Body awareness

Body Scanning

Body scanning is a quick mental exercise to help you increase body awareness. Body Scanning is a good way to learn how to speak to your body. It is the beginning steps to many more complicated exercises like progressive relaxation, autogenics, inner presence, and applied relaxation. You can see my list of sensing words that will help you identify the sensations sensed and learn the language of sensation.

1. Begin by becoming aware of your breath. Ride the waves of your breath and let it anchor you to the present moment.

2. Bring your attention to the soles of your feet. Notice any sensation there. Without judging them or trying to make them different, simply be present with the sensations.

3. Bring your attention to your ankles. Scan for sensations without judgment.

4. Proceed up your body to each body part: calves, thighs, pelvis, hips, buttocks, lower back, belly, mid back, upper back, shoulders, chest, upper arms, lower arms, wrists, hands, neck, face. Jaw, head.

5. You may wish to breathe into each part as you focus on them. This helps you focus and to relax each part as you go.

For this whole exercise you are simply noticing your body as a whole and each body part. You are not trying change anything sensed or felt, but just to notice and learn to pay attention. Once you can listen then you can proceed to change, understand or transform them.


Sensations are different than feelings. Sensations are the physical quality and feelings are the emotional quality. Some of our words can apply to both a sensation and a feeling. Plus often our words can be abstract and open to personal interpretation. So here just focus on the physical aspect of the word.


abrupt accelerated achy active airy alive armored attached awake


balanced big bloated blocked bony breathless bubbly bulging buoyant burning burst buzzing


calm caused cellular centered ceramic chaotic charged chilly choked choppy circular clammy clingy closed cold collapsed comatose comfortable conscious consolidated constant constricted cool crackly


dead decelerated deep deflated dense dilated disconnected dizzy dry dull


effervescent elastic electric elevated empty entwined exploding


faint fidgety fired flat flexible floating flowing fluid fluttery forced fragile freezing frozen full fuzzy


gaseous granular greasy grounded


hard heavy hollow homeostatic hot huge


idle ill immersed impacted impassive impenetrable imploding incongruous indefatigable indestructible inflamed inflated inflexible integrated invigorated itchy


jagged jammed jumpy


Knotted kinked


lachrymose laggard languid large leaky lengthened lethargic light limp little loll long loose loud


macroscopic malleable mellow melting microscopic moist moving mushy


narrow nauseated neutral nimble numb nurturing


on opaque open organic


painful pale paralyzed pasty patterned peaceful pierced pinched pliant poking poignant polar porous present pressured prickly probing prodding puffy pulled pulsating pushed


queasy quiet quivery


radiating raspy relaxed relieved restless rigid rising rocky rotated rough


safe scratchy secure sensitive settled shallow shivery shooting short shriveled sick sinking slimy slippery slow sluggish smooth soft solid soothing sore spacious sparse spastic spiral spontaneous sporadic squishy staccato static sticky streaming strong stuck sweaty swollen


taut tender thick thin throbbing tickly tight tilted tingly tired tonic trapped trembly truncated turbulent twirly twisted


unconscious uncontrolled undeveloped V vacant vast velvety vibrant vibrating viscid


warbled warm weak weary wet whole wide wilted windy wiry woozy wound wounded wrapped wrinkled wrung


yawing yielding