Body Scan Meditation (Guided by the Breath)
William James Davies, DCMT
This practice is a truly a foundational mindfulness meditation, and a great way to get out of your head and into your body. It’s the first meditation participants on 8-week courses such as Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction encounter, with a 45 minute Body Scan in the first session, after which they are invited to practice this each day between sessions, so please don’t be put off by the length of this recording, which also includes plenty of guidance for beginners. The Body Scan has certain characteristics that set it slightly apart from many other mindfulness meditations; notably the way attention is repeatedly moved through the body, rather than remaining fixed or open, and it’s also typically practiced in a lying down posture (although, it can be done seated too). Ideally, make the Body Scan a central part of your regular practice routine, it’s likely to help you to develop greater regulation of your attention, and be more able to open up to body sensations with a compassionate, non-judging and accepting attitude. (Note the distinction between this mediation and practices such as ‘Breath & Body’ where there is no element of moving attention around the body, i.e. scanning).
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