body scan meditation

Body Scan

Progressively scan and relax each part of your body, releasing tension and promoting overall relaxation.


Achieve a relaxed state of mind and body by fostering self-awareness and mindfulness.


Many people struggle with stress and tension in their daily lives, which can negatively impact overall well-being.

Common issues include:

  • Difficulty relaxing or unwinding after a long day
  • Experiencing physical tension, especially in the neck and shoulders
  • Struggling with racing thoughts or a busy mind


Body Scan Meditation is a mindfulness practice that helps cultivate self-awareness and relaxation.

In a nutshell:

  1. Find a comfortable position, lying down or sitting up with a straight back.
  2. Close your eyes, and take three deep breaths to settle into the practice.
  3. Begin by focusing on your toes and gradually moving your attention up through your body (knee, upper leg, belly, chest, etc.), observing any sensations or tension.
  4. As you notice tension, consciously relax the area and continue to move your focus upward.
  5. Once you’ve scanned your entire body, take a few more deep breaths before gently opening your eyes.

My Take

In my journey to explore relaxation techniques, body scan methods have played a significant role in my routines at various times. There were phases when I practiced it consistently and found it reasonably effective in helping me relax and even release tension.

Whenever I practiced it, I felt the relaxation of my muscles 😌 It’s pretty fascinating to control such an effect and result only by your thoughts. This might not happen for everyone, but that’s what I experienced. Note that there are related techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, that focus even more on releasing tension.

However, as I continued experimenting with different methods, I discovered that e.g. deep breathing sessions better fit my personal needs. They resonated with me more – but everyone is different. What I do, though: sometimes I still use a quick body scan to kick off such longer breathing sessions. So, it definitely has its merits.


  • Easy to learn and practice
  • Can be done anywhere, anytime
  • Improves self-awareness and mindfulness
  • Reduces physical tension
  • Fascinating what a mere mental scan can achieve 😲


  • May not be suitable for those with severe pain or physical limitations
  • Requires patience and consistent practice to see results


Some more personal findings and learnings on the body scan technique:

  • Shorter sessions (5-10 minutes) can do a great job already. I mean, the experience itself of scanning and detecting body parts is fascinating. I really like it.
  • Guided audio or a meditation app help me to exercise this technique. Most of these apps come with a body scan audio track. With these apps, I think it’s easier to stay focused.
  • Getting distracted is normal; I simply bring my attention back to the body when it happens (… happens all the time). Well, this is a standard recommendation for many meditation techniques – and essential for the body scan technique.