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Quick Body Scan Exercise to Drop Back into the Presence

I don't know about you but when things get stressful, I can be consumed by my thoughts.

Even when things aren't stressful, we can get lost in our mind or emotions, unaware of what's actually really occurring in this very moment.

A body scan meditation is a mindfulness exercise to explore what's present in your body & mind.

This video is a quick practice you can do throughout your day.

Here is a more focused practice as well:

  1. Get comfortable. You can perform a body scan in any setting, even on the go, but when you’re just learning how, you may want to start by sitting or lying down.

  2. Close your eyes. If you’re not comfortable doing so, relax your gaze downward so you’re not distracted by anything around you.

  3. Begin with a few deep breaths. Slowly breathe in through the nose, allowing the breath to travel own into the lower abdomen, and then slowly out through the mouth. Do this a few times and then allow your breath to return to an inhale through the nose and longer exhale out of the nose.

  4. Start at the top of your body. Focus on your head, asking yourself what sensations you feel in this part of your body. It could be tension, it could be relaxation, it could be a pulsing quality, or maybe you don't notice any sensations. Practice doing this from a place of mindfulness- with curiosity, loving kindness, and non judgement.

  5. Move down your body. Turn your attention down to your shoulders and upper back. “What s present here? It could be discomfort, it could be lightness. Whatever it is, it’s ok. We simply noticing without judgement or attachement.

  6. Focus on your mid-body. Moving down to your chest and belly, notice what you’re feeling in those areas. If you’re sitting in a chair, pay attention to the sensation of your body in the chair; if you’re lying down, notice the feeling of your back on the floor or bed. You are going through that inventory and noticing where are you in that moment.

  7. Continue the process down your body. Keep it up as you inventory the rest of your body: each hand and arm, your thighs, then your knees and calves. No need to try to change anything in this moment.

  8. Finish at your feet. Finish your body scan by moving all the way down to your feet and toes, bringing awareness to those areas of the body and how they feel.

  9. Notice your entire body: Now expand your awareness to your entire body. What do you notice?

  10. End the process gently. Slowly bring your attention back to your surroundings, taking a slow deep breath and gently opening your eyes.

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