Before starting my morning meditation, I do a five-minute body scan to release anxiety, pain or tension. This method is easy to do, and I’d like to share how it may be beneficial for you. Feel free to add it to your meditation practice or enjoy as a stand-alone activity, which can be down at any time.
Find a Comfortable Seated Position or Lie Down
Begin by sitting on the floor, in a chair or lie on the ground. In either posture, keep the back and spine straight and adjust the body to eliminate any unnecessary tension. For example, on the floor use cushions under the knees or neck and if sitting in a chair keep the feet flat on the floor with the hands folded in the lap.
Gently close the eyes and begin to pay attention the breath.
The state of the breath, not only determines the effectiveness of meditation practice; it can set the mood for the day. Tight and restricted breathing tenses up muscles, sends your mind into analytical overdrive and creates unpleasant feelings. On the other hand, natural breathing calms the muscles and the mind opening up the ability to experience states of happiness.
During the five-minute body scan, it’s important to remember to keep the breathing natural. There is no need to force the breath or try to control it – just breathe easy. Pay attention to the sensation of the breath but give the body permission to breathe how it sees fit, like your observing the breath not producing it.
Bringing a bit of playful exploration into the practice, ask questions like how does the breath feel? Is it short and shallow? Long and wide? Relaxed or tense?
To round out the discussion on body scan practice, the last piece to include is imagination. While practicing the five-minute body scan, imagine inhaling pure white light and exhaling all the anxiety, pain or tension found in the body in the form of black smoke.
Start at the crown of the head and work your way down to the tips of your toes. All the while, notice areas of the body holding tension and breathe in healing white light to this point then exhale the stress in the form of black smoke.
As the scan continues, there will be points of the body with no tension and areas of the body with lots of stress. Take as much time as needed in each area moving to the next spot when feeling ready.
Quickly, I wanted to share the key areas that I focus on during my five-minute body scan.
- Back of the head and into the neck
Depending on the day and how I’m feeling, I may take more or less than five-minutes in these four areas. Self-exploration is key to this practice, and the more you practice, the easier it becomes, plus it’s just a lot of fun.
Originally appeared on CM.
Photo by Pixabay.