One of our lunchtime walk-and-talks during our office steps challenge was lead by our colleague who, in addition to being a senior analyst at OneCare Vermont, is also a yoga teacher. Katie even offers periodic yoga sessions for us during the workday! As part of our efforts to take walking breaks at the OneCare Vermont office (where the RiseVT statewide team is based), Katie talked to us about yoga, meditation, and the strategy of practicing walking meditation. Katie talked about the benefits of breathing for our health and then led us on a walking meditation.
There are many benefits to daily breath-focused practice: it relieves anxiety, stress, and tension in the body; it can help our psychological state by regulating emotions; it assists in bringing our heart rate into a range that is optimal for cognitive and physical performance; it helps oxygenate our organs to heal better and live longer; it strengthens our diaphragm muscles which tend to weaken when we get older; it strengthens our lungs; and it helps us deal with pain and breathe through it. These are just some of the benefits!
When you add walking meditation to your routine, you not only get the benefits of focusing on your breath and practicing mindfulness, but you also get your body moving. Mindful walking gives us the physical benefits of walking (like a healthier heart and calorie burning) and active meditation (sheds stress). Walking meditation is an excellent way to enter into the practice of meditation that many find easier to embrace than seated mediation. Want to give it a try? Read or listen to this 10-minute guide!