Body Scan Script: all the exact steps for this meditation
Here you will find a script with the exact steps of the body scan. This is a great meditation which is taught in MBSR courses (developed by John Kabat-Zinn).
How can this body scan meditation script be used?
This body scan meditation script can take 5, 10, 20 minutes or longer and it can be used in mindfulness groups. It helps – amongst others – for relaxation.
What is the purpose of the body scan?
The purpose of the body scan is to just feel your body, at this particular moment. In this exercise you will notice with a slight curiosity about how your body feels in all its pleasantness and unpleasantness. In a moment when we start the body scan meditation, we will visit all parts of our body and feel them one by one. While we are doing this, we are not going to try to change anything and we are not going to judge. When you are distracted, allow it and bring the attention back to what you feel in your body.
Body Scan – The script of this mindfulness exercise
- Sit comfortably and, if desired, use a few deep breaths to prepare yourself.
- Allow your eyes to close gently.
- Start by focusing your attention, your consciousness, your mindfulness on your feet. Just start by noticing how your feet feel and how the contact with the floor feels. Observe the pressure, how part of the weight of your legs flows towards your feet and pushes against the ground, or how the floor just pushes upwards towards you. If you wear shoes, you can see how the inside of your shoes lies against your feet. Now notice the temperature of your feet. Note whether there is tension or a feeling of discomfort in your feet. You can perceive all these feelings with curiosity, without changing them. Move the scan from one foot to another and see if there are any differences between your feet. Now focus your attention on your toes. Your big toe, your small toe, the joints of your toes….
- Now shift your attention to your heels and then your ankles.
- Now let your consciousness gently travel on to your calves… And your shinbones… And the muscles of your lower legs. Just notice with appropriate curiosity how this part of your body feels at this particular moment.
- Let your consciousness travel on to your knees, the joints of your knees, the soft tissue at the back of your knees… You can scan back and forth from one knee to the other to see the differences in feeling. Notice any kind of tension, pain or discomfort when it is there. Just pay attention to it. You don’t do anything else with it. You just allow it to be there, whatever it is.
- You let your consciousness travel further along your thighs. Feel the muscles of your thighs. When sitting in a chair: feel how the chair makes contact with your thighs. Also feel the feeling of your clothes against your skin.
- Now let your consciousness gently go to your hips. Notice the pressure points where the weight of your body goes through you and presses against the chair.
- Allow your consciousness to go to your lower back, and its muscles… Further up, through your spine to your upper back… All the way up to your shoulder plates. Notice how your back makes contact with the chair. Notice all the feelings. Sensations that are pleasant or not so pleasant.
- Allow your consciousness to go to your abdomen, abdominal muscles and stomach, where all your vital organs are housed. Note what feelings there are at this particular moment, such as the feeling of breathing in your abdomen.
- Let your consciousness go to your chest. Notice how your chest is getting bigger and smaller. Notice any tension or cramps, if any. It is not right or wrong, not positive or negative. It’s just there. It could be comfortable or it could be uncomfortable, and both can be there.
- Now allow your consciousness to travel all the way to your hands. Notice the feeling of your hands. Are your hands cool, warm, hot or something in between at the moment? Scan from one hand to the next to detect any differences in feelings. Bring your attention to your fingers, the joints of your fingers. Your thumbs, the joints of your thumbs. Your palms, the back of your hands, your wrists…
- Let your attention be focused on your forearms, and the muscles of your forearms… Your elbows, and the joints of your elbows… Notice every physical feeling in that part of your body at this specific moment.
- Continue with your attention to your upper arms and then to your shoulders. Notice the similarities and differences in your left and right sides.
- Let your consciousness go to the area between your shoulders and neck. It is a place where a lot of feeling is stored.
- Bring your consciousness to your neck, the muscles of your neck, the sides of your neck, the muscles of the sides of your neck, your throat… Note what kind of pleasant or unpleasant feelings there are.
- Move your attention further up, to the top of your head, and then to your forehead. Notice every feeling in that part of your body.
- Let that attention travel to your nose, your eyes, your eyelids, the muscles of your cheeks, your upper lip, your lower lip, your chin, along your jawline, on both sides to both ears… Notice any tension that might be stored in your jawline.
- Now focus your attention on a place that is 15 centimetres above your head. As if you have a pointed cap on.
- Now let your consciousness flow from your head again along the same path through your whole body for a moment. This time you will stay with every part of your body for a very short time.
- Bring your consciousness back to your breathing, the same way we started.
This is the end of the body scan.