Yoga With Rob Chambers


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Walking meditation

While it is not necessary for us to walk in as formal or deliberate a
manner as the Burmese monk who is mindful of every movement of his
feet, nor imitate the student of Zen who walks in a circle
synchronizing each step, we need to be as acutely aware of our body
when walking as we are of our environment. So be mindful of your
posture and the way you carry yourself. You should be 'centred', poised
and economical with your movements. You are not walking for exercise so
do not put any effort into it. Establish a steady rhythm and allow the
momentum to lull you into a relaxed state of awareness.

Avoid any distractions by focusing on a point directly ahead
of you in the middle distance. Obviously, this is more practical if you
are on a long straight track in the countryside or on the beach, but if
you are having to negotiate a labyrinth of urban streets you simply
change the object of your attention every time you turn into a new

Tune into a specific sound and replay it in your mind.
It can be the roar of a car engine, the barking of a dog or the sound
of the wind rustling the leaves in the trees. It might even be a snatch
of conversation that you pick out in passing or the sound of your own
footsteps. Regardless of whether it has a mechanical or natural origin
it will have a dominant tone. Can you tune into it? And, when you have
done so, can you retain its resonance in your mind?

Focus on a stationary object and try to retain its image for as
long as you can after it has passed out of your field of vision. This
will help develop your powers of visualization and you should find
these images coming vividly to mind during your nightly review.

Make yourself acutely sensitive of all sensory input
-the wind on your face, the crunch of gravel under your shoes, the
quality of light, the collage of colours, any lingering smells, the
taste of salt in the air if you are walking by the sea and the shifting
balance in your body as you move.

Remember that the object of this exercise is to be
mindful of your body and your surrounding environment. Do not let your
mind wander and, if you find yourself becoming lost in thought, focus
yourself gently back to a state of detached observation.