Pregnancy Body Scan Meditation: Relaxation Techniques
A growing number of studies suggest that stress during pregnancy may cause problems for both mom and the growing fetus. For this reason, it is important for pregnant moms to find a few minutes everyday practicing relaxation techniques. This exercise will guide you in releasing tension throughout the body. A good to time to practice is before bedtime, but certainly, the more you perform the Body Scan, the more benefits you will receive. Remember to just “notice” your body without judgment. Anything you notice is not “good” or “bad,” it just “is.”
- Find a comfortable sitting position.
- Uncross your arms and legs… let them be supported by the ground or the chair or the floor. Close your eyes, if you wish.
- Notice your breath. Feel it enter through your nose or mouth, move past your airways, and fill your lungs. Then notice the exhale. Take a few moments to focus on your breath while observing the rate and depth of your breath as well as the temperature and quality of the air you are breathing.
- Now bring attention to your face. Notice any tension between your eyebrows, on your forehead or in your jaw. Breathe and watch the tension release.
- Bring attention to your head and hair. Can you feel the air moving through your scalp? Imagine breathing through the pores on top of your head.
- Bring attention to your neck. Move your head gently from side to side and notice the muscles release.
- Notice your shoulders. Take a breath and allow your shoulders to release as you exhale. Observe your elbows, your wrists, hands and every finger on each hand.
- Bring attention to your chest. Notice how you your chest moves as you breathe. Expanding as your inhale and relaxing as you exhale.
- Now bring attention to your belly. Inhaling, the belly expands and exhaling, the belly relaxes. Watch the movement of the breath in your belly. Notice if you feel baby moving. Send loving messages to your baby.
- Observe your low back. Breathe deeply through this area and let the breath relax your muscles. Be aware of any movement in the spine as you breathe. Typically, the spine lengthens as you inhale and relaxes as you exhale. Spend a few moments to see if you can sense this happening in your body.
- Notice your buttocks, squeeze them together and relax. Bring weight evenly to both sides of your body.
- Become aware of your thighs. Tense your thigh muscles and then relax them as you continue to inhale slowly and exhale completely.
- Bring attention to your knees, and calves. Circle your feet at the ankles and notice how they feel.
- Focus on your toes. Wiggle them around and notice each and every one.
- Examine the soles of your feet. Notice the bottoms of your feet. How do they feel either barefoot or in your socks and/or your shoes? Take a few moments and trace your feet with your mind from the heels to the longest toes.
- Feel your feet connected to the earth. Spend a few moments to imagine Inhaling and drawing energy from the earth into your body and all the way to the top of your head. Then, exhale the energy back into the earth. Do this as long as you feel you like. Notice how you feel and carry it with you for the rest of your day.