If you are looking to include more mindfulness to your days, one of the best practices to try is the body scan meditation.
The body scan is a traditional practice through which we become more aware of each part of our body. You can opt to try doing a body scan in a position that is most comfortable for you, though lying down or sitting is often the most common position. Body scanning is for everyone – there is no movement involved, simply a focus of our attention to the body.
Mindfulness is all about bringing awareness to our lives and our present; and connecting with our physical body is a great first step to do so. Contrary to what you may think, a body scan may not necessarily be relaxing for you; due to the fact that body scanning brings an awareness of what is present in our bodies, if we are in pain of any kind, that is what we will notice. By becoming more aware of our bodies, and moving our mindfulness beyond just our physical being, we can learn to recognize and address a multitude of emotions in our bodies.
Body Scanning in 8 Steps
- Plan to have up to 30 minutes of time available to you, and find a space where you won’t likely be disturbed.
- Find a comfortable sitting or lying position; you may want to use some pillows or blankets for support.
- Turn off your phone, and remove any other potential distractions.
- Close your eyes, and bring awareness to your breathing.
- Focus your awareness on your feet, inhaling and exhaling slowly as you do so. What feelings do you notice?
- Slowly move up your focus upwards throughout your body, paying close attention to each area. When your mind wanders, slowly bring it back by focusing on the last body part you remember scanning.
- When you reach the top of your head, spend a few more minutes bring focus to your natural inhale and exhale, and the rise and fall of your chest.
- Slowly open your eyes, take a few more deep breaths, and slowly rise from your seated or lying position. Take your body scan two steps further by drinking a glass of water with lemon or a cup of tea, and journal some of the feelings you noticed while scanning your body.