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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

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Breath-Based Body Scan

A deeply embodied practice where the breath massages the whole body creating deeper rest and ease. This practice will also promote deeper sleep if done just before bed.

To begin the meditation establishing a comfortable position. I recommend you do this breath- based body scan line down, if you can, because the body can then be perhaps a little more relaxed and at ease. But if this is uncomfortable for you, then by all means, do it sitting and you can even do it standing. And to begin with, let's take a deep breath in. And then on the out-breath, allowing the weight to really settle down onto the surface it's resting upon, whether you're sitting, lying or standing.

Feeling into the points of contact and seeing if you can give the weight of the body up to gravity. So allowing the body to come to rest. Allowing your breathing to find its own natural rhythm. And now let's invite our awareness down inside the abdomen, inside the belly to inhabit this part of the body and tuning into breathing. How's breathing showing up in your abdomen or your belly? Seeing if you can allow the belly to swell a little bit on the in-breath and subside on the out-breath, but be careful not to force or strain.

Having a receptive quality of awareness as you breathe. And now guiding awareness up to inhabit the whole chest area. Resting inside the whole chest area and feeling inside the movements and sensations of breathing. The ribs expanding on the in-breath, subsiding on the out-breath, the lungs filling and emptying, breastbone, rising and falling. Feel inside these movements as best you can.

And if for any reason, breathing feels agitated in the chest area or it's triggering any difficult motions than just resting back down in the belly again. Resting your awareness inside the whole front of the body, belly and chest and feeling inside breathing. The swelling, opening phase on the in-breath, and a subsiding phase on the out-breath. Resting your awareness inside this rhythm, inside this flow. And now allowing awareness to drop into the whole back of the body, the back of the torso.

Starting, first of all, with the buttocks. Checking that the buttocks are soft as they rest on the bed or the chair. And coming into the lower back, the middle back and the upper back. Feeling into how breathing is showing up in the back of the body. That breathing is naturally calming and it's good to practice resting inside breathing, inside the back of the body as a way of accessing calm during the practice today, but also we can recall this in our daily life.

What's happening in the lower back? Is the rhythm of breathing, maybe the shape is changing a little bit on the in-breath and the out-breath? Maybe there's a broadening on the in-breath, subsiding on the out-breath? And the middle back and the upper back, the back of the ribs, the back of the lungs, the shoulder blades in the spine. Resting our awareness here. And again, always being careful not to strain. We're resting our awareness inside the natural breath. The natural flow and rhythm of breathing deep inside the body.

And broadening to go over the whole torso, the front, the back, the sides. And seeing if we can get a sense of the volume of the whole torso, expanding in all directions a little bit on the in-breath and subsiding and all directions on the out-breath. 360 degree breathing. And allowing awareness to rest inside this flow and this rhythm. Expanding and subsiding, expanding and subsiding.

Maybe even having a sense of all the internal organs being gently massaged by the rhythm of breathing. And now allowing our awareness to pour down through the hips, to inhabit the legs, the upper legs, the thighs, the knees, the lower legs, ankles, feet, and toes. Resting our awareness inside the hips and the legs. And maybe sensations are strong and intense, or maybe they're dull or even absented, really doesn't matter. What we're trying to cultivate here is a quality of inhabiting the legs with awareness, in whatever way works for you.

And may be there's even a very, very subtle echo of breathing. So we've got the bigger movements in the torso and there's ripples and flows down through the hips, into the legs, feet, toes. Very, very subtle. Maybe you can't feel anything at all, that's completely fine. But just getting a sense of how the body is so interconnected and rhythm and movement in the torso does express itself in a very subtle way in the legs and the arms.

And now allowing our awareness to flow back up the legs, back to the torso for a few moments, this opening, subsiding, opening, subsiding in all directions. And now allowing awareness to pour through the shoulders. And down into the arms, the hands, the fingers. Having the hands resting in the lap or on the floor or on the body, some other way, depending on your position. And seeing if you can give the arms and the hands up to gravity.

Allowing the shoulders to fall away from the midline of the body. And maybe feeling an echo of breathing in the arms and the hands. The sense of connection between the arms and the hands and this rhythm in the torso. And coming back up through the arms, shoulders. Coming into the neck and the head.

If we're sitting, checking that the head is poised on top of the spine. And if we're lying down, checking that we're giving the weight of the head up fully to the cushion or the pillow. Allowing awareness to inhabit the whole head and the whole face. Forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose, lips, jaw, tongue. And seeing if we can let the whole jaw, tongue area be soft so the wind of the breath can flow freely in and out of the body through this area, through the back of the mouth.

And now to conclude, let's broaden our awareness to be aware of the whole body. The legs and the torso, the arms, neck, head face. And having a sense of the rhythm and flow of breathing in the whole body, expanding in all directions a little bit on the in-breath and subsiding in all directions a little bit on the out-breath. The whole body rocked and cradled and massaged by the rhythm of breathing as you rest here. And when you're ready, you can bring the practice to a close and adjusting your position.

And if you want to stay here meditating for a bit longer, of course, that's absolutely fine. But whenever you finish, seeing if you can take this quality of awareness with you as you go into the rest of your day. Thank you so much for sharing this time with me coming into deeply embodied breath awareness.

Meditation

4.5

Breath-Based Body Scan

A deeply embodied practice where the breath massages the whole body creating deeper rest and ease. This practice will also promote deeper sleep if done just before bed.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

To begin the meditation establishing a comfortable position. I recommend you do this breath- based body scan line down, if you can, because the body can then be perhaps a little more relaxed and at ease. But if this is uncomfortable for you, then by all means, do it sitting and you can even do it standing. And to begin with, let's take a deep breath in. And then on the out-breath, allowing the weight to really settle down onto the surface it's resting upon, whether you're sitting, lying or standing.

Feeling into the points of contact and seeing if you can give the weight of the body up to gravity. So allowing the body to come to rest. Allowing your breathing to find its own natural rhythm. And now let's invite our awareness down inside the abdomen, inside the belly to inhabit this part of the body and tuning into breathing. How's breathing showing up in your abdomen or your belly? Seeing if you can allow the belly to swell a little bit on the in-breath and subside on the out-breath, but be careful not to force or strain.

Having a receptive quality of awareness as you breathe. And now guiding awareness up to inhabit the whole chest area. Resting inside the whole chest area and feeling inside the movements and sensations of breathing. The ribs expanding on the in-breath, subsiding on the out-breath, the lungs filling and emptying, breastbone, rising and falling. Feel inside these movements as best you can.

And if for any reason, breathing feels agitated in the chest area or it's triggering any difficult motions than just resting back down in the belly again. Resting your awareness inside the whole front of the body, belly and chest and feeling inside breathing. The swelling, opening phase on the in-breath, and a subsiding phase on the out-breath. Resting your awareness inside this rhythm, inside this flow. And now allowing awareness to drop into the whole back of the body, the back of the torso.

Starting, first of all, with the buttocks. Checking that the buttocks are soft as they rest on the bed or the chair. And coming into the lower back, the middle back and the upper back. Feeling into how breathing is showing up in the back of the body. That breathing is naturally calming and it's good to practice resting inside breathing, inside the back of the body as a way of accessing calm during the practice today, but also we can recall this in our daily life.

What's happening in the lower back? Is the rhythm of breathing, maybe the shape is changing a little bit on the in-breath and the out-breath? Maybe there's a broadening on the in-breath, subsiding on the out-breath? And the middle back and the upper back, the back of the ribs, the back of the lungs, the shoulder blades in the spine. Resting our awareness here. And again, always being careful not to strain. We're resting our awareness inside the natural breath. The natural flow and rhythm of breathing deep inside the body.

And broadening to go over the whole torso, the front, the back, the sides. And seeing if we can get a sense of the volume of the whole torso, expanding in all directions a little bit on the in-breath and subsiding and all directions on the out-breath. 360 degree breathing. And allowing awareness to rest inside this flow and this rhythm. Expanding and subsiding, expanding and subsiding.

Maybe even having a sense of all the internal organs being gently massaged by the rhythm of breathing. And now allowing our awareness to pour down through the hips, to inhabit the legs, the upper legs, the thighs, the knees, the lower legs, ankles, feet, and toes. Resting our awareness inside the hips and the legs. And maybe sensations are strong and intense, or maybe they're dull or even absented, really doesn't matter. What we're trying to cultivate here is a quality of inhabiting the legs with awareness, in whatever way works for you.

And may be there's even a very, very subtle echo of breathing. So we've got the bigger movements in the torso and there's ripples and flows down through the hips, into the legs, feet, toes. Very, very subtle. Maybe you can't feel anything at all, that's completely fine. But just getting a sense of how the body is so interconnected and rhythm and movement in the torso does express itself in a very subtle way in the legs and the arms.

And now allowing our awareness to flow back up the legs, back to the torso for a few moments, this opening, subsiding, opening, subsiding in all directions. And now allowing awareness to pour through the shoulders. And down into the arms, the hands, the fingers. Having the hands resting in the lap or on the floor or on the body, some other way, depending on your position. And seeing if you can give the arms and the hands up to gravity.

Allowing the shoulders to fall away from the midline of the body. And maybe feeling an echo of breathing in the arms and the hands. The sense of connection between the arms and the hands and this rhythm in the torso. And coming back up through the arms, shoulders. Coming into the neck and the head.

If we're sitting, checking that the head is poised on top of the spine. And if we're lying down, checking that we're giving the weight of the head up fully to the cushion or the pillow. Allowing awareness to inhabit the whole head and the whole face. Forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose, lips, jaw, tongue. And seeing if we can let the whole jaw, tongue area be soft so the wind of the breath can flow freely in and out of the body through this area, through the back of the mouth.

And now to conclude, let's broaden our awareness to be aware of the whole body. The legs and the torso, the arms, neck, head face. And having a sense of the rhythm and flow of breathing in the whole body, expanding in all directions a little bit on the in-breath and subsiding in all directions a little bit on the out-breath. The whole body rocked and cradled and massaged by the rhythm of breathing as you rest here. And when you're ready, you can bring the practice to a close and adjusting your position.

And if you want to stay here meditating for a bit longer, of course, that's absolutely fine. But whenever you finish, seeing if you can take this quality of awareness with you as you go into the rest of your day. Thank you so much for sharing this time with me coming into deeply embodied breath awareness.

Meditation

4.5

Duration

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