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Tine

Week 1 formal practice: the bodyscan - What are your experiences, reflections, thoughts?

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Tine
Posted

The main topic of week one is the exploration of "What is Mindfulness?" and the realisation that "There is more right with us than wrong."

How do these topics show up for you - if at all - in relation to the first formal practice, the body scan?

I'm interested in hearing about your experiences with the bodyscan in the first week of the MBSR course. 

 

Personally, I remember that I used to perceive the bodyscan as the most boring of all practices and only after many tries, I did start getting a feeling for it. I still zoom out once we get to the back, and I tend to miss the arms and hands, and I am back when we get to the neck.

What helped was the bodyscan sitting up or starting at the head and working down to the toes. This was it's easier for me to not "just relax". I now also fall asleep sometime during the practice which I do perceive as a good thing because it shows to me that all in all I am more relaxed as falling asleep rather spontaneously is not something I used to be able to do. 

For me the voice in my head telling me that I should be doing something "useful" instead and that I know it all already is the loudest during the bodyscan. At the same time, I know better as I only became an MBSR teacher as I realised the profound changes in my life after having taken the course and established a regular meditation practice.

 

 

Yvonne
Posted

I actually have a hard time to read the body scan meditation text until the end. I always fall asleep (almost) . It's the best relaxation. When I have difficulties to sleep a good body scan helps me to find rest. But usually I start also from the head and go down to the toes. I'm wondering why it's shown quite often the other way around starting from the toes and going up. Is it more beneficial? I also tried a variation with progressive muscle relaxation. But this feels quite hard  as the whole body was actively involved, different from the body scan meditation that I perceive more passively. I also need to be focussed much more. But there is less risk for me to fall asleep. 

Tine
Posted

@Yvonne I have heard a lot of people snore even during the group bodyscan at retreats, so that normal.

It depends on why you are practising the bodyscan. If it is to fall asleep then it looks like you are doing the right thing. Jennifer Piercy's "Yoga Nidra for Sleep" is super popular on insight timer and I have to agree, I doubt that I ever heard it till the end. It also includes several elements of the bodyscan.

If you practice the bodyscan as part of MBSR with the intention to fall awake from the automatic pilot I'd recommend to try it sitting up so you are less likely to fall asleep and you can be relaxed and alert at the same time.

I am collecting some guided meditations here in the forum and I already have 2 bodyscans here that you could try out.

 

Bzzzzzzzzt
Posted

Specifically, a "compassionate" body scan, was my gateway to loving myself...

 

Tine
Posted
2 hours ago, Bzzzzzzzzt said:

Specifically, a "compassionate" body scan, was my gateway to loving myself...

 

This is so true. Compassion is such a powerful ingredient.


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