Body Gratitude Scan Meditation
A body gratitude scan meditation is an excellent way to promote a harmonious mind-body connection. Show your body some much deserved appreciation with the exercise below.
Find a quiet place for your meditation. Either sit in a comfortable cross legged posture or lie down on your back. Begin by taking a few deep breaths.
Starting at the top of the head, thank each part of your body for its unique offering: Thank your mind for its insight, thank your eyes for vision, thank your ears for hearing and so on. Move down the body, first creating awareness in the body part, then offer thanks.
You will find a script below, outlining the basic meditation. Feel free to get specific and make this meditation your own; Thank your mind for the great idea you had yesterday, your eyes for allowing you to take in the beautiful dance performance last week and your ears for giving you the opportunity to listen to your favorite music.
You might find that there are areas of the body where you meet a bit of resistance. These are the places where you need body gratitude the most and where this exercise can offer healing. Offering all parts of the body appreciation, rather than criticism, can foster a positive body image and a supportive, healthy mindset.
Consider the script below a starting point. Feel free to get creative, getting specific about how the different areas of your body have supported you. Start by bringing awareness into the specific body part on which you are focusing. Tune into how each body part feels and then offer it thanks.
Body Gratitude Scan
Bringing your attention to your head, Thank:
Your ears for listening
Your eyes for taking in the world
Your mind for its insight, its ability to focus
Moving down to your chest, Thank:
your lungs for breathing in fresh air,
your heart for beating
Bring your attention into your arms and hands, Thank:
Your arms and hands for carrying books, maybe children, any hugs that you have given and/or received today
Tune into your torso, Thank:
Your belly for digesting nourishing food
Feel your legs and feet, Thank:
Your legs and Feet for carrying you around all day
Tuning into your whole body, Thank your body for being your vessel in this world, your vehicle for experiencing each day fully.
The post-yoga version of this meditation, listed below, is an example of how you can cater this exercise to thank your body specifically for all it offered you today.
A Post-Yoga Body Gratitude Meditation Scan:
Thank your feet for supporting you in your standing poses, your warrior poses
Thank your legs for taking you to class, for balancing
Thank your belly for all those navasanas
Thank your arms for chaturangas (you probably did lots of them if you took a vinyasa class!)
Thank your heart for backbends
Thank your mind for practicing mindfulness, meditation and focus
Thank your body for being present on your mat
This can also be a great bedtime exercise for children. Offering the body thanks can be a wonderful way to wind down at the end of the day.
Lying in bed, feel your body resting. Allow your body to be heavy and relaxed.
Thank your feet for time running around on the playground
Thank your legs for dancing, playing, walking to school
Thank your tummy for taking in yummy food (maybe even some sweets :) )
Thank your heart for loving your family and friends
Thank your head for learning and working so hard in school
Thank your whole body for being wonderful and perfect. Thank your body for allowing you to have lots of fun.
Give these exercises a try and let me know how they go, either in the comments below or via email. Happy Meditating!
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