Body Scan Meditation
A progressive and relaxing muscle process
After completing the volume control exercise, try the body scan and progressive relaxation muscle process below. This is a simple and effective body scan meditation to train your focus while remaining mindful and open to any sensation that arises. If you encounter pain or muscle tension, try to accept rather than minimise or control it.
Practise this meditation for as long as you like – 20 minutes is a good starting point.
Practising Body Scanning
When you are comfortable, take your attention to your breathing and breathe slowly and deeply
through your nose. Feel your abdomen rise as your diaphragm expands to take air into your lungs. Make sure your chest only rises a little. Continue breathing slowly as you bring your attention to your left foot. Curl and release your toes once. Focus your awareness on your toes and foot. As you breathe in, slowly begin to scan your left leg from your foot to your knee, and up to your thigh.
Now just follow your breath out, down your thigh to your knee, and down to your foot and to the tips of your toes. Do this three times, then take your attention from your breath and remain focused on your foot.
Experience the sensations in your foot for a few seconds.
Scan your left lower leg. Be aware of any tension or discomfort you can feel and accept it. Now begin to slowly scan through your thigh. If any thoughts arise during this time, that’s okay.
Gently return your attention to your breath. Now shift your awareness to your right foot and toes. Curl and release your toes once. Focus your awareness on your toes and foot.
As you breathe in, slowly begin to scan your right leg from your foot to your knee, and up to your thigh… Breathe out slowly and
scan back down slowly. Do this three times. Take your time, don’t rush this experience. Now take your attention from the breath and just be with your foot and toes.
Become aware of any sensation in your foot and toes, your calf, your thigh. Allow yourself to be with all sensations and notice what happens. Relax…
Now turn your attention to your stomach. Feel it rising as you take a breath in and sinking as you breathe out. Notice your breath gently flowing through your nostrils. You might even notice your heart rate slowing down as you relax more. Remain focused on your stomach and breathe gently in and out. Tune in to any sensations you might be experiencing and just go deeper and deeper into relaxing…
Here are a few key pointers to make it more effective:
- Don’t eat anything too heavy
- Dim the lights or close the curtains
- Switch off your mobile phone
- Wear comfortable clothing
- Be comfortable
- Tune in to being mindful – Detach yourself from any distractions, then gently, patiently focus your awareness on your breathing and body.
- Don’t be anxious – Don’t worry about doing this right. Let go of any expectations. The fact that you are doing it is what matters.
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Why not practice this at one of our retreats for maximum effect?
Have you ever considered the pace of your life, the speed that you think, feel, breath, eat and generally do things? How about the things you really want to do but there is never enough time to do it? How often it does leave you feeling exhausted, irritable, stressed and spent? Take a break and have a look at our mindfulness retreats for a peaceful and relaxing get away for a stress free experience.