We’re not just about taking a mindful walk, but how to practice yoga while out walking (mindfully!)
So, what exactly do we mean by ‘mindful yoga walking’? How can it help on our journey towards inner peace?
In today’s hybridised world, both work and play have changed. Online spaces have become more normalise, and ‘in-person’ can mean long journeys or be logistically complex (and I’m just talking about yoga classes)! Suffice it to say, finding moments of tranquility and inner peace is more important than ever.
While yoga, online and off, has long been celebrated for its profound benefits, there is a lesser-known practice that combines the serenity of yoga with the gentle rhythm of walking – mindful yoga walking. Join me on a transformative journey! Read on to learn more about this fun and engaging practice, uncover its countless benefits, and learn how to integrate it into our daily lives.
The Essence of Mindful Yoga Walking
In a world filled with distractions, mindful yoga walking provides a unique opportunity to:
- Slow down (and sometimes speed up!)
- Reconnect with our bodies & mind
- Be in the present moment.
This practice combines the simple act of walking with the deliberate movements of flexion and extension found in yoga. With each step, we become aware of the sensations in our feet, the rhythmic swing of our arms, and the gentle rise and fall of our breath.
Mindful yoga walking invites us to engage our senses full. We heighten our awareness of the world around us that we are a part of and foster a deep sense of grounding.
Mindful yoga walking is a multifaceted healing practice with positive results that extend beyond physical well-being. Here are some remarkable advantages that this practice offers:
- Enhanced mindfulness – As we synchronise our breathing with our steps, we enter a state of mindfulness. Here our attention is focused on the present moment. This cultivates a sense of calmness, clarity, and concentration, resulting in reduced stress and anxiety.
- Improved physical health – Mindful yoga walking is a gentle form of exercise that improves cardiovascular health. It also increases flexibility, and strengthens muscles as well as bone density. It can also aid in weight management and reduce the risk of chronic conditions like back pain and joint stiffness.
- Deepened connection with nature – Mindful yoga walking encourages us to explore the natural environment with curiosity and gratitude. Walking mindfully in a park, forest, beach or fields and meadows can bring a profound sense of connection to the earth and her creatures. This fosters a renewed appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us, and that we are a part of.
- Mental rejuvenation – The combination of movement, mindfulness, and fresh air creates an ideal environment for mental health. Mindful yoga walking allows us to let go of negative thoughts, recharge our mental batteries, and gain clarity of mind.
Integrate Mindful Yoga Walking into Daily Life
At this point, you might be wondering how to integrate mindful yoga walking into your daily schedule. Well, I assure you, its easy!
- Start small: Begin by finding a pair of your most comfortable walking shoes and dress comfortably – in layers if you find yourself in a changing environment. Keep it simple and make sure you have a pocket or bag so your hands are free. Start with a 30 minute walk and increase the length gradually.
- Know the territory: Designate a time and known area for your walk. Choose a route where you don’t need a map and are in no danger of getting lost. Consider a walk where you know there may be a bench, a tree or a fence you can use as a prop to help support yourself during the yoga sequence!
- Be present: As you embark on your mindful yoga walking journey, consciously shift your focus to the present moment. Pay attention to the sensations in your body, the rhythm of your breath, and the sounds and sights surrounding you.
- Incorporate mindfulness pauses: Integrate short pauses during your walks to fully immerse yourself in the present. Take a moment to observe the details of your surroundings, listen to the sounds of nature, or express gratitude for the experience.
- Experiment with variations: Mindful yoga walking has no firm rules other than to listen to your body and choose the movements that are right for you. Like all of yoga, this is a dynamic process that can be combined with other warmups and sequences found on Movement for Modern Life (some suggestions are found at the end of this article). Explore variations whenever you have the opportunity to enhance your experience and further deepen your connection with yourself.
Take Yoga off the Mat
Mindful yoga walking offers us a powerful way to take yoga off the mat and off the screen. These classes are created as only audio classes. This means you can listen to the class through headphones and take yourself outside.
This practice helps us to reconnect with nature, and cultivate mindfulness and inner peace in daily life. By taking each step consciously, we can unlock a wealth of benefits that nourish our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
So, let us embark on this journey, one step at a time, and embrace the transformative power of yoga, off the mat.
Practice with Lizzie:
Try the Mindful Yoga Walking Series with Lizzie Reumont – Access for free in the 14 day free trial!
Also try this Body Intelligence course with Lizzie Reumont – The classes in this course offer tools to help listen to our body’s unique way of sensing and experiencing information. Understanding this information guides us to move with more sensitivity to what our bodies are actually telling us that we need.
Recommended Reading from Lizzie:
- Body Intelligence: Why do you practice?
- From the Ground Up
- Interview with Lizzie
- Five Steps to Lasting Transformation
Lizzie grew up on the water, and has always been drawn to the elements; water, wind, fire, earth and sky and loves to weave the elements into her yoga practice.
First drawn to yoga as a philosophy student over 25 years ago, yoga has been instrumental for Lizzie in finding balance.
Lizzie’s studies of yoga include a variety of experiences spanning nearly two decades. Lizzie uses an integrated approach to other forms of yoga, movement therapies and life experience. Lizzie aims to create a space in the world where we can celebrate our individuality as we co-exist together, with compassion for all.
Certified Jivamukti teacher, a Rolfer, Craniosacral Therapist, daughter, mother, and friend of animals.