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Mindful : August 2018
If you fall asleep during this body-scan practice, that’s OK. When you realize you’ve been nodding off, take a deep breath to help you reawaken and perhaps reposition your body (which will also help wake it up). When you’re ready, return your attention to the par t of the body you last remember focusing on. ● 1 Settle into a comfortable position, so you feel sup- por ted and relaxed. 2 Close your eyes if you wish or leave them open with a soft gaze, not focusing on anything in par ticular. 3 Rest for a few moments, pay- ing attention to the natural rhythm of your breathing. 4 Once your body and mind are settled, bring awareness to your body as a whole. Be aware of your body resting and being suppor ted by the chair, mattress, or floor. 5 Begin to focus your atten- tion on different par ts of your body. You can spotlight one particular area or go through a sequence like this: toes, feet (sole, heel, top of foot), through the legs, pelvis, abdomen, lower back, upper back, chest, arms down to the fingers, shoulders, neck, different par ts of the face, and head. 6 For each par t of the body, linger for a few moments and notice the different sensations as you focus. 7 The moment you notice that your mind has wandered, return your attention to the par t of the body you last remember. Our Favorite Body Scan ABOUT THE AUTHOR Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, is a registered nurse and nursing educator, as well as a mindfulness teacher and researcher. She is president of the Mind & Life Institute and author of Leaves Falling Gently: Living Fully with Serious & Life-Limiting Illness through Mindfulness, Compassion & Connectedness. August 2018 mindful 19