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5 Steps to Body Scan Meditation

Awareness of your body sensations can serve as a basis for awareness in all you do. Explore this 5-step practice to make mindful living part of your day:

  1. Choose a regular spot: A quiet spot with as little outside disturbance can be best – Enhale Meditation Studio or perhaps at the foot of your bed.  Avoid sleeping on your bed or you might fall into a nap.  If you enjoy setting up a place, then do so.  Place a buckwheat cushion or something with comfortable support and leave it purposeful, yet simple so you’re attracted to meditate there.
  2. Choose a time to practise:  Pick a time that fits your schedule.  Definitely put “Me Time” on the calendar so that it’s not eaten up by other obligations with friends, family or work.  If first thing in the morning works best, then set that time for you.  If lunch time before food works best, then schedule that in.  Don’t worry about duration.  Promise yourself a certain period, be it 5 minutes or 20 minutes and then stick to it no matter what.  Completion and dedication is more important at the initial stages than duration.
  3. Choose a posture:  A thousand years ago, they didn’t have folding chairs.  They had some grass patch on the ground, so people sat cross-legged and began meditating that way.  In modern times, if you’re more comfortable sitting on a chair, then don’t feel compelled to sit in lotus position.  Find an alert yet relaxed posture that works for you.  Make sure your muscles are relaxed, letting go of all tension.
  4. Body Scanning: Bring your attention to your body.  The body scan involves systematically focusing on different parts of your body.  You can start from the top of your head, down to your toes.  Or from one side of the body, all the way to the other.  It’s best to focus on a small area first, like the crown of the head to notice sensations.  Do you feel any tingling?  Any heat, electricity, pressure, openness?  Slowly and deliberately, pay attention to the area and move that focus a centimetre at a time.  Make sure to scan all parts, even the eyeballs, and in between your toes.
  5. After a few moments, your mind will likely roam:  Meditation is a skill, just like piano.  Just keep bringing yourself back to the practise.  Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect at the skill.  Just bring your awareness back to what you’re doing (meditating) and re-center yourself.  Keep scanning the body for sensations.  If you feel dullness or don’t feel anything, keep scanning the body until your mind is quiet enough to feel the sensations.

 

There will be many cycles in this process.  Days when you feel like you just had the best meditation.  And some days when you feel like you just wasted your entire time day dreaming about something not important.  Keep persevering as the benefits are awesome and long term.  Meditation will help to connect your whole body, mind and soul as one.