Feel Good Friday: Melt Away Stress With This Body Scan

Welp, we made it to Friday, friends!

Happy St. Patty’s Day! Have any fun plans to celebrate with a little green beer or corned beef and cabbage? We’ll be staying in and prepping for tomorrow’s lil road trip.

Remember the trip Sam and I had planned last month but got postponed because of all that LA Rain? Well, time sure does fly, because this is the weekend we grabbed the rain check for. We’re pumped to explore some Los Olivos wineries and chillax at our cute airbnb. (We held back on Christmas gifts for each other specifically for this getaway, so we don’t feel too guilty going away/spending extra cash while wedding-planning, haha!)

Anyway, onto today’s post…

Have you ever done a head-to-toe body scan meditation?

In case you didn’t know, a body scan is a component of mindfulness meditation or simply put—a way to study the body’s sensations to relieve stress, care for your well-being, and give attention to extra aches and pains you may be feeling.

I was first introduced to the practice back in college when my roommate, Theresa (hey, girl, heyyyyy), told me about it. I think we even tried it together while in our dorm room, haha. Dorks! Anyway, since my first body scan way back then and currently, in some of my slower yoga classes, I can really feel the benefits of it.

It’s so funny to think we’re moving in our own bodies all day long but aren’t always as connected to how we’re feeling as we think.

When was the last time you placed your hand on your belly to feel your breath rise and fall?

How many times have you pressed your back flat against the ground to feel its heaviness sink down beneath you?

Probably not too often, right?

Meditation5

An occasional body scan—either guided by words or created on your own—can be so therapeutic. It’s a block of time where you can really discover what parts of your body are feeling the best and others that need some special care or attention.

By body scanning, even just for five minutes, we can become aware of the places in our bodies holding on/gripping/straining from added tension. With enough mindfulness, we can adjust these areas, and learn to loosen up and let go.

Though you may not always have a free hour in your day, it is recommended that you perform your body scan for 30-40 minutes so you can really examine every nook and cranny of your amazing vessel. Really take your time with each area, investigating all aspects fully as if under a microscope.

READ MORE: Meditation In 10 Easy Steps

Let’s get started!

Dim the lights, lie down, and if you’d like, place a pillow or rolled up blanket under your knees. You can sit in a reclining chair if you prefer that over a bed or couch. Consider covering yourself in a soft blanket to add warmth and a sense of being grounded. Adjust any music or oil diffuser you’re using to add to the ambiance.

Follow along…

Begin to breathe in and out fully as you start your scan at the top of your scalp. Examine the way your hair feels on your head, the pressure of your head on the ground or pillow.

Relax the muscles around the brows, letting the skin spread freely across your face. Release your eye sockets, allowing your eyes to rest freely without strain.

Meditation1

Unclench your jaw, drop your tongue, and purse your lips. Loosen your cheeks and feel the cool air hit the inside of your mouth as you breath in and out.

Roll your neck from side to side, stretching ever so gently. Move your shoulders up to your ears and then lower them back down.

Work your way down the body in this same deliberate way, paying special attention to every finger, toe, and area of your body. No place is too miniscule.

Feel free to move around if you’re so inclined, just remember that this is a living and breathing meditation. Keep your breaths full and long, making those exhales even longer than the ones before.

Before you know it, your scan will take you down to the tips of your toes. Spread your toes, circle your ankles around in both directions, and lay still for as long as you desire.

Turn the corners of your lips up (smile!) and open your eyes.

Meditation2

That’s it—you did it!

Guided Body Scans To Try: 5 Minute Body Scan11 Minute Body Scan20 Minute Body Scan

How did it feel paying such close attention to your body—the one and only body you’ll ever have? It’s pretty incredible to know that we only have one body to take care of… so why not give it the support and attention it needs?

Try to body scan at least once per week. Treat the practice like any other meditation.

That’s all for now;) Have an amazing weekend and I’ll see you on Monday with a recap of my weekend away.

Give. me. all. the. wine.

Scan away,
Ari



Other “Feel Good Friday” Posts:
Feel Good Friday: 6 Songs I’m Loving Lately
Feel Good Friday: Let’s Meditate
Feel Good Friday: DIY Spa Day
Feel Good Friday: The Travel Bug
Feel Good Friday: How I Found Yoga
Feel Good Friday: How To Boost Your Mood
Feel Good Friday: What My 29-Year-Old Me Would Tell My 16-Year-Old Self

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