Mindful Minute: Body Scan

This is a type of mindful meditation I like to use with beginners who are just being introduced to mindfulness and/or meditation. It's a fairly simple concept, but can make a large impact on your sense of calm. Body scan meditation is exactly what it sounds like, focusing awareness to scan through your entire body head to toes. If you want to stick to one minute, simply set your timer for one minute and tune your awareness to your body, muscles, and energy starting with your head, moving down the body until you reach your toes. Consciously relax any muscles you notice tension in until your entire body is relaxed. If you've noticed negative thoughts, negative energy during your scan, picture yourself blowing out these thoughts and energy with your out breath. If you want to try the body scan for longer than one minute, I suggest spending 1-2 deep breaths on each part of your body (e.g. head, facial muscles, neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, etc). With each in breath focus on a part of your body, noticing tension, taking inventory of any pain or tightness. With each out breath, relax that portion of your body, picture yourself blowing out negative thoughts, negative energy, tightness or tension. You can picture that tension and negativity as a black cloud you're blowing out of your body if it helps. This is a great exercise to do during times of stress, or at bedtime to aide with sleep. Fun Fact: body scan was the very first meditation I ever tried back in my early 20's! Try a body scan soon, and happy weekend!