I have always had a little bit of trouble sitting down to meditate. I have been trying for years to improve my meditation practice, but sitting just doesn’t really work for me.
Luckily, I found a solution that has changed my daily meditation practices.
The solution? Hiking.
This doesn’t have to be climbing Mt. Everest every day. Just a 30-minute walk on a nature trail can do it.
To be honest, I never really thought it would be “my thing” until I gave it a shot. Once I started hiking, I was hooked.
I love it because the woods are quiet (there is no cell service in the mountains, so that’s a plus!) and offer sights and sounds you don’t find in the city, especially in the late fall or early spring. During this time, it’s not too hot and the air is crisp, cool, and flows through your lungs much easier than the biting air of the winter or the heavy air of the summer.
If you’re lucky, there are more animals out during this time as well, just be mindful of their space and they will be mindful of yours. I’ve seen animals ranging from deer to moose, eagles, rabbits, and even (to my shock at the time) a mountain lion. Most of these sightings come from sitting higher up on rock outcroppings and being quiet and still with my thoughts.
For me, hiking is almost better than sitting and meditating because the act of actually walking up a mountain and sitting at the top is more meditative to me than just sitting. For some, they need to be still to be alone with their thoughts, but the act of climbing and pushing forward allows thoughts to come into my head, be accepted, and move on as more thoughts come through.
Some days in the mountains are more quiet thought-wise than others, but that’s ok. The same can be said for sitting and meditating.
If the “traditional” methods of meditation don’t work for you, then maybe hiking is! There isn’t much gear required aside from a pair of good walking shoes, making it one of the cheapest practices you can add to your day.
Author: Mercedes Trujillo
Image: Author’s Own