep meditation is a higher state of consciousness.”
How do you figure out which type of meditation works best for you?
Typically, breathing and intention meditations are done sitting down. But you can also do them on-the-go in order to focus on your breath and the present moment, says Barajas. There’s no best or ideal way to meditate, says Shumsky. It just depends on how many minutes you want to spend in meditation—whether that’s five or sixty minutes a day. Finally, says Pennell, take an approach similar to exercise. Try a few different styles or teachers, notice what you like, and then turn it into a regular practice.
“You know yourself best,” concludes Aaptiv Trainer Jade Alexis. “If the thought of sitting up for a meditation sounds painful, then try a lying down or walking one. If the idea of using mantras and different breathing techniques sounds like it’s not your cup of tea, then try a mediation that focuses on breath and just being present. There are so many different types. The only real way to know which suits you best is to try one. And if it doesn’t seem to work after a fair try, then try another style.”
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Meditation is a mental exercise of regulating attention and concentration. Here are some tips to meditate at home properly with proper guidance to be followed
Meditation can benefit your overall health. It is a mental exercise aimed at improving your attention & concentration. There are a number of meditation techniques & hence it is necessary to know some essential truths before you meditate. It is an individual practice, although it is often done in groups as well. Another result of meditation is relaxation for releasing tension from the body. Hence, here is a simple guide to practice meditating at home.
Tips to meditate at home
Choose a convenient time
Meditation is essentially relaxation time, so it should be done entirely at your convenience. Choose a time when you know you are not likely to be disturbed and are free to relax and enjoy. The hours of sunrise and sunset, while nature transitions between day and night, are also ideal for practicing it. You will also find these times quiet at home, which will help you in your meditation.
Choose a quiet place
Just like a convenient hour, choose a place where you are not likely to be disturbed. Quiet and peaceful surroundings can make the meditation experience best. For a beginner, it is more enjoyable and relaxing if the place is perfectly chosen. If you fail to choose the right place for meditation, you may not get the proper peace or mindfulness you need.
Sit in a comfortable posture
Your posture makes a difference too. Make sure you are relaxed, comfortable and steady. Sit straight with your spine erect; keep your shoulders and neck relaxed, and eyes closed throughout the process. You can sit in either the Sukhasana or the Padmasana postures for meditating.
Keep a relatively empty stomach
A good time to meditate at home is before having a meal. After eating food, you might doze off while meditating. However, do not force yourself to meditate when you are very hungry. In that case, you can meditate two hours after having food.
Start with a few warm-ups
A few warm-ups before sitting to meditate helps improve blood circulation. Warming up before meditation removes inertia and restlessness. It makes your body feel lighter. This is a very important step in your list of ‘how to meditate’ since you will be able to sit steadily for a longer time.
Take a few deep breaths
Taking deep, proper breaths in and out before meditating is always a good idea. This helps to steady the rhythm of your breath and leads the mind into a peaceful, meditative state.
Keep a gentle smile
You will see the difference! A gentle smile throughout keeps you relaxed, peaceful & enhances your meditation experience. As you come close to the end of the meditation, don’t be in a hurry to open your eyes and start moving about. Open your eyes slowly and gradually. Take time to become aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Simple meditation techniques to help a beginner
Tips so simple, yet very effective to have a deeper meditation experience:
- Choose a convenient time
- Choose a Quiet Place
- Sit in a Comfortable Posture
- Keep a Relatively Empty Stomach
- Start With a Few Warm-ups
- Take a Few Deep Breaths
- Keep a Gentle Smile on Your Face
- Open Your Eyes Slowly and Gently
Did you know by spending just a little time preparing for your meditation, you can actually have a deeper experience in meditation? The question about ‘how to meditate’ and especially, ‘how to meditate at home’ become easier when you prepare yourself.
Here are some meditation tips for beginners, to help you prepare for your meditation at home.
Choose a Convenient Time
Meditation is essentially relaxation time, so it should be done entirely at your convenience. Choose a time when you know you are not likely to be disturbed and are free to relax and enjoy.
The hours of sunrise and sunset, while nature transitions between day and night, are also ideal for the practice. You will also find these times quiet at home, which will help in your meditation.
Choose a Quiet Place
Just like a convenient hour, choose a place where you not likely to be disturbed.
Quiet and peaceful surroundings can make the meditation experience for a beginner more enjoyable and relaxing.
Sit in a Comfortable Posture
Your posture makes a difference too. Make sure you are relaxed, comfortable and steady.
Sit straight with your spine erect; keep your shoulders and neck relaxed, and eyes closed throughout the process.
That you have to sit in padmasana (the lotus position) to meditate is a very common myth of meditation.
Keep a Relatively Empty Stomach
A good time to meditate at home – or in office – is before having a meal.
After food, you might doze off while meditating. However, do not force yourself to meditate when you are very hungry.
You will find it difficult because of hunger cramps or you may even keep thinking about food the whole time! In this case, you can meditate after two hours after having food.
Start With a Few Warm-ups
A few warm-up or sukshma yoga exercises before sitting to meditate helps improve circulation, removes inertia and restlessness and makes the body feel lighter.
This is a very important step in your list of ‘how to meditate’ since you will be able to sit steadily for a longer time.
Take a Few Deep Breaths
This is again preparation for easy meditation. Deep breathing in and out as well as doing some nadi shodhan pranayama before meditating is always a good idea.
This helps to steady the rhythm of the breath and leads the mind in to a peaceful meditative state.
Keep a Gentle Smile on Your Face
You will see the difference!
A gentle smile throughout keeps you relaxed, peaceful and enhances your meditation experience.
Open Your Eyes Slowly and Gently
As you come close to the end of the meditation, don’t be in a hurry to open your eyes and start moving about. Open your eyes slowly and gradually and take time to become aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Feeling lack of motivation or restlessness? Are emotions taking a toll on your personal and work life? Fill in the form below to learn meditation tips that can aide you in overcoming daily issues and improve your life.
Meditation is a great way to boost your health, improve your mood, and feel more connected to those around you. But it can be difficult to figure out how to get started.
There are a few common excuses that might be preventing you from meditating, but in fact, these are just myths:
- Meditation is not something people like me do. Anyone can meditate. In fact, many business leaders meditate in order to keep their minds clear, improve productivity, and be a better leader for their companies.
- I don’t have the time to meditate. Meditating for just five to 10 minutes each day can help reduce stress. The most important thing is keeping up the habit of coming back every day so your brain can reap the benefits of meditation.
- I just can’t stop thinking. Meditation isn’t about not thinking. Your mind won’t automatically shut off and become thought-free. Instead, meditation can help you become more aware of your thoughts, and better regulate them over time.
It’s important to move past these ideas and understand that anyone — including yourself — has the time and ability to benefit from meditation.
However, it can also be helpful to have some guidance. Here’s 12 tips to help you start meditating and keep your practice going.
1. Go into your meditation practice without expectations
Meditation is no instant quick-fix to solving all of life’s problems. As with any other form of exercise, meditation takes effort, and it takes time to reap the benefits.
Try not to go into each meditation with expectations of how you will feel after, or how much better of a person you will become. Instead, approach each time to meditate as an opportunity to get to know your own mind better.
2. Choose a time to meditate, and stick to it
When you schedule a time of the day to meditate, it is easier to establish the practice as a habit, and you’ll be more likely to do it each day.
For example, you may want to try pairing meditation with a daily habit you already have in place, like journaling before bed, or having a cup of coffee in the morning.
3. Create a designated space to meditate
Choosing a room or a space to meditate can help train the body and mind to feel more comfortable, and allow you to more easily transition into meditation.
Think of it in the same way you’d only go to your home office to focus on work — it’s important to set a dedicated space to help you stay focused on meditation.
Creating a meditation space and keeping it clean and uncluttered can help make meditation feel special and important. It is also an opportunity to create a space that nourishes a more relaxed state of mind; for example, you could add plants, find a cool spot by a window, and keep it a phone-free zone in your home.
4. Take a couple moments to wind down and clear your mind
Jumping right into meditation after an intense work meeting may not be best. It might be harder to sit still and calm your mind after these stressful moments.
So, try to take a few minutes to wind down, and then begin your meditation practice. This can help keep the mind from wandering back to something that was said during the meeting, and allow you to focus more clearly.
5. Start with a few deep breaths to calm the body
Taking a few deep breaths before you begin your meditation can trigger a relaxation response, which is essentially the opposite of your nervous system’s fight or flight response. When the fight or flight response is triggered, the body gets ready for danger, but when the relaxation response is stimulated, the body begins to feel safe and at ease.
Then, as you start the meditation, your breathing should return to a normal rate. Paying attention to your breathing will be important throughout the meditation, and this type of mindful breathing can lower stress levels in the body.
6. Try not to fidget or move too much during meditation
It’s common to feel restless and want to change positions throughout your meditation. If it’s too distracting or you’re in pain, feel free to readjust. But try not to let your position become a distraction in itself.
There are many different types of meditation that you can try, and some of them allow for postures other than sitting, such as lying down or walking.
7. Just breathe
Meditation does not have to be complicated. The essence of mindfulness meditation is simply about bringing your awareness back to your breath, over and over again.
For example, whenever you notice a thought arising, you can acknowledge that thought by saying “thinking” or “thought,” and then come back to the feeling of yourself breathing. You can even label the breath “in” as you inhale, and “out” as you exhale, to help stay focused.
8. Be kind to yourself — some days will be easier than others
At its root, meditation is about learning how to treat yourself with kindness no matter what you may be experiencing at any given moment.
Just like exercising, some days will feel easier than others. This could be due to the amount of sleep you had the night before, or the amount of stress you were under that week. Remember that it’s a meditation practice — it’s not always going to be perfect.
9. Slowly reintroduce movement after meditating
Once you’re getting to the end of your meditation, you can gently begin to move your fingers and your toes, and then you can move your hands and feet, and stretch your arms or legs.
Meditating is about creating a pause in your day, so try to give yourself a few minutes before jumping into a stressful task. By easing into your next activity, it’ll make it easier to bring the skills you are learning through meditation into your daily life.
10. Acknowledge your emotions
It’s normal to feel happy after meditating, but it’s also normal to feel a bit down.
Meditation brings up good emotions, as well as bad emotions, so we can better recognize what our emotions actually are — fleeting thoughts and feelings that come and go.
Perhaps even take a moment to thank yourself for practicing self-care, and be proud of the effort you took to meditate.
11. Come back the next day, even if you don’t feel like it
The power of meditation comes in creating a routine and making it a daily practice.
In fact, a 2018 study found that meditating for 15 minutes every day promoted positive well being and reduced stress levels. The study concluded that daily meditation had a similar effect on the body to taking a vacation.
So, even though meditation may not feel like a vacation when you have to do it everyday, remember that keeping up a routine is key to feeling these effects.
12. Try guided meditation apps or take a class
If it’s difficult for you to stick to a daily meditation practice on your own, you may want to try using an app or class for further accountability and guidance.
Our colleagues at Insider Reviews have compiled the best meditation apps, including:
- For daily use: Headspace
- For sleep: Calm
- For variety: Insight Timer
- For skeptics: Ten Percent Happier
- For newbies: Simple Habit
Just about everyone has heard of psychic meditation before, but what they don’t know is what it truly is and how it is done. Many individuals think meditation is just sitting in a quiet room, closing your eyes and breathing deeply, however, there is much more to meditation than just those aspects.
Psychic meditation is a wonderful way to allow people to tune in with their inner-self, and turn off the world around them. Whether you want to gain the intuitive benefits of meditation, work as a medium, or practice developing your unique gifts, this guide will get you centered and ready before working.
There are technically two ways you can use this article: first you can use it as a tool prior to a reading, as it will help refresh and sharpen your techniques, and second, you can see it as a guide to psychic awakening or the discovery of your psychic gifts. Whether you are interested in option one or option two, anyone interested in psychic meditation will find many useful facts and helpful tools in this article. Learn what it is, how it can benefit you, and how to do it.
What Is Psychic Meditation?
Psychic meditation is simply a different form of meditation that assists you in accessing your natural psychic abilities and intuitive senses. The purpose of this type of meditation is to either discover or access your inner gifts. Through quieting your mind, it allows you to access a higher state of consciousness.
Experts who are advanced in this practice prefer the idea that you are able to lift your psychic vibrations, in order to access information, healing, and even guidance from the realms of your spirit. It may seem complicated and complex, but it in its simplest form, it is extremely effective. It can be absolutely beneficial for everyone.
How to Perform Psychic Meditation
1. Choose a Quiet Time and Place
Before you do anything, choose a time and place you can be alone and have a quiet atmosphere for at least 15 minutes. It is important to have a quiet room with no distractions, so you can dive into your senses and have a successful psychic experience. You simply cannot have a successful experience with noises or distractions near you.
Next, keep a notebook and pen near you while you meditate, so you can write down your impressions. A good idea to achieve pure quiet and peace is by ensuring all electronic devices are turned off. You might have a quiet room with no one nearby, but you still never know when your cell phone might go off. Just for 15 minutes, you can survive without your phone!
You may choose to sit or lay down, whatever you prefer and feel is more comfortable. However, mainly for psychic meditation, we suggest you sit in a comfortable chair, so your back is supported. Next, place your hands in your lap with the palms facing up.
2. Pay Attention to Breathing
The best way to pay attention to your breathing is by closing your eyes and taking in deep breaths that start from the depths of your belly. Place your hand on your stomach to feel it expand, breathe in through your nose, and count to three. Try and hold your breath for a full three seconds, then exhale through your mouth while counting to three. Repeat this at least 3 to 5 times or until you feel fully relaxed.
You are not expected to hold your breath for three seconds if you cant! Do the best you can, but you don’t want to pass out! Once you feel relaxed, just continue breathing nice and slow, but without counting.
3. Be Open Minded
From the very start of the meditation, be open-minded. Once you have relaxed and opened your mind, you are essentially freeing yourself from all unnecessary thoughts to allow new thoughts and ideas. Don’t be frustrated if you can’t seem to be open minded at first—it will take time and practice.
4. Be Aware
Keep your senses buzzing and aware. Your psychic abilities can occur in many ways. At first, you could feel a physical sensation or an emotional twinge. Some people see images or say they hear words. The more psychic abilities develop, the more sensations you will feel! If you don’t feel anything on your first try, don’t worry. Not everyone gets it on their first try, but enjoy feeling open-minded and relaxed!
5. Have Patience
Patience is key! It is important during your meditation to have patience and persistence. Being impatient will act as a blockade to receiving any psychic abilities. Once you have gained some patience after maybe your first or second try, you will feel yourself achieving these powers. It’s a good idea to use them wisely, always tending to them with the utmost care.
Properly Ending the Meditation Session
Once you have felt opened up and relieved, or you feel you have reached a new goal or sensation, it is time to close up for the day and become grounded. This is, in fact, the most important part.
Why is this so important? If you do not learn to control your abilities, you will end up picking up on energies all day. The best thing to do is to imagine an end of the session, such as a book closing, the lights turning off, or maybe blowing out your candle. Then start wiggling different parts of your body, open your eyes, and sit there a little while before getting up.
Sara Clark is an EYT 500-hour certified Vinyasa yoga and mindfulness teacher, lululemon Global Yoga Ambassador, model, and writer.
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Focused meditation can be a useful tool for people who want to try using meditation for stress relief. This meditation style allows you to focus your attention on an object, sound, or sensation rather than trying to achieve a clear mind without a specific focal point. Focused meditation is also feasible without an instructor or teacher, which makes it accessible to anyone with a few minutes of time, something to focus on, and a quiet place.
What Is Focused Meditation?
Focused meditation involves focusing on something intently as a way of staying in the present moment and slowing down the inner dialogue. Unlike classic meditation — where you focus on nothing to quiet your mind — with focused meditation, you still remain in the present, but focus wholly on one thing, typically sensory stimulus like sounds, visual items, tactile sensations, tastes, smells, and even your own breathing — much like mindfulness meditation techniques.
5 Steps to Focused Meditation
Starting your practice involves just a few steps that will come more and more easily with time. Begin with five-minute sessions and work your way up to longer periods of time as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
You’ll need to find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. These short sessions of focused meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time, whether you are in the comfort of your own home or in an office at work. The key is to practice your focused meditation in an environment that is calm.
- Choose a target for your focus. Focusing on your breath is a good choice since it is usually the entry point to any meditation practice.
- Get into a comfortable position. Sit upright. If you are sitting on a chair, sit right on the edge of it, relaxing into your pelvic bones with your feet on the floor. If you are sitting on the ground, preferably propped yourself up with a cushion or block so that your thighs are relaxed and your spine remains tall.
- Relax your body. Loosen your shoulders and breathe from your belly. You can cross your legs but you don’t have to if you’re more comfortable in another position, just as long as you can fully relax without falling asleep.
- Turn your attention to your chosen target. Zero in on the sensations including the sound, smell, sight, and details of your focal point. The idea isn’t to think about it but simply to experience it, being fully present in the moment. If you are focusing on your breath, for example, pay attention to the sensations you experience as you inhale and exhale each breath.
- Calm your inner voice. If your internal monologue starts to analyze your target or begins to rehash stressful situations of the day, worry about the future, make a list for grocery shopping, or anything else, gently turn your attention back to your chosen target and the sensation it provides. You may be focusing on something, but the goal is to maintain a quiet mind.
- Don’t worry about failure. If you find your mind engaging you and realize that you’re not being fully present with the sensations of your chosen target, don’t let your inner perfectionist beat you up for doing it “wrong.” Simply congratulate yourself for noticing and return back to the present moment and the sensations you’re experiencing.
Tips for Focused Meditation
Though you can start practicing focused meditation in just five steps, that doesn’t mean each session will be easy, particularly in the beginning. Keep these tips in mind to help develop a practice that’s tailored to your experience, environment, and enjoyment:
- Give it time. Meditation often takes practice. If you’re expecting to do it perfectly, you may actually create more stress for yourself. Feeling discouraged may prevent you from sticking with it.
- Start with shorter sessions. Five minutes is perfect for beginners. Work your way up to longer sessions over time. With practice, this type of meditation becomes easier and more effective.
- Try another meditation practice. If the experience is frustrating and you don’t really want to continue, you may find more success with other types of meditation like the karate breathing meditation.
- Choose the best time for you. Many people find that focused meditation (or any meditation practice) is a great way to begin their day. A morning meditation practice can do wonders for keeping you calm and reminding you to be mindful throughout the day. Others choose to meditate after work as a way to wind down from their busy schedules and refocus on family and home. Think of it as a great way to leave work stress where it should be — at work.
A Word From Verywell
Once you build your foundation, you’ll start noticing the benefits of meditation, including stress relief, improved memory, and more self-awareness. And like any new-to-you hobby or activity, the more you practice, the easier and more intuitive your focused meditation practice will become.
When you think of meditation , you likely think of a person sitting cross-legged, hands on knees, eyes closed, breathing slowly, and intentionally. That’s not an inaccurate portrait. Meditation is often referred to as sitting meditation. But that style may not be right for everyone.
Walking meditation is another option. In some mindfulness practices, you might focus on your breath, but in walking meditation, you focus on the sensations in your feet.
Here’s what you should know about the health benefits of walking meditation and how to practice it.
Benefits of walking meditation
Some people benefit from being in motion. If you pace while you brainstorm, do your best thinking during a workout, or need a fidget spinner to concentrate, you may be one of these people.
Both walking and meditation have their own mental and physical health benefits, so it’s no surprise that a combination of the two can be especially useful. Benefits specific to walking meditation include:
In a 2018 study published in the Journal of Body Work and Movement Therapies, walking meditation led to improved balance in elderly women.
In the study, women who did 30 minute walking meditations three times a week showed improvements on the Berg Balance Scale, which measures the ease or difficulty of 17 different movements, the Functional Reach Test, which measures how far you can reach forward without taking a step, and the Timed Up and Go test, which times how fast you can get up out of a chair and walk 10 feet.
Help manage chronic illness, like diabetes
A 2016 study published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine found increased benefits of walking meditation compared to regular walking in people with type 2 diabetes .
After 12 weeks, patients who did walking meditation had lower blood glucose levels and lower HbA1c, arterial stiffness, and cortisol levels — all signs of increased cardiovascular fitness.
Improve mental health
Walking meditation has also been shown to reduce depression in adults ages 60 to 90 with moderate to mild depressive symptoms.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine compared walking meditation to traditional walking exercise and found only the walking meditation decreased symptoms of depression.
How to practice walking meditation
It’s important to note that walking meditation is not the same thing as trying to be more mindful on your morning walk to the subway. And while it’s possible to enter a meditative state while walking, that isn’t exactly the same, either.
A walking meditation is a specific technique. There are different variations of walking meditation, but the basic steps are similar. You walk in a straight line, taking your time, using the sensations in your feet as the anchor for your attention.
Here’s how Jon Krop, a Brooklyn-based attorney who leads Mindfulness for Lawyers, does his daily walking meditation practice:
- Draw an imaginary line on the floor. It doesn’t matter if it is 50 feet or 5 feet, inside or outside, just as long as it is a clear path to walk. While walking in nature has been shown to improve health, and may generally be more enjoyable, a walking meditation can be done anywhere. Krop says he uses a wide section of sidewalk in his Brooklyn neighborhood. During the winter, he practices in his apartment. The imaginary line in this case is shorter, but just as valuable.
- Walk along the line, slowly and mindfully. Normal walking is about getting somewhere, but walking meditation is not, so take your time. Your breath should be relaxed and natural. Your arms and hands can rest however they feel comfortable — at your sides, clasped in front or behind you, or swaying gently.
- Focus on the sensations in your feet as you lift one foot, move it forward, place it on the ground, and finally move weight onto it. Make sure you finish one step before starting the next. “In walking meditation, you complete one step before you start to lift the next foot,” Krop says.
- Make a 180-degree turn, still focusing on the movements, one step at a time. It may be helpful to pause here, and breathe.
- Walk back along the same line, in the same way. Your attention will likely wander — to a thought, a sound, an itch on your face — and that’s okay, says Krop. Notice it, and then bring your attention back to the sensations of your feet. “That back and forth, that ebb and flow — that’s how meditation should look,” Krop says. “That is proper, perfect meditation.”
You probably don’t want to have headphones in during your walking meditation, unless you are doing a guided walking meditation.
You can do it with a friend, although if you are hoping to chat and catch up, a regular walk is a better idea. If you do have a walking meditation partner, make sure you have a clear path so you don’t crash into each other.
There isn’t a set speed for a walking meditation — just don’t rush. You aren’t going for a set distance, generally, because you are walking back and forth. Some teachers recommend 10 minutes a day.
Krop himself does an hour of walking meditation a day, but says length is less important than consistency. There is a saying often repeated by meditation teachers that sums it up this way: the only bad meditation is the one you didn’t do.