Mindful walking is one of the interventions used as part of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction(MBSR), developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (2017). The mindful walking activity encourages students to bring awareness to the sensations involved in walking. For this activity, walking is done very slowly, with attention focused on the feeling of the feet touching the ground with each step, the rolling forward of the foot from heel to toe, the shifting of one’s body weight and the feeling of the arms swinging at one’s sides (Kabat-Zinn, 2017; Sutton, 2020). Mindful walking not only encourages students to be mindful, but also to engage in physical activity, another key component of wellbeing. An example of this meditation is shown in the Headspace video below.
||10 minutes daily or as needed.
- Find a location inside or outside the school to teach students the practice of mindful walking.
- Have students walk about 10-15 normal steps, take a deep breath. Have students walk back the opposite direction and take another breath.
- Instruct students to focus on the sensations of the walking process in their next steps such as where the weight is placed on each foot, the rotation from the heel to the toes with each step, and the shifting of weight from the legs to the feet.
- Have students take slow small steps, but remind them that the steps should still feel natural, and not exaggerated or uncomfortable.
- Have students continue focusing and redirecting their attention to their steps while walking for 5-10 minutes.
Greater Good in Action. (n.d.) Walking meditation. Greater Good Science Center: University of California-Berkeley. https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/walking_meditation
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2017). Walking meditations. Mindfulness, 8, 249–250. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0638-1
Sutton, J. (2020, July 15). What is mindful walking meditation and how can it impact your life?. PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/mindful-walking/