Name Ashley Welch
Why I Tried It To try a new way to meditate
I’m no stranger to meditation, though I can’t say it always comes easily to me. I’ve been a practitioner of yoga for many years, and while I definitely savor the tranquility that comes with final Savasana, it is the moving meditation of going through the poses that keeps me coming back. Nothing beats the feeling of being on my mat, flowing from one asana to another in an almost trancelike state, fully present and aware of my breath and body’s movement. It’s taught me to slow down and notice every sensation going through me and to appreciate all my body does for me.
But COVID-19 restrictions have kept me out of the studio, and virtual yoga classes don’t always cut it for me. Trying to find an hour of Zen in the same small space where I work and sleep just isn’t as peaceful or appealing. I will occasionally listen to a guided meditation on YouTube while in the bath or just before bed, but I often find it difficult to sit still and meditate. That’s why I loved the idea of a walking meditation. As the ongoing pandemic has limited most of my regular activities, I already take frequent walks these days to get out of my apartment and into the fresh air. And as I know from my experience with yoga, my favorite way to meditate is to do so while moving.
What Is MindTravel’s Silent Walking Meditation?
MindTravel is an experiential music company founded by composer and musician Murray Hidary. The company offers ticketed live events conducted both virtually and in person (although in-person events are not currently taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic), as well as digital music and meditation products that focus on sleep, inspiration, creativity, and more. Most people use MindTravel in the comfort of their own homes, or, in the case of the Silent Walking Meditations, by walking safely in their neighborhoods and local parks.
Pricing for MindTravel experiences vary. Ticketed/live events cost between $15 to $30, while digital music and meditation products range from $3.99 to $23 per product, with discounted monthly and yearly subscriptions available.
MindTravel offers a free 20-minute Silent Walking Meditation and a $17 expansion pack that includes a 30-minute and a 60-minute guided walk.
Here’s What Happened When I Tried It
My first experience with MindTravel was the 60-minute Silent Walking Meditation. A few days later, I tried the shorter, 30-minute walk. Both are very similar, with the 30-minute walk basically a condensed version of the longer one.
I began my first walk on a sunny day and hit play on the meditation track as soon as I left my apartment, which, for me, was a mistake. I live right off a busy street, and the noise of cars whizzing by made it too difficult to concentrate. I decided to pause the recording and wait until I was in a less populated area to switch it back on. While the goal of the meditation isn’t to go anywhere, MindTravel suggests you know your route so you’re not worrying about directions, and I highly agree. Anything to minimize distractions is helpful. MindTravel also emphasizes safety and instructs you to always be aware of your surroundings and move in line with the meditation only if it is safe.
Once on a quieter route, I was really able to focus on the soothing sounds of Hidary’s voice over the background of the calming music he also composed. I listened as he told me to pick up my pace to a brisk walk and feel my heart quicken and then slow down to gentle steps. By this point, I had made it to my local walking/running path along the river that’s beautifully dotted with trees and expansive green space. This was the perfect location for a walking meditation, as Hidary instructs you to really take in your surroundings…