Years ago when I first started teaching yoga, I had a very strong asana-based practice. I was not teaching yoga as a practice but as a workout. The more I educated myself and uncovered the truth of yoga, uniting body-mind, and breathe, my practice and teaching changed forever. At Yoga Nook we begin each practice with a yoga body scan to ground us in the practice.
Grounding yourself at the beginning of practice can be done in many ways. Whether bringing awareness to the senses, breath, or body, a scan, or visualization techniques. I believe a yoga body scan is invaluable in assessing how your body is feeling TODAY, right now, on the mat, at this moment. Feeling the subtle differences in HOW your body relates to the mat, in gravity. With that knowledge you can move through your practice accordingly, modifying with whatever issues arose (if any) during your scan.
Another reason I love the body scan is many people come into the studio to escape their busy lives. But sometimes the body is still but the mind stays busy. This is one of the reasons I personally like experiencing a body scan at the beginning of my yoga practice. It helps me mentally drop everything that has already happened during the day. Or is yet to come. And just focus on being present on my mat. Being present is a skill that takes time to learn. A yoga body scan is a great way to begin to attain that skill.
I mentioned earlier that I often at the Yoga Studio we began and end with a body scan. Personally, I find this the most beneficial. Because I can compare my body at the end to how it felt at the beginning. observing any small changes is an invaluable insight into how effective your practice is. Plus it also brings you back into a grounded balanced state for meditation. Which is the purpose of yoga asana.
10-minute yoga body scan lying down
In an effort to document my journey and hopefully help others I’ve made a video of a body scan I teach. While I do change it up occasionally depending on the area of focus for my class the principle remains the same in bringing the body, mind, and breath together in the present moment. You can view the video below or find it on my YouTube channel. I’ll be doing more videos so make sure to subscribe!
Even if yoga practice isn’t your ‘thing’ a body scan can be a great way to relax, de-stress, or meditate. I’ve actually had people fall asleep in class, yes even at the beginning! So I know it’s helpful for insomnia too. So give it a try and see if it can help you.
- What grounds you and brings you present?
- Had you heard of a body scan before?
- Did you try it?
- Would you like the audio only version?
- What questions do you have about yoga?