How to Be Mindful on a Hike

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Meditation for Real Life

“Hiking in nature provides an opportunity to tune in — both to our own experience and to the world around us. While it can be easy to get lost in thought or daydreams while hiking, the simple practices of mindfulness can draw us more closely into our experience of the natural world.” — Khalila Archer, program director at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education.

Start by paying attention to each step. Simply notice each time your foot makes contact with the ground.

Notice your body, moving through space. Feel the contact of air against your skin. Is it hot, cool, heavy, light?

Bring your awareness to your senses.

Touch: What do you feel in your body as you hike?

Smell: What scents do you pick up as you move?

See: What do you notice? Pay attention to both what is below and above you.

Hear: What sounds do you hear?

Allow each sensation to wash over you, not holding on to any one, but gently receiving each as you notice it.

When hiking uphill, take your time. Let your weight come fully into each step before you take the next one, and find a pace that allows your breathing to have a steady rhythm.

Find moments to stop and receive the experience, at the top of a hill, looking over a view, at a junction in the trail or in front of a beautiful flower or tree.

Feel your feet on the ground, your body in space and notice the movement of the environment around you.