A Guide for Body-Scan Meditation

Interested in trying meditation but unsure where to begin? Here is an Inner Strength technique you can use to get started. Begin by sitting in a comfortable, upright position, straightening your spine and neck, and letting your hands rest gently on your thighs or on the table in front of you.

Direct your attention toward your feet. Focus on the contact your feet make with the ground. Notice the subtle differences in the weight pressing against different parts of your feet, and then shift your attention through each of your toes. 

Visualize yourself breathing. Visualize the air traveling through your body. Imagine when you exhale that you are exhaling all of the toxins, all of the tiredness, all of the strain out of your feet. Let it all seep into the floor below you.

Now inhale. Take this deep breath and send it into your lower legs. Notice the long bones of your shins and your calf muscles. Consciously relax this part of your body. Let the tension melt out of your muscles. On your next breath, take a deep inhalation and send your breath again to your lower legs, letting all of the strain in this area trickle into the ground. 

Move your attention into your knees. Let your attention wash over this part of the body, noticing any tension or sensitivity. Inhale and send your breath toward that area. Pretend you can remove any stress or pain by washing your breath over it. Exhale and expel all of this energy down your legs, out into the floor beneath your feet.

Shift your attention into your thighs. Bring your awareness to the long muscles and solid bones. Breathe in deeply, and send your breath toward your thighs, letting it rejuvenate that area of your body.

Next, send your focus to your hips becoming aware of where you connect with your chair. Feel gravity pulling you downward. Send your breath into each one of your organs, your stomach,  your intestines. Let your breath fill your lungs. Let it massage your heart. Imagine you’re exhaling out all of the fatigue and tension and worry and fear in your body.

Bring your awareness to your spine. Send your breath down each vertebrae. Let your attention go to your arms, noticing where your elbows bend. Consciously relax your forearms, your wrists, and each of your fingers. 

Now draw your attention to the base of your neck. Breathe into that area. Draw space where you can, relieving any compression or tightness. 

Bring your attention inside your head. Imagine that your breath is giving your brain a gentle massage for all of the work it does every day, helping us move,  helping us think. Inhale and consciously expel out tension, mental fatigue, concern. Turn your attention to the muscles in your forehead, to your eyes, down to your cheeks. Let each of them soften. Unclench your jaw. Let your tongue rest gently.

Take a few breaths at your own pace. Inhale and exhale. Sense your whole body. Sense the softness. Sense the relaxation.