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?
I should implement a body scan when I wake up and before I go to bed each day. It’s so important to check in with your body, even just to remind yourself of how grateful you should be that everything is working (relatively) smoothly.
For sure. It’s a great way to relax at the end of a stressful day.
I’ve never heard of body scan (I don’t practice yoga) but it looks like a wonderful way to relax! Thank you for the video, I’m going to try at home!
I practice yoga off and on and I enjoy it when I do. I wasn’t aware that what we were doing at the beginning and end had a name. It was really effective in quieting my mind, getting me focused and really preparing me to go through the yoga routine.
Yep a body scan is amazing at connecting us within.
My spouse does Yoga every day. It offers great benefits not only for health but for relieving stress from his anxiety disorder. I will be sure to show him your post.
Glad it helps with his anxiety xx
I used to practise yoga earlier. But I haven’t heard about body scan. I’m intrigued about it and also inspired about starting yoga again 🙂
Try it. So good for connecting to our body.
Oh I can’t wait to try this! I love a good body scan. Ive been loving yoga lately!
One of my favorite things to teach and do.
When I was going to yoga twice per week, we always started and ended with a body scan like this. I forgot how relaxing it could be until reading this to remind me about it. I haven’t had time to practice yoga lately, but I can start doing a scan in the morning and evening.
awesome! Yes I love just getting on my mat and evaluating how I feel.