The body scan can be done on your own or with the guidance of a mindfulness teacher , either by listening to an audio recording of a guided practice or by attending a local mindfulness class. It doesn’t matter where you are when you do this practice , as long as you are comfortable , sitting, or lying down, and have enough uninterrupted time and space to give to this practice. The Body Scan can be as short as ten minutes or as long as you wish to make it. Many people find twenty to forty minutes works well for them .
The Body Scan involves moving your attention around your body , focusing your attention on each region in turn in a non-judgemental way, before disengaging and moving into another region.
For example, you could start by focusing your attention on your left big toe, and then move your focus to each toe in turn before moving on to the rest of your left foot, ankle, calf, knee, thigh. You could then apply this same awareness to your other leg, the different parts of your torso , each arm, before ending at the top of your head.
Be aware of how and where your body makes contact with any surfaces , your clothes and any sensations on your skin. If you find that you don’t feel anything at various points, acknowledge that that is the way it is at that moment and continue with the Body Scan.
Regardless of what happened (whether you fall asleep, become distrected , feel bored, or anxious, or forget which part of the body you were focusing on) , don’t worry, this is part of the practice.Just note the experience (for example”sleepiness”) before coming back to the practice. It’s not a test – there is no right or wrong. The important thing is to do it. As best you can, let go of any expectations, allowing yourself to be open and curious to whatever is going on inside you. This is an opportunity to experience your thoughts , feelings and bodily sensations in the present moment , with kindness and without judgement.
If your mind wanders , note that this is happening before gently bringing your mind back to your body . Trying to block unpleasant thoughts , feelings or body sensations will only create upsetting feelings and take you away from youe experience in this moment . If possible , not how your mind reacts , and if you notice your mind is saying things aren’t as they should be , as best you can, view your experience in each moment with an accepting attitude.
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