Welcome to Part 2 of my new blog series on simple and easy ways to develop your own Mindfulness practice. In Part 1, I taught a basic breathing exercise to get you started. This week we will focus on how to do a Body Scan. If you practice yoga this might sound familiar. Sometimes yoga teachers guide students through a body scan during Savasana at the beginning or end of class.
Mindfulness Practice 2:
The Body Scan
- Do this first thing in the morning when you wake up or before you go to sleep because you are already lying down. This can also be done sitting. It only takes a few minutes.
- Lying down or sitting. Get comfortable. Start with a few rounds of deep breathing.
- The body scan involves starting at your toes and working up to your head, noticing how each body part feels – relaxed, tight, tense, etc. Start with your toes…. feet…. ankles…. shins…. knees…. thighs…. hips…. waist…. belly…. ribs…. chest…. low back…. upper back…. shoulders…. upper arms…. elbows…. forearms…. wrists….. hands….. neck…. jaw…. eyes…. forehead….. ears…. top/side/back of head. (If this is too much to start try only: feet….legs….torso….arms…hands….head)
- When you come to an area that is tight or tense, send your breath (visualize if you need) to that area and give it permission to let go of holding onto to that tension and begin to relax for 5-10 breaths.
- With practice you can get more specific and do one side of the body at a time including each toe and finger as an example.
- When the body scan is complete, finish with a few rounds of deep breathing. Check in with how you feel.
If you have a mindfulness journal make a quick note about your experience.