Learn about the benefits of guided body scan meditation and find the best scripts to help you achieve deep relaxation in this practice.
Our emotional and physical well-being is deeply connected and influences each other throughout our lives. By listening to and noticing the sensations within our body, we can connect to a specific feeling or emotion and vice versa – noticing an emotional or mental state may point us to a problem in a specific area in our body. This comes when we have attained a certain degree of self-awareness and the ability to listen to the changes and processes within us.
This awareness can be practiced and developed since we have this in-built knowledge, attention to our senses, and natural intuition. Meditation and guided meditation are great ways to delve into this space and explore and listen to what is happening inside our body and mind.
Below we will explore the concept of a guided body-scan meditation practice as one of the techniques we can use to connect with our health and well-being.
What is a Body Scan Meditation?
A guided body-scan meditation originates from Buddhism and Mindfulness meditation as well as yogic teachings. It is performed to listen to and become more aware of any sensations of pain, tightness or tension in the body we might not usually notice during the day – or which are noticeable and need attention.
During a body-scan guided meditation, the teacher will lead us through a self-awareness practice, using techniques such as breath work, visualization, muscle tensing, and relaxation. This is done to connect, notice and mindfully open up spaces within and become more conscious of the changes and processes happening inside our system.
A mindful body-scan meditation is usually done lying down or sitting, depending on our preferences and the techniques used in practice. Lying down is a supportive pose when we want a relaxing and loosening experience since it allows all the muscles to relax.
On the other hand, a sitting position allows us to be more aware and focused during the meditation process. In this case, a more attentive and energetic approach may be used in the body scan meditation practice.
The general structure of a body-scan meditation begins from the bottom upwards. This means it starts by directing our attention to the tip of our toes, then moving upwards through the rest of the limbs and the body until we reach the top of our head.
This is often done with pranayama breathwork, visualization exercises and repeating mantras of affirmations.
Benefits of a Guided Body Scan Meditation
To recognize how our body experiences emotional states and sensations, try to remember any moments of feeling nervous; it could be before giving a public speech or anticipating something big about to happen. As you may probably recall, your body had reacted in a certain way, and you might have experienced some tensing or tingling sensations around your stomach area, chest and throat.
Those tensions or sensations may occur in any other body part since we all react differently to stress or excitement. But most people will feel the movement in the stomach and chest areas.
After practicing a body-scan guided meditation, we might notice certain changes not only in those spaces but also in our whole body and mind. The benefits of a guided body-scan meditation include:
- Lowers stress levels
- Calms anxious feelings and thoughts
- Gives better sleep and regeneration
- Reliefs or reduces chronic pain
- Heightens awareness of our higher self
- Makes us more attuned to our body and mind
- Reduces muscle tensions
- Lower the heart rate
- Makes us calmer and more open perspective
- Heightens our awareness of changes in our body
Best Body Scan Meditation Scripts To Try
Below is a sample of a guided meditation body-scan script which you could try whenever you need to reconnect with your centre, relax or simply enjoy a moment with yourself.
Body-scan meditation can be done while sitting on the ground, on a chair, or the floor. You can choose whichever position feels right for you and make yourself comfortable.
Full Body-Scan Meditation Script
Begin by finding a comfortable lying down position for your meditation. You may gently close your eyes or keep them slightly open when ready. Gaze in front of you without focusing on anything in particular.
Notice your breath becoming gentler and a bit deeper. Allow your inhales to become more relaxed and your exhales to be gentle and peaceful. You are safe, and this meditation moment is your unique experience.
Breathing in and out gently, begin by turning your attention to your feet. Notice their shape and how they are touching the ground. Visualize a bright light glowing around your feet and allow this sensation to be felt in any way you wish to experience it.
On your next breath, slowly begin to scan your body upwards. The light from your feet is now expanding and moving towards your calves and knees. Pause for a few breaths and allow any sensations to surface while breathing gently with the glowing light. From here, scan your body further, moving up to the thighs and hips. Breathing in deeply, visualize the glowing light in your legs, from the tip of your feet to your pelvis and hips. Stay here for a few breaths. Notice any feelings, sensations or tensions in your lower body and imagine them floating away with your exhales. Relaxing the lower body completely and letting your legs rest on the ground.
After a few breaths and feeling your legs relaxed, move your attention toward your belly, chest, shoulders and head. Feel your core filling up with the scanning light from below and notice any sensations in these areas. Allow the light to reach your arms, hands and fingers and let go of any tension on each exhale. Stay here for a few breaths and imagine your upper body filled with glowing light, helping you relax and let go of any tension.
Softly breathing in and out, picture your entire body filled with a glowing energy light. Laying down, completely relaxed and heavy, you may stay here, breathing gently in and out for as long as you wish. When you are ready, gently begin to move your body a bit and open your eyes.
Namaste, may all living beings live in happiness and freedom.
Connect To Your Centre Body-Scan Meditation Script
Begin by finding a comfortable position for your meditation. It may be lying down, seated or in any position, you feel like practicing. You may gently close your eyes or keep them slightly open when ready. Gaze in front of you without focusing on anything in particular.
Once you are in a comfortable pose, begin to focus on your breath. Do not change or force anything. Observe natural rhythm and allow it to be the way it is. With your inhales, shift your awareness towards your chest, ribs and belly. Notice the movements in your body as you are inhaling. Your chest expands, your ribs begin to open and maybe your belly is lifting a bit. Again, do not change or force anything. Observe and accept the way your body is responding to your breath.
Try to deepen your inhales slightly and allow the exhale to come out gently and smoothly. As if you are noticing your breath for the first time. Be curious and allow yourself to observe any sensations arising.
Once your breath calms down, it is time to focus your awareness on your centre. Start by noticing the lower pelvis and lower belly area. Feel if the area moves with your breath and try to relax the organs inside. Take a deep breath, shifting your attention to the pelvis area, and imagine a glowing energy scanning and filling your lower belly.
With your next inhale, move your attention to your chest and listen. Notice how this area moves with your breath and try to relax the organs inside. Take in a deep breath, and visualize the glowing energy light scanning and filling your chest and heart. Take a few breaths here and concentrate on the warm glowing energy scanning your centre. Beginning at your pelvis and moving up towards your heart. Breathe deeply and softly, gently allowing the scanning light to caress your body and help you relax.
Stay with these sensations for as long as you wish, and gently move your body and open your eyes when ready.
Namaste, may all living beings live in happiness and freedom.
Whenever we notice a new chronic sensation or tension in our body, we should look into our mind, thoughts and emotions. The two – body and mind – are connected and influence each other. This influence is a great source of knowledge and information we should be aware of and listen to. Guided body-scan meditation is a useful self-awareness practice to turn to when looking for insight into a problem we are facing or trying to relieve stress or tension in our mind or body. If you wish to learn more about meditation and how to make it a part of your practice, we invite you to join our Calm your Spirit, Soothe your Mind online meditation course.