This meditative exercise is a simple way to release tension from your body. It doesn’t require anything more complicated than a few minutes of your time and a quiet space to lie down.
- Lying flat on your back or in a comfortable seated position, take some time to notice the way your body feels. Draw your attention to your breath.
- Starting with your head, notice any areas where you feel stress or tension. Allow yourself to feel more relaxed with each exhale breath.
- Draw attention to your ears; are there any sounds you can hear?
- Move your awareness to your neck and shoulders. Just like the stress in areas of your head and face, see if you can visualise ‘letting go’ with every exhale breath you take.
- Move your attention to your shoulders, front and back. Feel the connection here between your body and where you are in contact with the floor or chair.
- Shift your focus to your chest. The rise and fall that accompanies each inhale and exhale breath. Focus on your ribcage and upper back. Place your hands on your stomach and feel the rise and fall motion.
- Shift awareness to your lower back and notice if it feels tense. Draw attention to your pelvis, hips, and sitting bones. With each exhale breath, feel these areas ease.
- Bring focus to your legs, do they feel heavy and tight, or light and flexible?
- Lastly, shift awareness to your feet. Focus on the soles, heels, arches, and each of your toes. Stay for a few more breaths.
If you’re interested in doing a body scan meditation but aren’t sure if you can complete the process without checking the instructions and disrupting your calm, there are some useful mindfulness apps available. We love the Smiling Mind app – an Australian-made program which includes guided body scan sessions perfect for releasing tension.
This article was originally published in Issue 2, Audrey Daybook – Gratitude & Mindfulness.