The Body Scan

Posted by Judy Moon

“Hello , my name is Judy and I am addicted to The Body Scan”

There must be a support group out there somewhere for us Body Scan junkies. What the heck is “the body scan” you may be asking?

It is a meditation that is part of the eight week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course, that was the brainchild of Jon Kabat- Zinn. It involves lying on your back and moving your mind through different regions of your body while breathing in and out from each region.

I have dabbled in meditation in the past and have always wanted a more formal practice, but for whatever reason, it kept falling off of my priority list. Sleeping in seems to win out more often.

Recent life challenges prompted me to stop making excuses and get busy with this practice I have been dreaming about. Heck, it’s even on my vision board!

So I decided that my week at the beach in September was going to be the kick off. I packed my copy of Full Catastrophe Living, and my practice CD’s, series 1 and 2, (yes, I still use CD’s) I decided to act as if I was enrolled in the eight week course and follow the guidelines in the book. I was going to do this finally!

Beach chair, beautiful view, sunny sky, warm breeze, meditation – piece of cake, right?

Well, the first day as I lay there listening to Jon’s soothing voice saying – “let go of the tendency we all have to want things to be different from what they are right now and allow things to be exactly as you find them.”  It triggered an immediate reaction in me  (and a few profanities) – “Are you out of your mind? Of course I want things to be different! Why the hell else would I be listening to this while I am on my vacation! I am supposed to be reading the September issue of Vogue right now – it’s tradition!!” Arguing with the CD – not very mindful Judy.

But I went with it, and breathed in and out of each region of my body and each day it got easier and there were fewer distractions. By weeks end I was hooked.

Would I be able to keep up my commitment when vacation was over? The answer is yes. I have to be honest and say that during week 3 and 4 when you alternate the body scan with some other practices, some involving gentle yoga poses and then in week 5 and 6 you don’t do the body scan at all – gasp! It was a little tricky. I was always waiting to get back to the body scan.

But I completed my 8 weeks and continue to meditate daily.

Mindfulness is not about “getting anywhere”, or “letting go of anything”, it’s about trying to be fully where you already are. In Full Catastrophe Living, the body scan is described in this way, and I think this says it best – “By the time we have completed the body scan, it can feel as if the entire body has dropped away or has become transparent…It can feel as if there is nothing but breath flowing freely across the boundaries of the body.”

It is because of that description and feeling that I remain – addicted to the body scan.

Photo Credits // 1 Tsizaivandor // 2 Seeking Indio

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4 thoughts on “The Body Scan

  1. Yay Judy! I wish you could experience the “body scan during Judy moon massage” that I had a few years back while doing the Jefferson MBSR course. It was an unbelievable experience that I’ve been unable to recreate. Maybe you should develop a massage to guided audio body scan. I’m not kidding. I’ll be your guinea pig. This could be a new discovery and you can brand it!!!!!

  2. Pingback: Celebrating Another Milestone, or Just Another Excuse for More Champagne | Wellness Seeds

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