WELLBEING | A Group Meditation & Walk In Manchester With Wild Awake Mindfulness

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I wanted to start the new year as I meant to continue, so I booked a Mindfulness in nature walk run by Wild Awake Mindfulness which took place at Chorlton Water Park on Saturday 12th January 2019. I paid £8 for a 2 hour woodland walk which included 2 guided meditations. Read on to find out more.

Wild Awake Mindfulness Meditation in Nature Manchester

This year I promised myself that I’d do more things to nurture and enhance my wellbeing. Although I’ve dabbled on and off with my practice of meditation and Buddhism for many years, I wanted to place more regular emphasis on my spiritual wellbeing, not only to fill my time, but to help keep me calmer and more centred in general.

I find it all too easy for my life to feel like it’s spiralling frantically out of control before I realise I’m feeling burnt out. Once my stress levels peaked, I would then seek to address how I was feeling reactively. This year however, I want to take a different, more considered, pre-emptive approach.

Wild Awake Mindfulness Meditation in Nature Manchester

In the past few weeks I’ve tried Yoga Nidra, had a massage, Reiki, taken part in a Kirtan chanting circle, looked into various mindfulness retreats and this weekend, I went on a group mindfulness in nature walk, run by Wild Awake Mindfulness.

Wild Awake Mindfulness Meditation in Nature Manchester

The walk started at 10:30am at Chorlton Water Park. I was only vaguely aware of the location until the night before when I planned the route and was nicely surprised to find it was just a 35 minute drive away from me in Cheshire.

Despite coming across as confident, doing things like this on my own can often fill me with anxiety, but not this time. I was surprisingly calm about it, perhaps the inner work I’ve been doing recently played a hand?

Wild Awake Mindfulness Meditation in Nature Manchester

There were around 10 of us on the walk in total, lead by Claire who founded Wild Awake Mindfulness based on the belief that you don’t need to make a grand gesture to engage with nature and find greater inner calm.

Recognising the stress-busting benefits of nature doesn’t need to be difficult, and with so many easily accessible green spaces and urban parks, getting a wellbeing-bosting nature fix is a simple way to feeling calmer and more connected to nature.

Wild Awake Mindfulness Meditation in Nature Manchester

During the 2 hour session we had a gentle stroll and stopped 3 times, twice for guided meditations and once for a group activity. During meditation Claire invited us to focus on a variety of different sensations using all of our senses. From the smells of the damp woodland to the icy cold wind on our faces. I found it remarkably easy to quiet my mind and focus my attention – again, I think this is a clear sign that the work I’ve been doing is paying off, making it easier for me to meditate and quiet my busy mind.

Wild Awake Mindfulness Meditation in Nature Manchester

Despite wearing several layers, during the first seated meditation, I found I was still cold, but rather than let the cold distract me, I acknowledged my discomfort, sat with it for a while and told myself it was fine, that it was temporary and nothing more than a feeling that would pass. In a couple of hours once back in my car, I knew the cold would be replaced by warmth. The feeling of discomfort left me, and I continued happily with the guided meditation, my mind not really deviating again.

Wild Awake Mindfulness Meditation in Nature Manchester

As well as feeling like I got something out of the meditation sessions, I also got the chance to get up close and personal with a tree whilst blindfolded. Not as weird as it sounds, but the “find my tree” exercise we partnered up to do, was something I enjoyed immensely, and getting to chat to a few different people as we walked was wonderful too.

Chorlton water park in Manchester

If you’re new to meditation or just want to find new ways to practice mindfulness, I can’t recommend Wild Awake Mindfulness enough. Claire is an excellent mindfulness guide and you can see all upcoming mindfulness events here.