Walking meditation is a beautiful practice I’m always grateful to be reminded of. It’s a powerful way to create more space within our day and entire being. And, it can be practiced anywhere, at anytime, for a few moments or for hours on end.
Today or tomorrow please go for a walk purely for the sake of walking and embracing your ability to be present. Leave your phone behind. It doesn’t matter if you walk in a bustling city or amidst nature. Nor does it matter if you walk mindfully for five minutes or two hours. Please do what you can, wherever you can.
If you’re someplace where spring is arriving, you might want to celebrate this. With each step, grow increasingly attuned with your surroundings--the new warmth of the sun, perhaps budding trees and sprouts of green, the birds, the breeze, the feeling of the earth.
Regardless of whether or not you’re in nature, remind yourself of your inherent wholeness, and of your ability to have peace by rooting into the present moment. I love how Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh describes “touching peace” in his small yet powerful book on walking meditation, The Long Road Turns to Joy:
“If you think that peace and happiness are somewhere else and you run after them, you will never arrive. It is only when you realize that peace and happiness are available here in the present moment that you will be able to relax.
In daily life, there is so much to do and so little time. You may feel pressured to run all the time. Just stop! Touch the ground of the present moment deeply, and you will touch real peace and joy.”
Yoga brings stability and calm into every discipline of Sophie Herbert's life. She is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student) and a Whole Living contributing editor. She graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art, where she nurtured her passion for documentary photography. It was during this time that she began her disciplined and diverse study of yoga in New York, Paris, and India.
Sophie has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India. She feels grateful to still visit and work regularly with the Deenabandhu Children's Home in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka. In November of 2010, she became an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back www.yogagivesback.org, a grass-roots nonprofit that helps destitute women and girls in India build more sustainable lives. Sophie has also shared her knowledge of yoga at the Prana Yoga Center in Astana, Kazakhstan. Currently, she teaches at the Park Slope Yoga Center www.parkslopeyoga.com in Brooklyn and privately. Sophie is also an avid cook.