Somatic walking enquiry

You can read through this before you go for a walk and trust that you will remember what is important. It is different to a meditation  in that you are observing and noticing what is happening in your body and your movement.  You will remain alert and awake throughout.

 You might want to repeat this a few times over the next couple of weeks whilst you are out walking to allow it to land and sink in.  The walk can be any length – it doesn’t matter if you are just popping to the shops or going on a hike, and you can choose how long you work through the enquiry – a couple of minutes or longer.  There’s no right or wrong here, simply notice what you notice in your body and your experience on this occasion.  


If you get distracted, simply guide your awareness back to wherever you left off or wherever you remember.  


As you walk, notice what you can see, hear, and smell in your surroundings.  See what it might be like to simply observe.  What can you feel on your skin?  

How do you feel today?  

Notice any thoughts you are having without getting caught up in them. 

What is your energy level like today? 

Notice your breath, if this is available to you.  There’s no need to change anything, simply guide your attention to the inhale and the exhale exactly as it is.  


Take your attention now to the overall form of your body and posture.  Notice the position of your head, and the position of your tailbone/bottom of your lower back.  What is the relationship between the crown of your head and your tailbone?  Does this change as you walk?  

What does the rest of the spine and back feel like? How does it move?  


 Draw your attention now to the rhythm of your walking.  Is this a regular rhythm or does it change with each step? How does the way you are moving feel?  What is the quality of your movement? 


Feel into your feet now. Feel the connection between the feet and the ground and notice how your whole body is fully supported by the ground here as you walk.   Notice how the weight of your body is carried and felt by each of the feet.  How is this distributed through each foot?  What part of the foot do you land on first?  Does one foot take more weight than the other or is it distributed equally? How does the contact of your foot with the ground change through the movement?  How does this affect the rest of the body?  The legs, the pelvis, the back, and the trunk.  


Observe what is happening with the pelvis as you walk…is there some movement from side to side here?  Do the legs feel like an extension of the pelvis or do they feel entirely separate.  

Guide your attention to the lower back, the trunk, the chest, the shoulders.  Is there movement here as you walk?  How does walking feel in your upper body?  

Notice the movement of the arms as you walk.  How do the arms feel as you move?  


Guide your attention to the crown of the head, facing up towards the sky.  Let your attention switch between the crown of the head and the soles of the feet a few times.  


Feel now into the relationship of the body as a whole as you walk – the whole body, breathing and moving here.  Feel into the quality of your movement and explore this if you wish.  


Spend as long as you need to here, or let your awareness move back to somewhere else in the body that is inviting your attention.  


Now let your awareness move back to the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Take your time to come back to the space around you.  


 You can come back to this practice or parts of it whenever you want.