It is traditional in secular mindfulness courses to teach the body scan.
The body scan was popularised by Satya Narayan Goenka (1924 – 2013), commonly known as S. N. Goenka, a Burmese-Indian teacher of Vipassanā meditation.
The body scan consists of focusing on the body as you move your awareness over it.
I also taught the body scan in my early days as a meditation teacher but soon realised that it wasn’t delivering as a practice because it takes at least 25 minutes. Most people come to mindfulness because their busy minds and lives are overwhelmed. They are among the last group to dedicate that amount of time to a practice that takes so long to benefit them.
My focus has always been on accessibility and inclusivity. If a practice doesn’t resonate with my students and it doesn’t benefit their lives then I will find a replacement that will deliver the same benefits.
That replacement is the Destress Meditation.
We hold stress as muscular tension in our bodies in the same places: the hands, shoulders, back of the neck and from the forehead down to the abdomen.
In this meditation, we move the focus of our attention through only these high stress places on the body, but with the focus on relaxation. We relax the area of focus with the outbreath.
The order is: hands, shoulders, back and sides of the neck, down the face starting from the forehead and finally relaxing the throat, chest, upper back, areas around the pelvis, abdomen, lower back slowly then back again.