As the name may suggest, this exercise slowly and precisely focuses the attention on different parts of the body, from the feet to the crown of the head. It is designed to help developing a mindful awareness of the body and the sensations in a stillness condition.
Eastern philosophy states that stillness is the greatest movement, and we notice it as soon as we lie down: we immediately feel itching, pain, restlessness.
In the body scan, like in life, we are invited to let go the desire for things being in a certain way, and embracing them as they are. Listening to the bodily sensations allows to be present in that moment, regardless of the circumstances.
The body scan can be performed while lying down or in a comfortable seated position. Take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and close the eyes if it feels comfortable for you. Begin focusing one part of the body at time and notice it, starting from the toes. Try to be neutral and objective, observe without judging.
Take your time, don’t rush the process. Simply feel and passively watch any change happening on its own without any effort on your part. Breathe into it.
Do a complete scan, at your own pace, from the feet to the top of the head, keeping this attitude of passive observation.
Now, mentally scan your body as a whole: you are fully aware of your sensations, and you have completed a body scan. Notice how you are feeling now, overall, mentally and physically. Conclude the practice with three energising breaths.