Saturday, April 18, 2020

Body scan meditations are perfect for beginners because they give you something physical to focus on.  The script below will help you lead a 10-15 minute body scan meditation.

I have used body scan meditations with school students for many years.  In the classroom it is a great way to start the lesson if the children arrive somewhat agitated, and it's a useful tool to break up longer periods of activity if you're finding your students are beginning to lose focus.  It's also an excellent form of relaxation during exam period or other high stress times.

When leading a guided meditation, softening and slowing your voice will help your participants to soften and slow their breath. Take pauses in between sentences to give your participants a chance to take a few breaths in between instructions, and in the places the meditation says "hold" encourage a hold of 3-5 seconds.

You may wish to use affirmations with this meditation.  This can be done towards the end. I have included it in the dialogue so you know where.  You can choose whatever affirmation works for your participants.  Some examples are "I am focused and ready to learn", or "my body is relaxed and free from tension".

This dialogue will get you started but does not need to be adhered to as a script.  The words are not the important part, the important part is the process, so change the dialogue to suit your participants or your own natural way of speaking.  

If you have any questions please get in touch.

Cath x

Let's begin!

* * * * *

Lie on your back.

Gently close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the nose.  Notice the sensation of the breath as it enters and exits the nostrils. 

Place your hands gently on your chest.  Now draw your attention to the breath as it fills your chest. Notice how your chest expands as you slowly inhale and contracts as your slowly exhale.

Place your arms gently by your side, palms turned up.  Keep you legs slightly apart and let your feet turn out to the side. 

Feel the floor beneath you support your body.

Focus on your left foot.  Tense all the muscles in your left foot by pointing the toes and stretching the sole of the foot towards the floor.  Hold… and relax.  Tense your left foot again but this time push the heel out, flexing the ankle so that the top of the foot comes towards the body.  Spread the toes, hold… and relax.

Now squeeze, as hard as you can, the muscles in your entire left leg, the calf, the knee and the thigh.  Hold… and relax.  Now push your leg down into the floor as hard as you can.  Hold… and relax.  

Become aware of the difference between your right leg and your left leg for a moment.

Bring your attention now to your right foot.  Tense all your muscles in your foot, pointing the toes and stretching the sole towards the floor. Hold the tension… and relax.  Now flex your right foot, pushing the heel out and drawing you toes towards you.  Spread your toes wide, hold… and relax.

Now tighten, as hard as you can, the muscles in your right leg, the calf, the knee and the thigh.  Hold… and relax.  Now push your leg down, hard, into the floor.  Hold… and relax.

Notice the difference between the tense and the softened muscles.

Now tighten your buttocks, squeezing it together… tighter… tighter… tighter… Hold… and relax.

Focus now on your belly.  As you inhale feel your belly expand.  Inhale… inhale… inhale… hold, and relax.  Let your belly sink and soften. 

Now Bring your attention to the chest.  Feel your chest contract as you breath out… hold… and release the tension with an inhale.  Feel your chest expand… inhale… inhale… hold… and exhale and relax. Let your chest sink and soften.

Let’s move now to the shoulders.  Feel where your shoulder blade are resting on the floor.  As you inhale, bring tension to your shoulder blades by drawing them back and together.  Let the chest lift up, hold…. and relax.

Now shrug your shoulders, bringing them towards your ears.  Hold… and relax.  Now press your shoulders down towards your waist, lengthening the neck and creating space between your shoulders and your ears.  Hold… and relax.

Create tension in the lower back by gently arching the spine up, inhale lifting through the chest.  Hold… and relax as you exhale. Now press your spine into the floor, curling the shoulders forward and pressing your belly button towards your spine.  Hold… and relax.

Draw your attention now to your left hand.  Make a fist with your left hand, as tight as you can.  Hold… and relax.  Stretch out your fingers as wide as you can.  Hold… and relax.  Now tense all the muscles in your left arm, lifting it slightly off the floor.  Hold… and relax.  Now, with your palm faced down, press down into the floor, tensing your whole arm.  Hold… and relax.  Turn your palm up and let your fingers soften and gently curl inwards.

Become aware of the difference between your right arm and your left arm for a moment.

Move your attention now to your right arm.   Clench your right hand into a fist and hold it tightly.  Hold… and relax.  Stretch your fingers out wide.  Hold… and relax.  Now tense all the muscles in your right arm, lifting it slightly off the floor.  Hold… and relax.  Now, with your palm on the floor, press down as hard as you can.  Hold… and relax.  Turn your pam up and let your fingers soften and curl gently inwards.

Slowly lift the head, pressing your chin onto your chest.  Feel the tension in the back of the neck release.  Roll the head gently back to the floor.  Now let the head roll gently from side to side, releasing more tension in the neck, then bring it to a relaxed position in the centre.

Now focus on your face.   Frown and wrinkle your forehead as tightly as you can.  Hold.. and relax.  Let your forehead smooth.  Squeeze your eyes closed tightly until you can see colour.  Hold… and relax.  Press your lips firmly together.  Hold… and relax.  Fill your cheeks with air and puff them out.  Hold… and relax.   Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth.  Hold… and relax.  Now screw your whole face up, squeezing the eyes and mouth shut.  Feel the tension in your face.  Hold… and relax.  Now stretch your face opening the eyes and mouth as wide as you can.  Hold… and relax.

Gently close you your eyes.

Your whole body is relaxed.

Your feet are feeling warm, limp and heavy.  The heaviness moves up your legs… ankles… calves… knees… thighs… and continues up… buttocks… abdomen… chest… and shoulders.  Your whole body is warm and heavy.

Feel the spine sinking into the floor.

Your hands, too, are warm, limp and heavy.  Feel the heaviness spreading to the wrists, up to the forearms, elbows, upper arms and into the shoulders.

Feel your shoulders sinking into the floor.

Feel your neck sinking into the floor.

Your head is relaxed and heavy.  Your face is smooth and free of tension.

A wave of relaxation is moving through your entire body.

Now bring your attention back to the breath.  Notice the sensation of the breath in the nostrils. Inhale calm.  Exhale tension.  Inhale… Exhale…

***(if you want to use an affirmation, put it in here)***

Slowly start to bring your awareness back to your body on the floor. Wriggle your toes… rub your thumbs across the tips of your fingers… raise your arms over the top of your head and stretch your whole body.  Inhale… Exhale…

Roll over onto your right side and rest for a moment.  When you’re comfortable bring yourself into a sitting position.

When you’re ready, open your eyes.


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