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Getting Started with Body Scan Meditation

Getting Started with Body Scan Meditation

How do you feel when you’re stressed? Maybe your muscles tense up. Maybe your neck and shoulders ache. And maybe you ignore the physical feelings and plough on – like so many of us. Body scan meditation is a simple way of staying mindful and keeping stress in check. Want to know more? We’ve got everything you need to get started. Let’s launch straight in.

What is body scan meditation?

Mindfulness can be very simple and really challenging at the same time. Especially when it comes to building healthy new habits, it can be hard to know if you’re doing it ‘right’. Body scan meditation is a great way to check in with how you’re feeling, physically and mentally. Kind of like a guided tour of you. And a great way to get in the mindfulness habit.

How does it work?

Find a comfortable position sitting or lying down. Start with a few deep breaths. Then imagine that your breath is moving through different parts of your body. Start with one foot and move your attention (and your breath) slowly up and across to different areas.

Notice the sensations in each area. Pay attention to whether you feel hot or cold, comfortable or uncomfortable, tense or relaxed, light or heavy. You don’t need to change anything; in fact it’s best to resist the temptation. Simply note the feeling and move on to the next area when you’re ready. If you find it helpful, you may like to imagine a laser scanner moving over your body.

There are lots of guided meditations to get started with, too. And we have several for you to try (for free, of course.) Head over to our resources page today.

What can it do for me?

“Our life is shaped by our minds: we become what we think.” Wise words. It’s true: our thoughts do shape our reality. This idea is at the core of mindfulness meditation. The good news is that we can start changing our situation simply by tuning in to our thoughts.

Body scans help you to become more aware of your mind, spirit and body. The experience can be deeply relaxing. No wonder that studies show that meditation reduces insomnia. And it can help sufferers of chronic pain, too.

And who wouldn’t like to take the heat out of the family bedtime routine? Body scan meditation for kids is a great exercise to share with your little ones. It can help your child to relax and find sleep. And it sets them up for healthy sleep habits in the future.

Thinking of giving it a try? We’d love to hear how you get on. Please share your experiences in the comments below.

And if you’re interested in more ideas for getting in the mindfulness habit, we’ve got you covered. Our Thirty Days of Mindfulness course has them in spades. Find out more.

How to meditate in under 2 minutes

How to meditate in under 2 minutes

How To Meditate In Under 2 Minutes

Practicing meditation can be a great way to help enjoy a greater sense of calm, focus and wellbeing every day – and the good news is, you can enjoy these benefits with just a short daily practice. First time practitioners often approach us with statements like “i just don’t have time to meditate every day”. Meditation is more about quality rather than quantity, so if you are one of these people, we have some good news for you.  It’s possible to meditate in under 2 minutes! And here’s how.

Focus on your breath

Focusing on your breathing is a simple but powerful technique, that is a great way to meditate in under 2 minutes. Especially when you are out in public or have a busy day. Bring a little extra calm to your mind, by stopping any other activities you are doing, and pausing to pay attention to your breath.

Start by feeling the pace of your inhale and exhale, noticing if it feels fast or slow. Without worrying about trying to control it, pay as much attention to how your breath feels in your body as possible. Perhaps you will notice how your chest or stomach moves as you breath.

As you focus, allow your breath to gently slow down. If you feel comfortable, you can also begin to time your breath. Breathing in for a set number and breathing out for a set number. Work with what feels comfortable and notice that as your breath becomes more focused, calmness begins to spread throughout.

How to meditate in under 2 minutes

Practice awareness

This meditation is ideal for commuters, and a great way of bringing calm during that hectic rush-hour journey. Instead of trying to close yourself off in a bubble of headphones and music, try to bring as much mindful awareness as possible to your surroundings.

You can work on practicing awareness in small steps. A simple, visual technique to begin with, is noticing the different shapes, colours and sights that pass you by, without trying to hold on to them in anyway. As your bus, taxi or train moves through your environment, bring as much focus as you can to just seeing the many different sights that move through, noticing the feeling of change and transition.

Body scan meditation

Another great technique to meditate in under 2 minutes, is the simple body scan. This works by bringing mindful attention to each part of your body in the moment, noticing how and what you feel, before moving on to the next part. You can do this in any position, and in any place, spending as much, or as little time as you like on each part.

Start from the top of your head, noticing what you feel within your body as you work your way down. Don’t forget the smaller, subtle parts, such as your fingertips or joints, moving all the way down to the parts in contact with the ground. Don’t worry if you can’t notice or feel anything specific, or if you don’t know how to label a particular sensation. Simply bringing your attention to a focused part, before moving on, can have a profound, calming and grounding impact.

 

 “Meditation is more about quality rather that quantity”.  This is not to say that you should reduce your meditation time to 2 minutes each day. However its common come out of a 20 minute silent meditation where all you have done is think about your work for 20 minutes straight. What we mean by this is that you can still re-centre yourself, quite your mind and become more present if your 2 minutes is met with intention. 

What are your go-to meditation techniques when you’re in a hurry?

Looking to learn more about the benefits of being mindful? Click here!