If you’re reading this, you probably know how yoga makes you feel. It varies depending on the type of yoga you are practicing of course, but you most likely feel more grounded, balanced and accomplished. It’s very easy to overthink your practice because you don’t feel like you have that 20, 30 or more minutes to spend on yoga right now. But what if there was a practice that could help you feel grounded and at ease in just a couple of minutes?
What is Body Scan Meditation?
Body Scan Meditation is essentially a quick practice of consciously relaxing your entire body, as the name says, it’s almost like you’re “scanning” your entire body for a quick check-in. Even when you have already done yoga that morning, anxiety or brain fog can creep up. Body scan meditation helps you bring awareness back to your body.
Body Scan Meditation Benefits
Body Scan Meditation is a helpful tool to incorporate in your daily ritual whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious. Perhaps you’re facing a stressful challenge at work, or need to fully focus and set intention before an important meeting or phone call, take a quick Body Scan Meditation to ease your mind and clear any fog. This practice is quick, effective, can be done almost anywhere, and can help you destress and refocus. It can also help you sleep and relieve any tension in the body, allowing you to fully relax and achieve calm.
How to Do Body Scan Meditation
You can use this as a body scan script to help guide your meditation. There are also audio versions to help you through the process and allow you to keep your eyes closed.
1. Find a Place to Meditate
This can be a chair, at your desk, a spot in the sunshine or fresh air, or just a safe sturdy spot wherever you are while on the go.
A trillion thoughts may be swirling, but breathing is the only thing you truly have to do. So return to this life-giving act and simply inhale and exhale. Once you’ve done this, deepen the breath and breathe into your belly, meaning, feel your stomach lift up and down as you breathe. You can place your hand on your stomach to help focus your breathing into your diaphragm rather than your chest. Feel your hand rise up….and down.
3. Notice How You Feel
Spread your awareness throughout your body. Is your neck tight? Are you crossing your feet and throwing off your hips? Are your teeth clenching from stress? Notice these sensations, but try not to judge them or even try to fix them at the moment. You can consciously allow the muscle to relax, but don’t try to massage it right now. Just take stock of your body, feel and accept it.
4. Notice the Sensations Around You
Once you’ve evaluated how your body is feeling, extend your awareness to the world around you.
What do you smell?
How does the air feel?
Is there a breeze from a fan, or the warm sun on your face?
What do your clothes feel like on your skin?
What does the ground feel like underneath you?
What sounds are you hearing?
5. Take It From the Top
Now, starting at the top of your body, allow your muscles to relax. You may have not realized you’ve been holding tension between your brows. You may feel your jaw or even your tongue relax and release from the roof of your mouth. Slowly continue down the body, checking in with yourself, until you’ve mentally relaxed, all the way down to your toes. Allow the stress to exit through your toes. When you’re ready, open your eyes.
How Often Should You Perform Body Scan Meditation?
After trying a Body Scan Meditation, you will experience extreme calmness and awareness throughout your whole body. It will surprise you how easy it is to achieve this feeling, and how little time it can take. Better yet, there are no rules when it comes to Body Scan Meditation. You can practice as often and for as long as you please. We recommend using this exercise as a quick check-in with yourself during the day as it can be performed almost anywhere and allows for quick, instant relief from stress and anxiety.