Top of Breath While Walking
Good Morning. Today’s practice can be done inside or outside, but if the weather is nice where you are, I encourage doing this practice outside. The concept of breathing and connecting mind and body in the present moment through breathing is central to mindfulness practice
The more you practice this type of breathing: deep inhale—filling your lungs to capacity, paying attention to the shift from inhale to exhale, and extending your exhale slowly—the easier it will be for you to access a clear mind and a state of equanimity.
Today’s variation involves doing top of breath practice while walking. So for this practice, you simply need to find a place to walk where you have enough distance from others. Take two deep breaths, like we have practiced the last few days, and then begin walking. You can find a rhythm of steps and breaths that feels correct to you. When you walk, it is helpful to think about your feet kissing the earth gently. Again, your speed is not important, but the care you take in placing your feet gently to connect to the ground is a point of focus. As you do this gentle walking, try not to lose awareness of your breath. If you find yourself confused or distracted, you can stop, take two breaths and begin again. Set a timer or have someone alert you after 5 minutes. When you stop walking take two more deep breaths in and out, noting the shift from inhale to exhale, while standing still to conclude your exercise.
Later today and throughout the weekend, make your breath a focus of your day. Try to find some time when your day is busy, stop and take just one deep breath in and out–noting the top of the breath. See if you are able to feel your feet connected to the ground when you take this breath. Try to do this several times throughout your day, especially in the midst of busy activity.
Enjoy the weekend!