Good Night Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 11

Body Scan for Sleep

10 min - Practice
28 likes
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Get comfy. We encourage you to do this body scan in bed as a contemplative practice for a good night's rest. You will feel totally relaxed and at ease.
What You'll Need: Blanket

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Transcript

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Welcome to practice, everyone. My favorite practice, a body scan for sleep. That means that I encourage you to practice this in bed, in bed as a contemplative practice. There'll be nothing to see after we lie down. Please feel free to close your eyes, even turn your device away from you to limit your screen time.

For those of you on your mat, I'll show how to get comfy. We're going to place a pillow behind our head, okay? That's in your bed as well. And a pillow underneath your knees to release your lower back. I have a blanket here that I'm placing over my belly for a little bit of heaviness there and a feedback reference for my breath.

Now take any last wiggles or squiggles you need to be completely comfortable for the next 10 minutes or so. I like my arms out nice and wide, place them wherever they're comfortable for you. And as you settle in, begin to guide your awareness to your breath. Begin the breath at the navel center. Stay resting, stay there as I quietly come up to guide you.

Breath at the navel center. When we're relaxed, you can often feel the way that the belly rises and falls with the breath. Become a curious spectator of the breath, observing that rise and fall. Bring your awareness to your right thumb, eyes softly closed. Just notice where your right thumb has ended up.

And allow your right thumb to relax completely, letting go of any holding, control, or tension in your right thumb. Releasing the second finger of right hand, third finger, fourth finger, and fifth finger. Notice the palm of the right hand and the back of the right hand. Completely release and relax your right hand, letting go of any holding, control, or tension that might be harbored there, letting go. Now direct your awareness within your right wrist.

No need to know the anatomy, simply letting go of any holding, control, or tension, allowing the right hand to sink heavier into the support below it. Guiding your awareness to your right elbow. Notice the soft inside, the firm backside. Allow your right elbow to completely relax, the right elbow like a corridor, sending release down into the right forearm as you let go. Notice now the front of your right shoulder and the back of the right shoulder.

Allow the entire right shoulder to release and relax. The entire right shoulder is letting go. As you let go, feel the heavy right arm sinking down into the support below it, gently tractioning open your right chest, right armpit, right upper back until the entire right arm is released and relaxed and letting go. Guiding your awareness please to your left thumb. First notice where it ended up and allow it to relax more fully, letting go.

And second finger of left hand, third finger, fourth finger, and fifth finger. Noticing the palm of the left hand, the back of the left hand, entire left hand releases and relaxes, entire left hand is letting go. Guiding your awareness within your left wrist, taking a look around and releasing and holding control or tension until your left hand becomes heavier still. Now the awareness travels to the left elbow. Notice the soft inside, the firm back, allowing the entire left elbow to release and relax.

Gentle, relaxing energy moving down into the left forearm as you let go. Now notice the front of your left shoulder and the back of your left shoulder too. The entire left shoulder releases and relaxes. And as the left shoulder relaxes, the entire left arm becomes heavy and begins to gently traction open the left side of your chest, the left armpit and left upper back till both upper limbs are at ease and relaxed. Both upper limbs are letting go.

Allow now the awareness to travel down to your toes, releasing and relaxing all your toes from the biggest to the smallest, letting go. Notice the top of your feet and the soles of your feet. Completely release and relax your feet, letting go. And direct your awareness inward within the ankles, simply taking a look around and releasing and holding control or tension, allowing gravity to take the feet wherever gravity wants the feet to go. Awareness traveling to the tops of the knees and the backs of the knees.

Simply releasing and relaxing the knees, letting go of any unnecessary tension, inflammation or tension, letting go. As you do, allow this warm relaxing energy to move down through the shins and the caps, letting go. Relax to the thighs, allowing relaxation to seep from the skin into the strong muscles of your thighs, into the bones, deep into the marrow of the bones. Relaxation intermingling with the blood being made as you let go. Feeling pelvic floor and glutes, feeling the weight of the pelvis on the earth, contents of the pelvis organizing and settling to the earth as well.

Feel that ease in your belly and visualize that ease seeping down into your low back, letting go of any unnecessary holding, control or tension, both lower limbs at ease and relaxed. Both lower limbs are letting go. Kindly begin to feel the openness across your chest and visualize that openness in your lungs. Provide your awareness to your physical heart, allow that openness to move through the important vessels of your heart circulating this ease and relaxation through your entire body. The back is broad and relaxed across the earth, all the many muscles like heavy ropes letting go.

Feeling the throat and the jaw, the lower lip and upper lip. Muscles of the face are smooth and relaxed, beautiful and relaxed and letting go. Eyes sinking into their cradles and the brain itself settling to the earth as the entire body settles into a state of healing and relaxation, the entire body is letting go. Allow your awareness to travel throughout your body and mind, letting go of any holding, control or tension, as I quietly say, Namaste.

Comments

Megan M
4 people like this.
I was still awake at 1.20 am this morning after a Level 2 Backwards Extensions week in my Iyengar Yoga class. At some point between 1.20 am and 10 minutes later I was fast asleep listening to your calming voice. Thank you for this wonderful series!
Dana Slamp
2 people like this.
Dear Megan, You’re so welcome. Yoga is so benign that we can sometimes forget how certain poses have such a direct effect on our energy. I’m happy to hear this served you, and that you have it as a tool going forward. Warmly, Dana
Kate M
This served as a delicious savasana after my asana practice today : )
Dana Slamp
Kate - Oooh, nice combo!

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