For the most part, we use walking simply to get from point A to point B (for example, from the car to the store), and our minds become focused on the destination, not necessarily the journey. Sometimes we can become so engrossed with the check lists and “have-to’s” that we miss the birds chirping, the flowers blooming, or the trees swaying in the breeze.
When we shift gears and re-learn how to walk, a skill most of us learned in the first two years of life, our walking can turn into a time in which we are in the moment. We are present. Cornerstone’s Moving Mindfully program teaches this simple concept. Here’s how, and why.
Benefits of Moving Mindfully
“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~ John Muir
Benefits of Mindful Moving include:
- Strengthening concentration and focus
- Creating more awareness of your body, feelings and your surroundings
- Helping ease worries about the past and the future
- Improved fitness and digestion
- Calming and easing emotions
Easy ways to incorporate Mindful Moving into your next walk:
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
Begin your walk by standing still and take a couple of full, deep, cleansing breaths.
Allow yourself to feel your feet and legs. Notice your posture. Feel yourself grounded with the world under your feet. Allow your shoulders to release, drawing away from your ears. Feel as though a string is attached to the top of your head, lengthening your spine.
Soften your knees and allow your center of gravity to balance your body.
Begin your walk at a slower pace, feeling the movement initiate from the hip and transfer down to the tip of your toes. Allow the breath to move naturally as you choose a walking pace that allows you to stay in this mindful state.
When you have concluded your walk, whether it is 5 or 50 minutes, return back to the stillness of standing quietly, taking a few deep, cleansing breaths, smile and feel grounded.
Always be mindful of your personal safety by taking precautions like wearing sunscreen and bringing a water bottle along.
Cornerstone’s Walking Challenge is FREE
Our special 4-week program kicks off on April 21. While our Walking Challenge is listed among our senior programs, anyone can join in regardless of age or membership status (non-members welcome!). Best of all? It’s absolutely FREE to everyone! Stop by any club to pick up a registration packet – or print a copy at home and bring it in with you. The goal is to walk mindfully at least 20 minutes a day, several days a week. Keep track of your walks on the included scorecards and submit them weekly for fun weekly prize drawings!
Weekly Organized Group Walks
Finally, we invite you to join us for weekly organized group walks included as part of the Challenge. Enjoy the camaraderie of walking with a group as well as short, informative talks and refreshments. Walks include:
The Labyrinth at Cornerstone Warrington on Tuesday, May 1 at 1 p.m. – learn more about moving meditation from two therapists for the Spa at Cornerstone.
Walk at Cornerstone Doylestown on Tuesday, May 8 at 1 p.m. – listen to a therapist from Cornerstone Physical Therapy discuss bone health; complimentary gait analysis available for interested individuals.
Walk at Cornerstone New Hope on Tuesday, May 15 at 1 p.m. – a Cornerstone Yoga Instructor will explain and guide us through a meditation practice.
Final walk at the Event Center by Cornerstone in New Hope on Wednesday, May 23 at 1 p.m. – celebrate completing the challenge at a fun get-together.