Walking Meditation Is A Science-Backed Solution to Stress. Here's Why
If you don't love meditating, it's highly possible you just haven't discovered the right type of meditation yet.
Often, people who believe meditation is not for them are put off by the idea of sitting still or believe themselves to be incapable of quieting their thoughts. In actual fact, neither of those things is necessary to your meditation practice—movement is allowed, and judgment-free thought observation is encouraged.
Walking meditation is one of the best alternatives to the usual sitting meditation, as it is active enough to quell any fidgeting but also gives you something tangible to focus on—your steady breath and the physical sensations of your surroundings.
And it's science-backed. In a study1 on mindful walking, patients with psychological distress that participated in a mindful walking program experienced a reduction in stress and improved quality of life compared to those who did not participate. In another study2, researchers showed that walking was more effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety in young adults when combined with meditation.
Talking your walk outside, whether a park, garden, beach, or anywhere with trees, can enhance these benefits. In a 2015 study, researchers found that healthy adults who walked for 90 minutes in nature had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex compared to those who walked for the same amount of time in an urban environment. The prefrontal cortex is a brain region that is active during repetitive thoughts that focus on negative emotions, meaning nature helps participants quiet circling negative thoughts. Science aside, there's nothing quite like feeling the earth beneath your feet and feeling the sun, wind, or rain on your face.
We've partnered with Mary Beth LaRue, yoga and meditation teacher, writer, and creator of Embodied by MB, to create an audio walking meditation experience for the Lexus Retreats in Motion programs. Guests who book into one of the itineraries will have early access to a walking meditation that will help them make the most of the beautiful surroundings they're visiting.
To be one of the first to experience Mary Beth LaRue's beautiful walking meditation, book into your Lexus Retreats in Motion today.
Chloe Schneider is the VP of Brand and Integrated Marketing at mindbodygreen. She received her degree from the University of South Wales. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Mashable and RESCU. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.