Meditation: Body Scan

September 4, 2023

…and relax.

Courtesy of Mindfulness Center – Brown University

This is a type of meditation that that focuses your attention on various parts of your body. Starting with your feet you work your way up. Instead of tensing and relaxing muscles like one would in a progressive muscle relaxation technique, you simply focus on the way each part of your body feels, without labeling the sensations as “good” or “bad”.

How to practice body scan meditation:

  • Lie on your back, legs uncrossed, arms relaxed at your sides, eyes open or closed. Focus on your breathing for about two minutes until you start to feel relaxed.
  • Turn your focus to the toes of your right foot. Notice any sensations you feel while continuing to also focus on your breathing. Imagine each deep breath flowing to your toes. Remain focused on this area for one to two minutes.
  • Move your focus to the sole of your right foot. Tune in to any sensations you feel in that part of your body and imagine each breath flowing from the sole of your foot. After one or two minutes, move your focus to your right ankle and repeat. Move to your calf, knee, thigh, hip, and then repeat the sequence for your left leg. From there, move up the torso, through the lower back and abdomen, the upper back and chest, and the shoulders. Pay close attention to any area of the body that causes you pain or discomfort.
  • After completing the body scan, relax for a while in silence and stillness, noting how your body feels. Then slowly open your eyes and stretch, if necessary.