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Guest Post By:  Yogazeit Volunteer – Maya Hoang

The Mindfulness Walk can also be practised with children. It will make it even more special for them if you take them out into nature and try it out in these surroundings.

With children, we can practice this movement meditation similar to adults. We start to notice our connection to the ground, how we lift our feet and slowly include the environment in our awareness.

● Start with noticing your and your children’s feet on the ground. Maybe both of you walk on grass or the leaves that fell off from the trees. Make your child aware of its steps. It might feel soft when it steps on the grass.  You both can just keep walking for a little while, simply noticing how one foot after the next one touches the ground.

● Now move your attention to your other body parts. What do your arms feel like? Do they swing like the branches from the trees to the rhythm of your footsteps? Or what about the fingers? Do they wiggle?

● After this step, you can start involving the environment and point out the trees, leaves, the wind or the sun. Whatever you both see, focus on how it has an influence on your body and senses. To make it fun and interesting for your child, you can encourage it to move like a tree that feels the wind in its branches.

You both can wiggle with your toes or knees, slowly lift up your arms and move them from one side to the other. Use your belly to breathe as if you would try to blow the wind away.

You might walk through grass or leaves that make a certain sound impression. Use both hands and rub them slowly together. It will create a similar sound to the scurrying through the grass.

Maybe put a finger on your mouth and show that you turn your attention to your ears so that you can hear the different sounds. Birds chirping, falling leaves…Keep observing what’s in your environment and try to let your child notice them too.

● If your child should get lost in thoughts or find its attention somewhere else, you can use the wind or sun as a focus point to bring your child back on the mindfulness walk. Point out the warm sun that is shining on your arms or the wind blowing through your hair. Even the clouds can have an impact. Watch how they move up in the sky. Could the clouds be like the feelings that move inside of you?

● If you both want to finish the mindfulness walk, end it with a final movement and breath. Stretch your arms, raise them to the sky as if you want to reach the sun that is shining on you. Take a deep belly breath that gets slower after each breath. Enjoy the present moment.

After you both have your mindfulness practice, you can consider bringing this type of movement mediation more often in your daily walks.

Whether you walk from one appointment to the next one, drop off your child at school, wherever you walk – mindfulness is always possible!

It’s all about the manifestations and impressions of your environment and how you can connect to it. If you include movements or certain tasks in which you have to use the senses, it can even be more fun for the little ones!

● Walking meditation promotes immune system function, muscle and bone strength, and improvement of the cardiovascular system and lower blood pressure.
https://positivepsychology.com/mindful-walking/

● It strengthens the heart, improves joint and muscular pain or stiffness and the management of hypertension, boosts energy and mood.
https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-walking#lowers-blood-sugar

● If we add mindfulness to our daily walking, it will reduce stress, anxiety and depression, increase the quality of life, create mental relaxation, lessens fatigue and
connect you with your body.  https://siyli.org/resources/mindful-walk-benefits

A Daily Mindful Walking Practice

https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/how-to-be-more-mindful-just-by-breathing-and-walking