Four steps to instant calm
The ancient art of walking meditation.
What makes this different from many other relaxation techniques is that you do it while you’re walking. The principles behind ‘walking meditation’ have been around in various forms for thousands of years, and they’re more relevant than ever because of the crazy number of distractions that we face in modern life.
So why did I call this ‘The Float’? Well, this technique combines the principles of walking meditation with deep breathing and a special rhythm that calms the mind and body down. I find the result is a strange feeling of slowly floating as I walk. See if you agree:
- Start breathing slowly in for four counts and then slowly out for four counts. Count in your mind as you breathe. ‘IN, 2, 3, 4, OUT, 2, 3, 4’. (1 minute)
- Now lightly tap your thumb on each finger of your hand, starting on your index finger and working outwards to your little finger. Get a repetition going as you say, ‘IN, 2, 3, 4’, going from your index finger and tapping outwards, and then as you say, ‘OUT, 2, 3, 4’, again tapping from your index finger outwards. (1 minute)
- Now combine the breathing, the counting and the tapping. (1 minute)
- For the final minute, slowly walk around the room while breathing, counting and tapping. For an even more effective rhythm, make sure each step coincides with the numbers and the thumb taps. You’ll find this slows down the tapping, which is good. (1 minute)
OK – here’s a question. Are you finding it quite hard to combine everything at once? Good. It should take your full attention for the minute. If you find you have time to think about your shopping list as well as breathing, counting, tapping and walking, you may not be doing it properly.
If you find you’re breathing too quickly, slow your steps down so you can slow your breathing down. This I find one of the most effective parts of The Float. It forces me to walk slower. With such a focused yet clear mind, it feels like floating.
This is adapted from an ancient yoga routine called Kirtan Kriya. It suggests that you should chant ‘Sa, Ta, Na, Ma’, instead of counting. These are believed to be primal sounds that can provide us with emotional balance. Kirtan Kriya requires a longer time period to practise, and the instructions must be followed exactly, so I’ll leave you to do your own research if you would like to do a longer, more exact routine.