Walking Meditation for Winter Blues

Winter blues are a real thing and I am definitely familiar with just how many shades of blue winter can have.

However, the older I grow the wiser and fonder I become of winter.

Winter tends to be the season when every one and every thing goes into hibernation. The sun sets sooner and shines softer, leaves no longer on trees and grass no longer green, this change in Mother Nature comes every year yet we never seem to be ready to bare our bones with the weather. At least I’m never ready!

Up until the last few years I had a bad taste for the dark, cold short days and long nights of the winter season. And as I write this it is only now that I realize, can pinpoint, at least one thing that has brought about my change of heart for the hawk and all she brings with her (as they call the piercing cold winter wind that takes your breath away here in Chicago).

You see, as a Mom of a 5 + 6 year old I no longer have the luxury of watching the snow fall from the inside.

Not that I am forced to go outside but I enjoy spending quality time with my kids and during winter that means playing outside in the cold and snow on days winter weather permits.

In those moments I am seeing the snowy season through the eyes of my children. Through my own inner-child’s eyes.

And it feels good, feels fresh like how new fallen snow looks.

Something I used to hope to feel again during the years of winters my depression was drowning me.

Now I am not saying having kids is the answer to seasonal depression, no.

I am saying that remembering what it’s like to be a kid again… seeing the wonders of snow through our inner-child’s eyes can be helpful in lightening the load of winter.

So in honor of the all the snow we just received here in the midwest I have put together a beginner friendly winter walking meditation that will hopefully awaken your own inner-child who is curious and courageous enough to venture out into the cold!

Not only will you reap the benefits of meditation, you get to move your body and perhaps see something you’ve seen a million times in a whole new way through your own youthful eyes!

Let’s go walking!

Winter Walking Meditation

Whether you have access to a track, trail or the sidewalk in front of your home… walking meditation isn’t about how far you can get, it is about coming back to the present moment in your body. Every step is an opportunity to notice the subtle or gross sensations arising without any judgments, or stories to go with. Remember, meditation isn’t about clearing your mind of thoughts, it is a chance to self study. Meditation in general is all about holding space for relationship with self. And another thing, the mind is like an untrained monkey. Allow this walking meditation to train your monkey mind. While you walk your mind may wander off into thoughts about the rest of your day, yesterday, 5 years ago or to the sights and sounds happening around you. It is perfectly fine for your mind to wander, just do your best to bring it right back to noticing the sensations in your body through every movement.

To Try:

  1. Find a space to walk anywhere from 10 – 30 steps
  2. Set a timer for 5 – 10 mins
  3. Center Self – before you begin to walk, center your self by taking 5 deep cycles of breath (inhale & exhale)
  4. Take a look around and notice nature in season, staying curious and open minded
  5. Begin walking your path of 10 – 30 steps, silently, slowly & mindfully, noticing any sensations that arise as you take each step. See if you can become aware of any muscle engagement, tightness, ease, vibration, etc – without judgement
  6. Once you reach the end of your path come to a complete stop – pause here and notice sensations as you stand – then notice sensations as you slowly turn around – pause and notice before you begin walking again
  7. Silently walk your path back to the beginning, noticing sensations as you go
  8. Returning back to start – pause and notice sensations, slowly turn around, pause and notice – then begin again
  9. Repeat these steps – walking silently & slowly back and forth until your timer ends

**If you find your mind wandering off to notice what is going on around you, honor that curiosity with mindfulness, look around and notice nature in season, then bring your focus back to your walking meditation!

Bonus: Journal about your experience! Ask yourself what you saw, felt, smelled, heard, tasted, experienced… be honest + compassionate about what comes up! There is no right or wrong when you are reflecting objectively with loving kindness.

Tell me how it goes!

I hope you enjoy a breath of fresh air!

I hope you find healing here

xoxo Shea


website www.sheagardneryoga.com

Shea Gardner Yoga on YouTube

IG + Twitter @hippiebumpeace

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