Body Scan

Relax, Refuel


Often when I finally sit down to meditate at the end of a long day, all my body wants to do is collapse on the bed; and my mind is so scattered from lugging around a day’s worth of thoughts, that it doesn’t know what to do. And while it’s so tempting to skip meditation and just curl up and go off to sleep, after 6 years’ practice, I’ve come to understand that’s not what’s best for me!

What’s best, is that I let my weary body rest but that also, I allow this swampish mind to clear before heading into slumber. And in order to do that, it’s a final act of resolve to stay upright and alert and breathe with patience until body is calm and mind has clarity.

And with this meditation, you too, can relax, and refuel. xx

One of the fundamental skills of mindfulness meditation is the ability to be relaxed yet alert at the same time. Which seems like such a contradiction, doesn’t it? How can you be mellow and vigilant all at once?

But in the style of meditation we practice, these twin qualities work their best when together. Because relaxation without alertness will likely cause sleep, and alertness without a certain level of relaxation is bound to cause agitation.

And it’s the development of these two skills that will lead to ever-increasing states of mindfulness… that will help us to experience the present moment as it unfolds moment by moment.

So that’s what this meditation is all about. To relax and recharge mind and body and bring that connection into equilibrium.

So, let’s give it a try shall we?


We’ll start things off with a few deep breaths, getting into our meditation position with a straight back and relaxed tummy.

And sitting here, in the chair or on the cushion, we’ll bring our entire body into our field of awareness. Imagining or sensing the wholeness of our body, the sum of many different parts, all together as one. Noticing how this body feels now that it’s sitting here very still in the quiet.

And checking in with our state of mind, for it too, now has permission to stop. Noticing the quality of our thoughts – few, many, positive, negative. And recognising if there’s a sameness between the state of our mind and the state of our body.

And what we’re going to do now is visit all the different parts of our body.

Honing in, piece by piece, beginning with the hands. These hands that can hold and touch and keep us self-sufficient. Allowing them to relax, letting them rest. And as you connect with your breath, refuelling your alertness.

And to the arms. These arms that can hug and keep us balanced and stable. Allowing them to flop, to simply be. Breathing restfulness through the arms and at the same time, rejuvenating our awareness.

Moving up to the shoulders now. These shoulders that take on our burdens and the burdens of others. Let them relax. Let them drop. Noticing the effect this has on our mind. Relaxing the shoulders, relaxing the thoughts. All the while, revitalising our consciousness.

Placing awareness now onto our legs. Strong legs that for most, keep us upright and mobile. Allow them to be heavy. To sink into the chair or the cushion. Inhaling relaxation into these legs, and recharging clarity, seeing more clearly, through mental fog as it starts to lift.

Moving down to our feet. Incredible feet that bear the weight of our entire body. Give them a rest. Let them be still. Keeping our attention just on our feet, refuelling alertness, replenishing our energy.

And finally, the mind. This human gift that can create and solve and love. Enable thinking to settle, let thoughts float on through. Rejuvenating consciousness, resting in stillness.

Let’s take a pause now to check back in with mind and body, imagining or sensing once more the wholeness of this body – which incorporates the mind – and see if you can notice any differences to when we first began.

Are you feeling more relaxed? Are you feeling more alert?

Take this quality now into some silent meditation, or with you as you go about your day.

Thank you.

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