The holiday season can be chock-full of stress, overindulgence or both. Maybe you’ve had too much food, too many drinks or too little time visiting loved ones. Either way, you could be craving a short and sweet yoga practice to relieve the rising discomfort in your body. What if you didn’t pack any yoga props? Or what if you don’t have time to do anything longer than 10 minutes? If either of these questions echo your concerns, check out this walking form of yoga that can unite your spirit with stillness. This is the beauty of yoga–it can be done anywhere and everywhere. Even if you’ve already been taking general walks, you can benefit from applying this kind of mindfulness to calm the holiday stress down.
Meditation for Holiday Stress: Ways to Meditate
When it comes to meditation and practicing mindfulness, there is no one correct way to do it. For some of you, sitting still and redirecting attention to your breath works great. For others, you may find it difficult to be in a fixed position for long. You could prefer to keep your eyes open and that’s totally ok. All of these methods are just fine if they are what works for you.
For this particular form of meditation, we aren’t doing any sitting at all. Instead, we’ll be focusing on the act of walking. Walking can be done anywhere. It can be practiced outside, but it can also be practiced in your hallway. If you don’t have a hallway, you can even practice this kind of yoga in the privacy of your room. No matter where you are, you can take a break from the holiday festivities and regroup, “step by step”.
Meditation for Holiday Stress: Take a Walk
As with everything you do in your life, you move at varying paces and speeds. If you’re a busy person, chances are that you are doing many things quickly. Try to think about anything you do that matches the pace of your breath. What comes up? There’s no wrong answer to that question as it’s something to observe.
For this walking meditation, you can start by walking at your typical pace. You can begin noticing what you see on the ground, in your surrounding environment, in places nearby and places faraway. As long as you’re aware of your surroundings and walking in a safe place, you can even look up at the sky.
Meditation for Holiday Stress: Down-Regulate Your Nervous System by Slowing the Walk Down
You can continue doing this for the duration of your walk, or you can begin slowing down the pace of your steps. Finding a spot where you’ll be the least likely to run into other people, you can practice taking mindful steps, paying attention to the subtle movements your feet, knees, thighs and hips make in order for your leg to move forward.
Noticing the sensations and thoughts that arise as you slow your steps down, you can acknowledge them without any judgement or fixing. Any feelings, negative or positive, are your feelings. Allow them to be there while you continue to walk mindfully and slowly.
Can you gradually decrease the speed of your movement even more?
Walking Meditation: Taking in the View as You Walk
What are your eyes noticing as you slow your walk down? What colors, textures and patterns do you see? You may even be compelled to stop completely so you can “smell the roses”!
Walking Meditation Option: Go Barefoot
Your feet have an abundance of nerve endings that sense what’s on the ground. However, wearing thick-soled shoes, sandals and/or heels will get in the way of the sensations. It’s kind of like putting blinders on your feet.
It can be nourishing and stimulating to kick those socks and shoes off for this walking meditation option. Allow the soles of your feet to touch the ground and feel its textures and temperatures. Bonus points if you are practicing this on grass.
Hopefully, this form of meditation helps you in some form or another during your holiday season. If it did, consider treating us out to a Golden Milk Latte! It helps us keep the site running with updated and science-based yoga, mindfulness and wellness.
-Julie, your Rogue Yogi