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The Body Scan

The body scan is a technique that allows us to pay attention to our body and gain some control over how it feels.

You can spend a minute or ten minutes depending on how much time you have. Practice is key to developing your focused attention.

Remember that your mind may wander while you are doing this exercise and this is fine. If you find that your attention drifts away, just gently bring your focus back to the body.

Lying or sitting comfortably with your eyes closed, notice the contact of your body with the bed or chair. Notice the sensations, knowing that you are safe to do so.

Notice your breathing. The rise and fall of your chest and tummy as you breathe in and out, particularly noticing how your body relaxes as you breathe out.

Now take your attention to the top of your head, noticing all the sensations. Pass your attention down your neck to your shoulders, being aware of any tension, pulling or any other feelings. Sometimes there is nothing to feel and this is also fine.

Pass your attention down your right arm to the elbow, the forearm, wrist and hand and individual fingers. Now pass your attention down the left arm to the elbow, the forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.

Now scan your attention down your back, observing all the sensations, down to the pelvis and hips. Notice your right thigh and knee, down to the shin, the ankle, the foot and toes.

Now pass your focus down the left thigh, into the knee, the shin, the ankle, the foot and the toes.

Finally, hold your entire body in your attention, being aware of all the feelings, watching and observing how they can change. Then bring your focus back to the breathing, the in and the out. Slowly count from 1 to 5 and then open your eyes.

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