Getting the body scan right

Getting the body scan right

by Headspace » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:55 pm


1) the body/emotions scan - I'm not sure I'm doing it right as usually I run down the body mentally and notice a couple of tweaks but nothing more. And the same with the emotions scan - I sort of feel like I know what I'm feeling before I start the meditation. But should I be noticing something extra.

2) remembering to be calm, to take a step back etc in everyday life when I'm not doing your guided meditation. I guess this comes after a long time practicing?

Andy's Answer

In answer to your first question, there is always the temptation to over-think some aspects of the exercise. The body scan is very straightforward and much as you describe. It is simply a matter of working your way down...for example, head...a little tight, eyes...relaxed, jaw...a little tight...neck...relaxed and so on down the body.

The truth is, very often we don't realise how the different parts are feeling. We may have a general idea, but it is fuzzy. That's why we might not realise we have a sore neck until we get home from work, or even a painful leg until someone points out we are walking differently. I guess it's a bit like looking for a new place to live. The first time you just scan the place, getting an overall impression. But then you go back a second time and really take the time to be curious, to notice the details. The body scan is like the second visit to the house. I suspect that the more often you do it, the more you will start to notice, but this happens quite naturally and there is no need for any special effort.

As for integrating mindfulness into everyday life. Yeah, it's important to remember that this is a new skill you're learning and the thinking mind is used to having it's own way -and has probably been used to it for a very long time. So it can take a little while for that awareness to filter through to everyday activities. Start by choosing just one routine exercise every week and make that your time to focus on applying awareness to activity. Then simply add a new activity each week. Within a few months you'll have lots of these points spread throughout the day."
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