Welcome to week four!
How did you do with the first three exercises in the Beginner Series? Do you feel like you are becoming more in control of your posture and your breathing? How are your listening skills, are you beginning to notice more of what goes on around you?
This week we are going to lay down and scan our bodies.
I love to do a body scan following yoga practice or before I go to sleep at night. I enjoy the feeling of noticing every inch of my body from the tips of my toes to the hair on my head and identifying which muscles are sore or pinching, how the breath feels as it enters my mouth, and into my chest and how I can visualise it travelling down my torso.
“Mindfulness means non-judgemental awareness. A direct knowing of what is going on in and outside ourselves, moment by moment” – Mark Williams.
As before, read the method through several times before practicing or work with a partner.
- Set your posture (laying) and close your eyes. Settle your hands to the side of your body, palms facing upwards.
- Simply inhale and exhale for a few moments.
- Now, bring your attention to your right toes, giving them a little wiggle. Bring your attention gently up your right shin, still wiggling your toes noting how it feels.
- Slowly work up to your right knee, and then right thigh travelling slowly to the right hip. How does your hip feel, it it resting comfortably, or do you feel like you need to shuffle your posture?
- Repeat, starting with your left toes, giving them a wiggle. Bring your attention gently up your left shin, still wiggling your toes noting how it feels.
- Slowly work up your left knee, and then the left thigh travelling slowly to the left hip. How does your hip feel, is it resting comfortably, or do you feel like you need to shuffle your posture.
- Now, bring your attention to the groin area, how does it feel?
- Slowly bring your attention up the stomach area, how does your tummy feel, is it gurgling or still?
- Continue to breathe regularly, how does the breath feel in your chest and belly?
- Wiggle your right fingers, and bring your attention to your fingers, one at a time, before moving to the wrists, forearms, elbows, and shoulder.
- Smoothly continue down the left arm, wiggling the fingers, noticing them once at a time, before moving to the wrists, forearms, elbows and left shoulder.
- Notice the chin, bring it down slightly but not so much that it is resting on the chest.
- Soften the jaw.
- Bring your attention to the neck, how does it feel, is it tense or comfortable?
- Soften the face, and bring your gaze between the brows.
- Stay here for a few moments, noticing any sensation in the facial muscles and nose.
- Finally, bring your attention to the top of your head.
- Continue to breathe for a moment more before opening your eyes and bringing your attention back to the room.
- Practice this excercise each day this week in different situations and see how your body scan practice differs.
- If you are keeping a journal, makes some notes on your experience.
Next week we will focus on paying attention, mindfully.
I hope you will enjoy practicing this body scan exercise. We love to hear about your personal experiences, so if you would like to share or have a question, leave a comment below.
Download this lesson in PDF: Beginners Series Week 4 – Beginners Body Scan
Have a wonderful, mindful week everyone.