The aim of the body scan meditation is to simply bring your body and mind together as a whole.
This mindfulness exercise makes you pay attention around your body, concentrating on a specific area, in a non judgemental awareness for a while.
Then you disengage the attention to that area, before moving on to another part of the body.
Doing this body scan meditation will help you discover a sense of gentleness and curiosity, and help improve your mindfulness.
The benefits that you may feel
After a while of doing the body scan meditation, you will notice a difference, and will be rewarded.
You will realise that you have gradually become more efficient at home and at work.
This is because old habits of thinking and feeling, take up a lot of your time.
Whereas now with a freer mind you have dissolved these habits, and will of become more mindful, and think as and when you need too.
How to do the body scan meditation
Firstly find yourself a comfortable position laying down, either on the floor or on a bed, where you know you won’t get disturbed.
You will find it more beneficial to close your eyes, but there is no problem if you wish to keep the eyes open.
Open that at anytime if you feel you are going to fall asleep.
Now bring your awareness to the body, noticing how your body makes contact with whatever you are laying on.
As you breathe out, allow yourself to sink a little deeper into the surface.
Remind yourself that this is a time for falling awake, and not for falling asleep.
This is your time to be fully aware of the experience, and not how you should think it will be.
Do not try and make yourself more relaxed or calmer , as the intention of this practice as you move your attention around your body.
Be aware of any sensations you may be feeling, if any.
Just make acknowledgement of this, don’t try and force any imagined sensations if there aren’t any.
Now bring the attention to the abdomen, be aware of any sensations and changing patterns as you breath in and out, notice how the abdomen rises and falls.
Having been made aware of the sensations in your abdomen, focusing on it, gently let your attention go down your legs into your feet.
Now try and focus on each of your toes, try and feel how that feel.
Do they tingle? Are they warm? Are they in contact with anything? Or do you feel nothing at all? Whatever you notice, it’s
OK, don’t judge it, just let it be for what it is.
Now as you breath in, imagine the breath enter the lungs, and pass all the way down the body until it reaches the toes.
As you breath out imagine the breath rising out of the toes, through your legs, torso and lastly out of the nose.
Continue this for a few minutes focusing on the breath, do so light heartily.
Next when you are ready, as you breath out, from the toes, bring your awareness to the soles of your feet.
Gently feel aware of the instep and then the heal of each foot, notice any sensations you discover.
Be aware of the breath as you explore the feeling in the bottom of the feet.
Now let the awareness expand to the rest of your feet, the ankles, the bones and joints.
Take a deeper breath in, and direct it down into both feet, then on an out breath direct your attention to the lower legs.
Now continue to scan your whole body, after your lower legs, move to the knees and then the thighs, then then pelvic area.
Moving up to the lower back, abdomen, and finally your chest and shoulders.
Gently notice your hands, exploring each finger if you wish, the palms, and also the backs of your hands. Now focus on moving to your wrists, lower arms, elbows, upper arms, shoulders and armpits.
Now move your awareness to your neck, face, noticing how your jaw, mouth, lips and nose feels.
Finally, hold your entire head in full awareness.
For each part of your body, spend approximately twenty to thirty seconds, just attend to each body part in turn for as long as you deem fit.
While you are doing the body scan meditation, your mind might wonder, if it does, as this is quite normal.
Acknowledge it, don’t judge, be aware of your thoughts and gently bring your awareness back to the body part you are focused on.
Finally after you have scan the whole body, be aware of the whole of your body as one, noticing your breath flowing in and out.
If you do find that you fall asleep while doing the full body scan meditation.
Don’t punish yourself for doing this, just next time keep your eyes open, or prop your head up, or both.