Mindful Walks: Spring

April 14, 2020 Angie Andrade , Manager of Therapeutic Horticulture Programs

Although it feels like the whole world has changed in the last month—and in a lot of ways it has—nature remains the same. The progression of nature carries on, plants keep growing and seasons are still changing. Spring is here and nature is beginning to wake up to show off its beautiful new growth. While everything else is unpredictable, this is one constant we can count on. When we begin to slow down and take the time to observe the beauty of the coming spring, we can begin to feel grounded in the chaos. As you prepare to go on your daily (socially distanced) walks try some of these techniques to practice walking mindfully and taking in the beauty of change.

As you walk, your body should reflect your inner sense of dignity. Elongate your back and allow your shoulders to relax, your arms by your side and swinging naturally. Keep your head comfortably held high to encourage deep breathing from the diaphragm. Gaze forward rather than looking at the ground. Go at a comfortable pace and simply bring awareness to your feet. Pay attention to the rocking motion of each foot and how each foot keeps us balanced, grounded, rooted to the earth.

While you walk, stop occasionally to take in the new growth all around you. Breathe in the newly formed green leaves, the blue sky and the birds chirping. Breathe out and give gratitude to all the beauty that nature sends us.

On your route pick a plant you would like to observe. Each day spend a few minutes with that plant and notice how it is slowly changing and waking up with the warmer weather. The buds on the trees start to swell and explode into fresh new leaves and the spring bulbs begin to unfurl their brilliantly colored flowers. Consider journaling or taking pictures of your daily observations of change.

When we stop to witness and appreciate the cycles of nature, we can begin to see change in a new light, as the start of something new and possibly beautiful.

Enjoy your walk.

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