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Align & Prosper: Mindfulness Body Scan Guide

Updated: Apr 7


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Unless you are absolutely new here this year, you have read my thoughts about mindfulness and how it can not only be the solution to our money problems but also our business and us problems. This article, we will explore together how to get started.


Meditation itself has a long and diverse history spanning various cultures, religions, and centuries. From Siddhartha Gautama who later became known as Buddha, to ancient India's Hinduism, to China's Taoism, to Islamic Sufism, to Japan's Zen Buddhism, meditation's exact origins are hard to pinpoint. Even today, meditation is practiced in various forms and continues to evolve. The types and number of meditations out there can become overwhelming when trying to decide what to choose from. Today my intention is to help you narrow down your search with the Mindfulness Body Scan. As much as I would like to take credit for this brilliant practice, I am not its author or creator. However, I am partial to how the body scan invites each of us to reconnect with our own bodies-something that is difficult to do in the fast paced, hustle and bustle of modern society.



Body Scan: No X-Ray or MRI Machines Required

If you have watched any number of medical shows, the concept of a body scan may bring to mind hospital equipment. However, no equipment or machinery is involved. And though the pose depicted in the picture to the left is impressive, it isn't quite what I mean here either. The mindfulness body scan is a guided meditation technique that involves systematically directing attention to different parts of the body. As a mindfulness technique, its goal is to simply help us have moment to moment awareness without judgment. It encourages a non-reactive observation of sensations, thoughts, and emotions associated with each body part. With the body scan method, we can become more mindful of our bodily sensations. This knowledge can then make it easier to address what’s wrong physically and emotionally, leading to improved wellness in body and mind.


Body Scan: How To Do It

BODY SCAN MEDITATION

  • If you are able to lie down without going to sleep, lie down on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms up. To make yourself more comfortable, you can place a pillow under your head and knees. If you find that this is uncomfortable still, you it is possible to do the body scan sitting upright. Just be sure to straighten that spine of yours. Now gently close your eyes.

  • Begin by taking a deep, cleansing breath. As you inhale, see if you can direct your breath all the way down into your belly. Imagine filling up your whole torso with the in-breath from your belly to your collar bone. Then as you exhale, expel all of the air from your torso until you're actually pulling your belly button back toward your spine. Repeat this two more times. Now allow your breathing to return to its own natural rhythm.

  • Remind yourself that the intention of this practice is not to feel any different-relaxed or calm. The aim of this practice is to simply bring awareness to any sensations you may detect as you focus your attention on each part of your body.

  • Begin to bring your attention to your toes. Notice any sensations there. Bring your attention there without judging or trying to change anything. If you do notice a change, notice it but do not try to control it.

  • Shift your awareness to the soles of your feet. Feel the connection between your feet and the surface beneath you. Notice any pressure or points of contact.

  • Gradually move your attention to your ankles and calves. Feel the muscles in your lower legs, noticing any areas of tension or ease.

  • Each time you find the mind wandering from the body part you're focusing on, acknowledge that it has wandered and gently return you attention to your body. When you do this, don't give yourself a hard time or get angry with yourself for not focusing. Simply return the mind to your body in a nonjudgmental way as you continue the body scan.

  • Now, bring your awareness to your knees and thighs. Scan through the muscles of your upper legs, just noticing. There is no need to try to force anything special to happen. Most of what you will notice will be quite ordinary-pressure, contact, tingling, warmth, coolness, itching, softness, stiffness, heaviness. lightness, and so on.

  • Move up to your pelvis and hips. Notice the sensations in your seat and the contact with the support beneath you. If a part of the body has no sensation, just notice this. You can use a mental label such as numb or blank.

  • Shift your focus to your lower back and abdomen. Feel the rise and fall of your breath as you scan through these areas. If there is pain or some other strong sensations in other parts of your body, acknowledge the experience and gently escort your attention back to the part of the body that is the focus of the body scan.

  • Continue to the middle and upper back. Feel the expansion of your ribcage with each breath.

  • Bring your attention to your chest and heart center. Notice the gentle rhythm of your heartbeat. Breathe into this space, fostering a sense of warmth and compassion.

  • Now, scan through your shoulders, down your arms, and into your hands. Feel any sensations in your fingers.

  • Shift your awareness to your neck and throat. Feel the breath moving freely through this area.

  • Finally, bring your attention to your head. Scan through your jaw, cheeks, and forehead. Imagine yourself breathing out through your entire body beginning at the top of your head and extending all the way down into your fingers and toes.

  • Take a few moments to feel your entire body as a whole; inviting yourself to remain in this state of stillness for a few moments. Just breathing in and out. In and out.

  • As you are ready, return awareness to your entire body by beginning to move your feet and hands. Then move to your arms and legs. Stretch. Rock from side to side on your back. Yawn.

  • Gently open your eyes and return awareness to the room.


Body Scan: Time Well-Spent?

If you read through the above, you may guess that this will require anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes from you. I know, I know. Where are you going to find time to do that? Wellness requires our attention and our time. We live in a culture in which our bodies tend to be neglected. We eat processed and/or fast-food because it's quick and we often have limited time to prepare healthier food options. We rack up sleep debt due to increasing work and social demands. We skip regular exercise, often trapped behind computers and phone screens which is not good for our overall physical health. Because we are so production oriented, we neglect to implement daily stress management practices or schedule time for activities that bring us happiness, laughter, and enjoyment. Because we don't pause and take inventory over our time, we allow it to slip away from us due to poor time management skills. With all of this, we often become very disconnected from our bodies. We don't listen to the bodily sensations our bodies send to us or worse we become unable to read the messages our bodies try to communicate. On the occasion that we do pay attention, our paying attention involves more of an "outside in" approach, mainly focusing on body image. This leads to us treating our bodies as an "it" that needs to be changed, corrected, or manipulated in some way. Mindfulness adopts more of an inside out approach. By practicing mindfulness awareness through body scan, we become more aware of our bodily sensations and reclaim our bodies as something precious to be cherished.




Throughout ages, customs, and peoples, meditation is a practice that assists us with developing our ability to voluntarily focus our mind. This skill is fundamental to growth and learning. Using this skill to focus the mind in constructive ways enables a person to achieve emotional balance as well as business and money balance. The body scan is one such mindfulness meditation practice that offers a rare opportunity for us to reconnect with our bodies amidst life's chaos. Tuning into our bodies' whispers enriches our lives with presence, gratitude, and holistic well-being. Why don't you give it a try this week? If you need an accountability partner, feel free to reach out by scheduling an appointment. I would love to be of assistance to you! I have also added a body scan practice log in the EnvisionCo Store to help you record any insights that you may have as you practice this skill. Download it for free today!

FYI: The downloadable version of the body scan will not include the large watermark across the page.

The body scan is an essential investment into your self-care. By dedicating time to the body can, we prioritize wellness, self-discovery, and reconnection. But please remember, wherever you are on this wellness journey, do not worry about getting it perfect; just get it going. Until next time. Happy reading.



And no. I haven't forgotten.

Affiliate Links to Follow:

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"Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it." ~Sharon Salzberg

 

Here at EnvisionCo Blog, we try to keep ads to a minimum making our blog entirely reader-supported. We may feature links on this site for additional informational purposes. From time to time, we may feature other links which are affiliate links (and these will be clearly marked). When you click through an affiliate link on our site and sign up for a service or finalize a purchase, we may earn affiliate commissions. This is of course at no additional cost to you. However, if you like what you see and would like to make a donation to help us keep ads to a minimum, we would greatly appreciate it! Nothing fancy. We accept the price of a cup coffee with as much gratitude as we would the price of a tank of gas!




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4 Comments


Such a helpful reminder. I try to meditate at least once a day but don't always check in with myself physically.

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This is wonderful! I imagine your body thanks you for this loving attention!! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!! ❤️

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Oh, I was just recently doing pretty much this using some videos I found. I haven't done a lot yet, but I can tell it will be very helpful.

Love that you decided to write about it.

Sorry, I haven't been around to your actual blog in quite some time. I had things I was working on, including learning to be more mindful. I haven't even done any of my own blogging. Yikes! Soon!

Thank you for this!

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Wishing you well on your journey. Thank you for stopping by. Your presence and insight is always welcomed. ❤️

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