#36alive 37: Walking Meditation | Square Breathing

The numerous benefits of meditation are well known, with an improved mood, reduced stress, and improved concentration among the many advantages of a daily practise. We will delve in to this deeper over the course of the year – providing different meditation techniques for you to try out – but this week we are going to focus on walking meditations with the help of breathing exercises.

Many people often cite a lack of time as the main reason they do not mediate (although if this is the case, this is probably an indication that you need to more). I often come up with this excuse, and that’s all it is, an excuse. I could easily find at 10 minutes during the day to have a regular meditation practise, and when I have done so, have noticed the benefits, but for some reason struggle to keep up with this daily practise. One way I have been trying to be more mindful is applying breathing exercises while walking. Rather than just shutting myself off from the world, walking along with my head down, trying to get to where I am going at the quickest pace I can, I have been slowing down, using breathing exercises in order to keep myself in the present moment. So without any further a due, here is the first of several simple breathing exercises that can be done the next time you are walking somewhere.

Square Breathing:

Simply inhale for 4 steps, hold for 4 steps, exhale for 4 steps, hold for 4 steps, and repeat.

If you are struggling with using 4 steps, then go down to 3 steps then try and work your way back up. Alternatively, if you this is easy, try increasing the number of steps to 5 or 6. As long as you keep the number of steps consistent then that is the most important thing.

Give it a try and comeb back tomorrow for a new exercise.

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