Get Back to Your Body – 5 Minute Body Scan Meditation
I don’t know about you, but at this time of the year, I get all up in my head wondering ‘is everyone happy?’, ‘am I happy?’, ‘have I forgotten anyone’s gift?’, ‘will we have enough food for the upcoming feast?’ just to name a few. I literally feel my shoulders rising up around my ears and the furrow in my brow deepening. In the past, these self-imposed (and admittedly superficial) stressors have consumed me and I would either have a mini-meltdown, mutter obscenities under my breath, or just completely withdraw. Thankfully these days if I notice this happening, it’s a trigger for me to take a breather. This 5 minute body scan is a great way to get out of your head and back to your body.
What is a body scan?
A body scan is a type of mindfulness meditation that helps you bring awareness to each part of your body, and as a result, feeling it as a whole. It really helps to get your stress levels down, become more present and to notice what is going on in your body. You can do it any time throughout the day if you’re feeling a bit removed, or just before you go to sleep to relax and unwind.
How to do it
Start by putting on some chilled music and set a timer (if you need to).
Lay down and let your feet fall to the side, with your arms by your side and palms facing up.
Close your eyes and give yourself a minute to get all the itches, wriggles and wedgies out of the way 😉
Take a few deep breaths.
Focus your awareness on your feet, feeling any sensations there and simply observing them.
Work your way up to your ankles, lower legs and knees.
Move up your legs and bottom and notice where they come in contact with the earth or bed or wherever you may be.
Focus now on your back and observe whether there is any tension, breathe into it.
Move around to your stomach and notice it rising and falling with each breath.
Work your way up to your hands, fingers then back down to your arms and shoulders. Again if there is any tension here, sit with it for a little while and feel it soften.
Now bring your focus up your neck to the jaw and face. Feel the muscles relax as you breathe out.
Bring your awareness to the top of the head and hold it here for a few breaths.
Now scan your whole body from your head to your toes. Feel your body as a whole and stay here as long as you like.
Open your eyes and enjoy your day (or drift off to sleep if it’s time for bed!).
Take the awareness with you
Try to keep the awareness of your whole body with you throughout the day and be kind to yourself. And remember, like anything it takes practice to be mindful, to be present and to be aware of your body. Keep trying and you will feel the difference.