Many times when we step on the mat we can find that we’re in our practice in body only. Our minds have this tendency to hold onto the millions of things on our to-do list. And this is exacerbated by the distractions of a busy household during home yoga practice. This is why one thing I always do at the beginning, and end of a yoga session is grounding myself into the practice. Occasionally I will do this seated, or with the breath, but the majority of the time it’s with a body scan lying down.
Why do I prefer a body scan lying down? Because 99% of the time it’s how I choose to begin and end my yoga practice. It’s quite a revelation to be an observer in your body, noticing subtle differences in your body’s connection to the floor. It can also be a great way to notice the effects of your practice when done before and after. Another benefit is that it’s a great way to relax before savasana, or as a guided meditation. If you’re curious, try my 5-minute body scan below.
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5 minute body scan lying down
For the 5-minute body scan, you can choose to lie with the legs extended or the knees bent. Check out my previous post for getting more comfortable lying down. It’s essential you find a position that you can remain in for 5 minutes without moving, so use props if needed. The important thing is that you lay still because when your mind notices differences in your body it will want to change your body position. Don’t give in! Lay still and just notice. Be in the experience of it.
- Lie Down
- Get comfortable!
- Don’t move – Just notice!
I prefer to start my lying body scan from the feet, moving all the way up to the head. Lay still and notice your body and the shape it creates on the floor. Notice your body’s connection to the floor. Become aware of your relationship to gravity. And notice if there is a difference between the right and left sides. Here are just a few things you may want to observe:
- What shape do you create?
- Are your legs extended or bent?
- Does one leg feel heavier? Longer?
- Which side of the pelvis feels lighter? If any.
- Is your lower back arched a little or a lot away from the floor?
- What’s the relationship of the shoulders to the floor? Is one more connected?
- Can you feel a difference in the right vs left arm and their connection to the floor?
- What about the hands and fingers?
- Notice your head. Does it feel centered? Or do you notice a tilt to one side?
Body scans are a great way to stay connected to your body, mind and breath. Plus there are so many ways to do a scan. My favorite for classes is to focus on the area we’ll be working on during class. For example is a class about backbends, doing a scan that really focuses on the pelvis and lower back.
If you enjoyed the 5-minute body scan lying down then consider I recommend trying my 12-minute version. And yes, it also has a video. If you’re looking for more mindful yoga then consider signing up for my free 7-day yoga challenge. I created this challenge to help you build a home yoga practice in just 15-20 minutes a day.
Each video features a different style of yoga so you have something to suit your mood. Including flow, basics, hatha, strength, core, stretch and restorative. It’s a great way to introduce yoga as a home practice in under 20-minutes a day.
- Have you practiced a body scan before?
- Do you prefer seated or lying down body scans?
- How do you ground yourself?