Meditation Script: Body Scan
Body Scan (from Yoga Nidra)
This is a resource for my students at the Meditation Facilitation Training Course. More information about the course can be found at riootoya.com/meditation
The following guide comes from my Yoga training center in India. I have adopted a Yoga Nidra script for anxiety, to focus only on the Body relaxation and rotation of consciousness instructions. I hope that this can be used as a reference when you guide Body Scans and/or Body Awareness Meditations. Please copy and edit these as you need.
For more in-depth information about Yoga Nidra, you can download the book by Swami Satyananda here.
“Yoga Nidra is a simple yet profound technique adapted by Swami Satyananda Saraswati from the traditional tantric practice of Nyasa. The Text explains the theory of Yoga Nidra in both yogic and scientific terms and includes class transcriptions of the practice.”
Body Scan - Yoga Nidra Style
Note: Consider that the length of a "pause" is the length of one deep breath and that a "long pause" is the duration of 3 deep breaths or more depending on the context.
Please lie down on your back on the floor. Keep your body straight but comfortable, and spread your legs about one foot apart with your toes turned outside.
Keep your arms slightly away from your body. Palms should face upward with fingers partially closed in a relaxed manner. Let your body rest on the floor without touching any other object. Keep your neck fully relaxed by resting your head in any suitable position. Keep your eyes closed and do not open them until you receive clear instructions for opening them. Please remember that Yoga Nidra is to be practiced with eyes closed.
Relax the whole body and try to look into your body with closed eyes. Try to release the tension in your muscles and make yourself as comfortable as possible. At this stage, you can move your limbs if you feel it necessary. But hereafter avoid moving any part of your body until the Yoga Nidra is over. Try to follow the instructions given. Develop the feeling of relaxation in your body.
Now become aware of your breathing, the breath is going in and out smoothly. Try to breathe in fully, deeply, and slowly, and then breathe out in the same way. Now imagine that all your worries, tensions, and any illnesses of your body and mind are passing away as the breath is going out (pause)… imagine that you receive vital energy from outside as the fresh air is entering in. (Pause)
With every exhalation, your body is becoming more and more relaxed.
Try to concentrate on the instructions and follow them with full awareness. Do not try to analyze these instructions. Other thoughts may enter your mind but do not think about them so that they will not disturb you. Relax your body….. Your whole body is relaxing slowly and you are enjoying this relaxed state. (Long pause)
Body Relaxation and Rotation of consciousness:
Look inside your body. Rotate your awareness through your body from head to toe. I will say the name of a body part one by one and you will become aware of that body part. Take your mind to that body part and relax it completely. Then go on to the next and relax it completely, and so on…
Look at the right side of your body. Right hand, concentrate on the thumb of your right hand and relax the muscles of that thumb.
Now look at the index finger, and relax the muscles…The middle finger…The ring finger… the little finger… All the fingers of your right hand are relaxed. Now look at the palm… relax the muscles… back of the hand… the wrist… the lower arm… the elbow… the upper arm… the shoulder… try to relax the muscles of your right arm. (Pause)
Look at the right side of your chest and stomach… Relax the muscles. Look at the right side of your waist… right hip… right thigh… right knee… calf muscles… right ankle… right heel… right sole… top of your foot. Look at the right toe… big toe… second toe… third toe… fourth toe… and fifth toe. (Pause)
Now look at your left side… left hand… relax the muscles of the thumb… the index finger… the middle finger… the ring finger… and the little finger. All the fingers of your left hand are relaxed. Look at the palm… the back of the hand…the wrist… the lower arm… the elbow… the upper arm… the left shoulder… try to relax the muscles of your left arm. Look at the left side of your chest and stomach… Relax the muscles… Look at the left side of your waist… left thigh… left knee… calf muscles… the left ankle… left heel … left sole… top side of the foot… left toes… first… second… third… fourth… and the fifth toe.
Both of your sides, right and left, from thumbs to toes, are totally relaxed.
Now, look at the back side of your body. Right shoulder… left shoulder… entire spine from the neck to the base of your spine… Relax the vertebrae of the neck… the upper back… middle of the back….lower back… Try to relax the whole spine and muscles of the back from the top to the bottom.
Now, look at the front side of your body. Relax the abdominal muscles, the chest muscles, and of the neck. Look at your face… Relax the muscles of your forehead… eyebrows left, and right… Relax the eyelids, left… right… Relax the eyeballs… left eyeball… right eyeball. Look at your nose, try to relax it. Left cheek, right cheek… chin… upper lip… lower lip… relax the muscles of the jaw… your tongue, try to relax it.
You have relaxed the whole body from head to toe. Some muscles might still be a little tight… Look at them and try to relax those muscles. Rotate your mind throughout your body and relax your whole body.
Once again look at your body and relax it as a whole.
Left arm… left leg…..left side of the body…
Now look to the right arm….right leg….right side of the body…
The back side of your body… the front side of your body… neck… muscles of the face… from the crown of the head to the toes.
Now your body is fully relaxed, but you are aware of my voice. As a result, your breath is becoming slower and slower. (Long pause)
As your body relaxes your breathing automatically becomes slower and slower. Try to concentrate on your breathing but do not control it… Let your breathing be free. Feel the rhythmic movement of your belly up and down, slowly and gently, as the breath is going in and out. Be aware of this movement. (Long pause)
Become aware of your body. Very gently, you can Start moving. Move your fingers, and toes, gently. You may stretch your arms over your head slowly...gently stretch, and then slowly bring both arms back down to your body.
Wiggle your toes slowly, gently bend your knees or move your legs in any comfortable way. (Pause)
Without opening your eyes, straighten the neck slowly. (Pause)
As your body has become alert...slowly come to a seated position. Bring your hands to your face and cover your eyes with the palms of your hands. Open the eyes inside the palms very slowly. Be aware of the light and gently remove your hands from your eyes.
The practice is now complete. Welcome back : )
[Note to the guides: Allow time and instructions to come out of the position, come back to sitting, open the eyes, etc.]