• Sonal Agrawal

Meditation Of The Month: Body Scan Meditation

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

Body scan meditation is one kind of mindfulness meditation which advances more prominent attention to the physical body. It utilizes physical sensations and perception as a grapple to establish the mind in the physical body.

Some teachers have described the body scan as a powerful way to connect with the physical body. This has the immediate effect of helping to draw attention to and then release any areas of tension or holding. Thus, body scan meditation is primarily a relaxing practice, although other more uncomfortable sensations, such as tingling, burning or numbness may also arise.

According to Elate Wellbeing Experts, the aim in body scan meditation is to end up mindful of various regions of the body and tune into how each body part feels, with interest and non-judgment. The point is to develop an open, empathetic frame of mind. The focus may vary from wider areas of the body to much smaller, narrower regions.

Body scan meditation has been researched and found to be effective for improving well-being, decreasing physical discomfort and pain, and reducing stress levels.

According to Elate experts, following are the 9 steps of Body Scan Meditation:

1.Sit or lie down in any position that’s comfortable for you.

2. Take a couple of minutes to soften your body by releasing and loosening up any strain or tightness you sense. Inhale intentionally for a couple of minutes, enabling your mind and body to settle. Feel the contact your body is making with the floor or seat.

3.Now bring your attention to your head. Feel the weight of your head on your neck, and pay attention to the physical sensations surrounding it. Notice any sensation at all: heat, cold, itching, pain, tightness, tension, looseness, or even tickling. Observe all of these sensations without judging them as good, bad, right, or wrong. Then shift your awareness from your head as a whole and begin to explore the head area part by part. Start with the crown of your head, then move to the forehead, the eyes, temples, nose, cheeks, and mouth. Explore the inside of the mouth and the chin. If you feel your mind racing, don’t worry: simply acknowledge it, and gently draw your attention back to a specific part of your body.

4.Move your attention to your neck. Initially, investigate the sensations in the whole neck area, and after that, part by part, travel to the front, sides, and back of the neck. Notice the sensations on the surface of the skin on your neck, just as those that lie further inside the throat.

5.Now turn your attention to your shoulders and explore the entire shoulder area. Then let your awareness move part by part into your left arm, elbow, wrist, hand, and fingers. Repeat on the right arm. Try to stay aware of your moment-to-moment experience, noticing all the sensations that arise with an attitude of curiosity, and remember that it’s perfectly normal for your mind to wander. When you become aware that your mind has wandered, just gently guide it back to the part of the body you were exploring.

6.Next, bring your awareness to your torso. Start with the chest area and notice the unobtrusive development of your chest as you relax. Investigate the front, back, and sides of your rib cage. Notice the weight of your back against the floor or seat. As you move down your torso, your mindfulness may get on any sensations in the belly and stomach, from the deep interior to the surface.

7.Shift your attention to the lower back and pelvis, the hip bones, genitals, and groin. Again, without judgment, simply notice whatever sensations arise.

8.Continue to direct your attention downward, and become aware of your buttocks. Feel them press against the seat or floor. Convey your attention to one side thigh, and feel its weight and quality. Notice some other sensations as you keep on moving your consideration down to your knee, shin, calf, lower leg, foot, and toes. Rehash on the correct leg.

9.Now it’s time to widen your focus and turn your attention toward your body as a whole. As you inhale, fill your whole body with breath and awareness, and begin to sweep your attention from your feet to your head and back again. Extend your awareness and experience to your entire body.

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To conclude, The body scan meditation provides a rare opportunity for us to experience our body as it is, without judging or trying to change it. It may allow us to notice and release a source of tension we weren’t aware of before, such as a hunched back or clenched jaw muscles. Or it may draw our attention to a source of pain and discomfort. Our feelings of resistance and anger toward pain often only serve to increase that pain, and to increase the distress associated with it; according to research, by simply noticing the pain we’re experiencing, without trying to change it, we may actually feel some relief. The body scan meditation is designed to counteract these negative feelings toward our bodies. This practice may also increase our general atonement to our physical needs and sensations, which can in turn help us take better care of our bodies and make healthier decisions about eating, sleep, and exercise.

Contact Elate experts to understand about this meditation & practice this meditation for best results.