Hiking for me is a form of meditation in itself but it is also the perfect time to meditate. The beauty, peacefulness, and solitude I find allow me to let go of the normal brain chatter and become one with nature. I am able to reconnect with my higher self, raise my vibe, and re-charge after my normal day to day experiences that can drain me. It’s a time I receive so many ideas and feel my creativity surge. It truly is magic and healing for my mind and soul.
While there are many ways to meditate, here are my tips for a simple meditation that works best for me while I’m on the trail:
1. Set your intention. Before you head out on the trail, set an intention that you would like to let your mind be free of its chatter and connect with nature so you can absorb its healing and reconnect with your higher self.
2. Pick a time in the day that is magical for you. For me, sunrise on the trail is so special and is the best time for me to meditate.
3. Find a spot that calls to you and you won’t be disturbed by lots of people walking by. Maybe it’s your favorite smooth rock next to a stream or a spot with a gorgeous view. Take a seat, cross legged if you can, back straight (not tense), hands on knees with palms facing up. Try to sit as comfortable as possible. Let go of any tension in your body including your forehead, jaw, and neck. Close your eyes.
4. Start by focusing on your breath. Don’t try to force your breath, just let it come naturally.
Gradually, try to take slower and deeper breaths and notice how your belly fills with air, your shoulders move when you exhale, and how your ribs inflate and deflate with each breath. Try to make your exhale the same or longer than your inhale. If your mind wanders, bring the focus back to your breath.
5. Do this for 5 minutes to start and increase your time as you get more comfortable. If you lose focus, don’t beat yourself up, meditation is a practice and it takes time to develop it.
6. Once you’re done, open your eyes, stand up, and stretch. I usually end my meditations with gratitude for three things I am thankful for at that moment.
You can also use a guided meditation instead of this simple breathing meditation. There are guided meditations for everything you can think of- anxiety, manifesting, energy, sleep, etc. My favorite guided meditation resource is the Insight Timer app. It’s free and amazing!
With Love & Gratitude,