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Body Scan Meditation is often used by people who want to try a more formal type of mindfulness without attending a yoga or tai chi class.

  1. Lie on your back with your legs uncrossed, your arms at your sides, palms up, and your eyes open or closed, as you wish.
  2. Focus on your breathing, how the air moves in and out of your body.
  3. After several deep breaths, as you begin to feel comfortable and relaxed, direct your attention to the toes of your left foot. Tune into any sensations in that part of your body while remaining aware of your breathing. It often helps to imagine each breath flowing to the spot where you're directing your attention. Focus on your left toes for one to two minutes.
  4. Then move your focus to the sole of your left foot and hold it there for a minute or two while continuing to pay attention to your breathing.
  5. Follow the same procedure as you move to your left ankle, calf, knee, thigh, hip and so on all around the body.
  6. Pay particular attention to any areas that cause pain or are the focus of any medical condition (for asthma, the lungs; for diabetes, the pancreas).
  7. Pay particular attention to the head: the jaw, chin, lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, nostrils, throat, cheeks, eyelids, eyes, eyebrows, forehead, temples and scalp.
  8. Finally, focus on the very top of your hair, the uppermost part of your body. Then let go of the body altogether, and in your mind, hover above yourself as your breath reaches beyond you and touches the universe.

Next Topic: The Instant Calming Sequence


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