The Body Scan

Our Square Start Team have put together some wellbeing exercises for us to share. These Exercises are suitable for both parents and children to practice to help to relax and encourage peace of mind.

The Body Scan Exercise

A popular exercise for practitioners of mindfulness is called the Body Scan. It requires very little in the way of props or tools, and it is also easily accessible for most beginners.


  • Step 1: The Body Scan begins with the participants lying on their backs with their palms facing up and their feet falling slightly apart. This exercise can also be done sitting on a comfortable chair with feet resting on the floor;
  • Step 2:  Lie very still for the duration of the exercise, and move with awareness if it becomes necessary to adjust your position;
  • Step 3: Next, bring awareness to your breath, noticing the rhythm, the experience of breathing in and expelling out. Don’t try to change the way you are breathing but rather just hold gentle awareness on the breath;
  • Step 4: Next, bring your attention to the body: how it feels, the texture of clothing against the skin, the contours of the surface on which the body is resting, the temperature of the body and the environment;
  • Step 5: Bring your awareness to the parts of the body that are tingling, sore, or feeling particularly heavy or light,  note any areas of your body where you don’t feel any sensations at all or are hypersensitive.

A typical Body Scan runs through each part of the body, paying special attention to the way each area feels. The scan usually moves systematically through the body, e.g. starting at the feet and moving upwards as follows:

  • Toes of both feet;
  • The rest of the feet (top, bottom, ankle);
  • Lower legs;
  • Knees;
  • Thighs;
  • Pelvic region (buttocks, tailbone, pelvic bone, genitals);
  • Abdomen;
  • Chest;
  • Lower back;
  • Upper back (back ribs & shoulder blades);
  • Hands (fingers, palms, backs, wrists);
  • Arms (lower, elbows, upper);
  • Neck;
  • Face and head (jaw, mouth, nose, cheeks, ears, eyes, forehead, scalp, back&top of the head);

After the Body Scan is complete and you feel ready to come back to the room, you can slowly open your eyes and move naturally to a comfortable sitting position.