If you have ever read anything about mindfulness meditation or had any interest in the subject, there’s a good chance you might have heard of the body scan technique.
If you haven’t yet heard of this exercise, it’s a great introduction to mindfulness meditation and also a great way to strengthen the connection between your mind, body and spirit. Which is what meditation is all about!
This exercise is also a fantastic way to see just how much you miss by being too inside your own head and forgetting to be present. Read on to give it a try…
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The Purpose Of Body Scan Meditation
The idea of the body scan is to help bring your attention to your own body, your surroundings, and the simple experience of ‘being’ in the present.
It will take you out of your own head, raise your vibration, and show you just how much sensory information is coming in at any time.
A Note On “Letting Your Mind Go Blank”
Before we get started with this exercise, I want to give you a big tip on how to handle thoughts.
It’s not necessary (or even really possible in the very beginning) to “let your mind go blank”.
What you do instead is acknowledge your thoughts and observe them, rather than falling into them.
What do I mean by that?
So, for example, you start with the in and out breath and all is going well.
Then a random thought pops in your head about maybe something your boss said to you that was a little annoying.
Normally you’d go into this thought and get carried away with it.
You might think about how it made you feel, what you should have said in return, how you really don’t like your job, etc…
Well, during your meditation you still have the thought, but instead of going into it you say “okay, I just had a thought… cool… now let me focus on my breath again”.
That’s observing thoughts.
It takes a little practice and it’s important to remember that it’s OKAY to do this a million times throughout your meditation. The point is to keep doing it.
Over time you’ll realize it gets easier and easier to come back to your breath, and it won’t even be a thing!
A Simple Body Scan Meditation Script For Beginners
If body scan meditation sounds interesting to you, here’s a simple exercise you should try!
To begin, sit or lie down comfortably in a place where you will not be disturbed for 2-3 minutes.
Then, bring your attention to your breath and focus on it with each breath inward and outward.
Breathe deeply, following the air as it fills your lungs, belly, chest. And again, as you exhale, and the warm air touches your top lip.
When your mind drifts, simply observe the thought as we discussed above, and come back to the experience.
Start At The Feet
Eventually, you should start to notice other sensations throughout your body. Start at your feet and feel any sensations you can on your feet.
Do you feel the point where your feet connect to the ground? Can you feel the material of your shoes or socks pressed against your skin?
Focus on your toes, toenails, tops and soles of your feet. Relax all of these muscles and feel them melt into the ground.
Ankles And Legs
Move your attention up to your ankles, legs , thighs and pelvic region.
You may notice the feeling of your buttocks on the floor or chair, the fabric of your pants or skirt touching your skin. What do your knees and thighs feel like?
Relax everything. First your calves, then your knees.
Feel your thighs melt into the chair or ground, and relax all of your pelvic muscles. Let it all go.
Back, Torso & Chest
Keep moving up your body, to your torso. Feel any sensations in your stomach and digestive tract.
Relax your stomach and focus on your breath. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your belly.
Bring your awareness up through your chest – through your heart center. Can you feel your heart beating if you focus inward enough?
Take a deep breath, and exhale – letting everything go.
How does your back feel? If you have any stress or tension in your back, acknowledge it, take a deep breath, and breathe out the pain as you relax and let that go, too.
RELATED: How To Meditate For The Very First Time
Throat, Shoulders & Arms
Swallow intentionally, and pay attention to your neck and throat. How does it feel? Tight? Tense? Or loose and relaxed? Breathe in and relax your throat – your center of communication.
Then shift your attention to your shoulders. You may wish to take a breath in and bring your shoulders upward. Then drop them loose, downward, on the out breath.
Follow the relaxation and focus down your arms, hands, through your fingertips. Imagine a current of energy flowing down your extremities. Relax and release. Let go.
What do you feel? Do you feel the air and the space surrounding you? What is the temperature like? Is it cool or warmer? Is there moisture in the air? Maybe there is a breeze?
Pay attention to everything your body can feel.
Face & Head
Finally, move your awareness up through your face and crown.
Start at your mouth and jaw. Inhale, then open your mouth and sigh a big exhale. Relax your jaws, your lips, your tongue. Let your eyes feel heavy. Pay attention to any sensations or pressure in your head. And let that go.
Notice your scalp. Do you feel a slight tingle? Might you feel a pulse in your head.
If you are lying down, let your head melt into the floor and imagine the Earth absorbing any extra weight or excess energy. Feel supported and grounded.
Gradually expand your awareness to encompass your entire body and then further to encompass the environment around you.
Try and listen for sounds in the distance and be aware of how many sounds you can pick up.
Don’t engage with them, just be aware of them and be constantly aware of your breathing.
When you are finished, slowly blink open your eyes and bring your awareness back into the world around you.
Final Thoughts On Body Scan Meditations
Mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to improve the mind/body/spirit connection, and you can use it anytime you feel tense and just need to relax.
One of the best things about the body scan meditation is you can do it just about anywhere in a matter of minutes to feel grounded and present in any moment.
This technique is sure to leave you feeling refreshed, connected, and completely tuned in to your body and spirit.
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