How to Do It
The body scan can be performed while lying down, sitting, or in other postures. The steps below are a guided meditation designed to be done while sitting.
You can use the script below for guidance for yourself or for leading this practice for others.
- Begin by bringing your attention into your body.
- You can close your eyes if that’s comfortable for you.
- You can notice your body seated wherever you’re seated, feeling the weight of your body on the chair, on the floor.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- And as you take a deep breath, bring in more oxygen enlivening the body. And as you exhale, have a sense of relaxing more deeply.
- You can notice your feet on the floor, notice the sensations of your feet touching the floor. The weight and pressure, vibration, heat.
- You can notice your legs against the chair, pressure, pulsing, heaviness, lightness.
- Notice your back against the chair.
- Bring your attention into your stomach area. If your stomach is tense or tight, let it soften. Take a breath.
- Notice your hands. Are your hands tense or tight. See if you can allow them to soften.
- Notice your arms. Feel any sensation in your arms. Let your shoulders be soft.
- Notice your neck and throat. Let them be soft. Relax.
- Soften your jaw. Let your face and facial muscles be soft.
- Then notice your whole body present. Take one more breath.
- Be aware of your whole body as best you can. Take a breath. And then when you’re ready, you can open your eyes.
* You can also listen to a 45-minute version of the Body Scan that the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness uses in its trainings in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.