Meditation Mindfulness Body Scan
Written by: Emma Hudson | Last updated: 11 March 2021
Reviewed by: Paul Baker
The body scan is always practiced as the first meditation of an 8-week mindfulness course.
The meditation helps to train parts of the brain associated with concentration. It can be helpful when starting out, to bring a colour to the body part as you bring your attention to it. The intention is not to move the body part, just bring your attention to any sensations there may be in the body part such as warmth, coolness, tightness, or no sensation at all; with an intention not to change anything.
A 30 minute Bodyscan
Bring yourself into a comfortable position either seated on a chair, with cushions supporting your back (if necessary), laying down with your palms facing upwards or standing. Adjust your position so you are as comfortable as possible. Eyes can be closed, or softly focused.
Focus your attention
To begin the meditation, bring your attention first to your breath, breathing in and out through your nose (or mouth if preferable), following the natural rhythm of your breath, no need to force the breath, just follow the breath as you feel the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe.
Begin the body scan
Bring your attention first to the crown of your head. The aim is not to change anything here, just bring an attention to the crown of the head. Then, bringing your attention now to your forehead, your left eye, your right eye, your right ear and the back of your head, your left ear and the left jaw, maybe consciously now placing a space between your teeth, and resting and relaxing your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Focusing now on the right jaw, then the right side of the neck, and then the back of the neck, and now the left side of your neck, your left shoulder, dropping your attention onto the left shoulder and the left arm, the upper arm, lower arm, wrist, then hands and then fingers on the left-hand side.
Top of the chest
Now bringing your awareness to the top of the chest, left chest, right chest, and the top of the back, there is nothing to do here just an awareness, and now the awareness is moving to the right shoulder, and continuing to focus on the right arm, the upper arm, the lower arm, the wrist, the hand, and then the fingers on the right-hand side. Then bringing your focus to your abdomen, your belly area and the lower back, your pelvis and then left hip. Now bringing your attention to the left leg, the whole of the left leg, focusing now on the top of the leg, on the left knee, and then lower leg and the ankle on the left-hand side, and then resting your attention on your left foot and then toes on the left-hand side. Now bringing your attention to the right hip, and the right leg, the whole of the right leg, the top of the leg and then focusing on the knee, then the lower leg and then the ankle on the right-hand side, and then resting your attention on your right foot then toes on the right-hand side.
Sweep attention downwards
Now bringing your attention back to the top of the head, the crown of the head, and sweeping your attention downwards over the body parts, and seeing if any area of the body is holding any tension or stress, and if you are aware of any tension, maybe allowing these areas of tension, to be held in your awareness, just being present to them and holding them in your presence of awareness. Not trying to change anything – just being with what is there for you.
Ending the meditation
Then slowly bringing your attention to your fingers and toes, maybe bringing some movement into these areas, taking a couple of good deep breaths, opening your eyes, and having a stretch.
Teh body scan detailed here is part of the Allen Carr’s Easyway programme. Come and find out more on our FREE Easy way to mindfulness taster class.