7 Chakra Walking Meditations
Mindful Walking to Unlock Creative Potential - By Jilly Shipway
Reading time: 5 minutes
Stresses and strains are an inevitable part of everyday life. What's your favourite coping strategy for managing life's ups and downs? For me, walking meditation is my go-to stress buster. It’s perfect for those times when you want to meditate but don’t want to spend more time sitting down. I’m a writer and I spend hours sitting in front of a computer screen and the last thing I want to do when I get up from my computer is to spend more time sitting. The answer to this conundrum is walking meditation!
In this article I’d like to share with you seven simple chakra-inspired walking meditations. The beauty of these meditations is that they can easily be slotted into even the busiest of days. And they can be done anywhere; along a corridor at work, walking from your house to car, walking from room to room, at the park, or in your garden.
Root Chakra Walking Meditation
In this meditation you slow your walking down and bring your awareness to the contact your feet are making with the earth and notice how the earth supports you. The Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, tells us to ‘walk as if our feet are kissing the earth’.
Sacral Chakra Walking Meditation
As you walk, be aware of the flow of the breath and notice anything that brings you pleasure. Be aware of the rhythm of your walking, noticing how it feels to walk slowly and how it feels to increase the pace. Then, drop your awareness to your lower belly and maintain that centred awareness as you walk, and, at the same time, be aware of the ebb and flow of your breath. Make a conscious effort to notice things of beauty, such as a flower in bud, the colour of autumn leaves, a child’s smile, or the sun dancing upon water. Take this positive, centred attitude into the next activity you do today.
Solar Plexus Chakra Walking Meditation
Begin by asking yourself, ‘How would I walk if I was a super-confident person?’ And then walk in that super-confident way!
Picture a warm, glowing sun at your solar plexus radiating warmth and light. Whereas generally we slow the pace down for walking meditation, for this one we walk briskly. Smile at passersby and share your sunny attitude with them! If it’s a sunny day, be aware of the warmth of the sun on your skin. If it isn’t sunny, remind yourself that the Sun’s still there behind the clouds.
To finish, slow down to your usual pace. Resolve to take this sunny, confident attitude into the rest of your day.
Heart Chakra Compassionate Walking Meditation
Whenever you walk anywhere, you can connect with your heart chakra by sending love and compassion to yourself and others as you walk. You can do this informally by smiling at passers-by and sending them good wishes. Or you can silently repeat loving kindness (metta) phrases:
May you and I be safe.
May you and I be happy.
May you I be healthy.
May you and I live with ease.
You can widen your circle of compassion by sending good wishes to animals, birds, trees, rocks, the sky, and the earth.
Third Eye Chakra Walking Meditation
Begin by slowing your walking down. Take time to look around you, taking in your surroundings. If something catches your attention, stop to look at it. Even in the city, nature’s always present, and you might spot a flower bursting through tarmac, or crimson autumn leaves blown in the wind along the pavement, or impressive cloud shapes racing across the sky.
If you’re usually a brisk walker, initially it might be challenging to slow down. However, give it a try because mindful walking lowers your blood pressure and improves your sense of wellbeing. Also, your creativity benefits from opening yourself up to a beautiful world that you wouldn’t see on autopilot.
Crown Chakra Blissful Walking Meditation
This meditation teaches us to find joy in a million, small, everyday experiences. As you walk, take pleasure in the act of walking. Be on the lookout for anything that you find beautiful, such as dappled sunlight on the path, reflections of clouds in a puddle, children playing, a squirrel darting up a tree. Be aware of sensations, a breeze through your hair, warm sunlight on your face, or drops of rain. Notice the aroma of cut grass, or the scent of evergreen trees after rain. Listen to the sound of leaves rustling, or birds singing.
Now, each time you pass a tree, or watch a cloud float by, or stand by a river, or see a bird of prey circling in the sky, or notice a passer-by, silently repeat the phrase, ‘We are one.’ Take this sense of connection and unity into the next thing that you do today.
The above chakra walking meditations have been adapted from my Chakras for Creativity book. As a writer, I find that periods of walking meditation help my ideas to flow more freely. Also, at times of high stress when a publisher's deadline is looming, it's walking meditation that keeps me in the healthy stress zone and able to cope (just!) with the challenge. That's why Walking Meditation is on the syllabus of my forthcoming ‘Becoming a Yoga Writer’ online course: https://yoga-through-the-year-with-jilly-shipway.teachable.com/p/become-a-yoga-writer
Science now confirms that walking is beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing. I hope this article whets your appetite for incorporating walking meditation into your life. It's a practice that can easily be slotted into your daily routine and will reward you with peaceful moments to brighten up your day.