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Week 2 - Relaxing Body Scan

First, notice your body posture at this moment and begin to make adjustments to sit in an upright position that would allow you to pay attention fully in the next few moments.

You can let go of anything you may be holding onto, worries, concerns, regrets. Let your feet settle flat on the floor if on a chair, or your lower legs on the floor if sitting on the floor, back straight but not stiff, shoulders relaxed, facial muscles relaxed, and hands resting comfortably on your thighs or in your lap. Let your eyes gently close.

(pause to adjust position)

Often it happens that our body is here but our mind is still somewhere else. The intention of mindful centering is to bring our mind back to the body and to the present moment.

To do that, let’s take a few deep breaths as an invitation to bring the mind and body together. Take a deep breath through your nose, and let the breath come out through your mouth. Make the exhalation slow and long. Let’s do this two or three more times. Watch the body release as you exhalation slow and long.

(pause)

Now let your breath move at its own pace and just pay attention to the flow of the breath in and out. Just notice the sensations of breathing.

(short pause)

In this practice, we will bring our awareness to the physical sensations in our body.

Begin by noticing the touch and pressure where you body makes contact with the chair.

On each exhalation, allow yourself to let go, to sink a little deeper into the chair.

(short pause)

The aim of this practice is notice your body and any physical sensations you can detect. It is also an invitation to to relax and rest while staying focused and alert.

Let yourself be curious about your experience.

It is also very natural that your mind will wander at some point. Remember that instead of getting lost in your thoughts, you can notice what took your attention away, and then let it go and return  back to noticing the body. You can simply make the choice to gently bring yourself back.

(short pause)

Now, bring your attention to the head.

First, notice the weight of the head.

Can you notice any sensations?

In the forehead..

Eyes..

Nose..

Cheeks..

Mouth..

Jaw..

Neck..

Maybe there is a sense of tingling..

Warmth..

Or tension..

Tightness..

or anything at all.

Bring a sense of gentle curiosity to your body experience.

(short pause)

Now, with the next exhalation, allow your whole face and head release any tension there might be.

With each exhalation, let the muscles of the face soften.

Let your eyes, jaw and cheeks relax.

This is simply an invitation for your head and face to soften and relax.

(pause)

Now, move your attention to your upper body.

Notice any sensations in the shoulders.

In the chest..

In the abdomen..

Feel the movement in your upper body with each inhalation and exhalation.

You may also notice your back and any sensations in the upper, middle, and lower back.

Maybe there is a sense of tingling..

Warmth..

Or tension..

Tightness..

or nothing at all.

As best you can, notice any and all sensations in your upper body.

(short pause)

Now, with the next exhalation, allow your whole upper body release any tension there might be.

With each exhalation, let the muscles of the shoulders soften.

Let your chest and belly release. Let your back relax.

This is simply an invitation, no need to make anything happen.

(pause)

Now, bring your awareness to your arms, hands, and fingers.

Notice the contact of the arms and hands with your body where they are resting.

See if you can notice any sensations there.

In the left arm, hand, and fingers..

In the right arm, hand, and fingers..

Maybe there is a sense of tingling..

Warmth..

Or tension..

Tightness..

or anything at all.

Let yourself be curious about your body sensations at this moment.

(short pause)

Now, with the next exhalation, allow any tension in the arms, hands, and fingers to be released.

With each exhalation, let the muscles of the arms soften. With each exhalation, let the hands and fingers relax.

Remember that this is simply an invitation, there is no need to make anything to happen.

(pause)

Now, move your awareness to your lower body.

Your hips, legs, and feet.

Notice how the chair is supporting you as you’re sitting here.

Notice the contact of the buttocks with the chair.

The feet with the ground.

The toes with your socks and shoes.

Maybe there is a sense of tingling..

Warmth..

Or tension..

Tightness..

or anything at all.

Notice any and all sensations in this areas of your body.

(pause)

Now, with the next exhalation, allow any tension in the lower body, hips, legs, and feet to be released.

With each exhalation, let the muscles of the hips and legs soften. With each exhalation, let the feets and toes relax.

Remember that this is simply an invitation.

(pause)

Finally, bring your awareness to your body as a whole.

Breathe into the whole body a sense of nourishment and relaxation.

With each inhalation, let your whole body refresh.

With each exhalation, let you whole body relax.

Take a few more deeply nourishing and relaxing breaths.

To close our practice, let’s bring to mind a sense of gratitude for our bodies. Our body works like a well-designed living system that supports us in our daily life. Take a moment to appreciate all the things you’re able to do because of your unique body. No matter the size, shape, or other physical attributes, our bodies are capable of doing amazing things every day.

(pause)

Now, slowly begin to bring some movement into your fingers and toes, bring some movement into the whole body, stretching gently, and then allow the eyes to open when you’re ready. Take your time.

Week 2 - Relaxing Body Scan
Collection The Art and Science of Human Flourishing - Fall 2017
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)