We’re Moving To Slow Down: Moving Mediation


Slowing down, more-so slowing my mind down, can be a challenge for me. So what about formal meditation? To sit still, to listen to my breath, & to get through the thoughts that occupy my brain – NOT an easy task. I’m a born-and-raised New Englander, which means my go-to pace is more brisk. Here in the North East, we move. So, when it comes to rested meditation, you could say – I’ve never been able to welcome it fully. I procrastinate, put it off, or completely avoid it – for I want to escape the frustration of “not doing it right”, or over-thinking my way through it. The solution, however, is not avoidance (in most cases), but seeking a way that suites my personality, and pace. A client once chatted with me about using the daily “walkitate” process. I thought, could this “moving meditation” help me slow my roll, and infuse my life with more mindfulness? I wanted to find out.

How does it work? Well, just as in a sitting meditation, where your attention might be on your breath or repeating a mantra – In a moving meditation, you place your attention on the sensation of your body. The air against your skin, your foot touching the ground with each step, the sound your movement creates, the feeling and textures underneath you. You get the drift.

When you first start out, it’s recommended that you walk a little slower than usual, so you can really feel your feet with every step. In moving meditation, the idea is NOT that you’re going to have absolutely no thoughts – What you’re actually doing is cultivating your ability to recognize that you don’t have to buy into everything that comes up. Part of the experience is recognizing that your mind will stray, so when it does, you bring it very gently with precision back to the feeling of your body in  real space & time. Step, by step, by step….

The secret to experience this kind of embodied presence is truly noticing your physical sensations. Good, bad, indifferent. Body awareness is powerful. Pain, ease, comfort – What are you feeling, and where do you hold it in your body? Where do you need to let go of physical tension? Moving meditation will help you clue into physical sensation. That may be, your hip flexors and thigh bones initiating the movement of each leg. But in slower moments times, it could mean tasting the first sip of coffee in the morning – the warmness, the steam on your cheeks, the smell of the beans, the sound of the grind.

What we can take away from this idea of moving-meditation is that you don’t need to “carve out” time in your schedule, but bring more YOU to the tasks you perform, more awareness & mindfulness to our everyday actions.

Maddie Bassinder, LMT

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