Body Scan Relaxation

This intervention can be used with children and adults and requires no additional cost.

Intervention Overview

The body scan mindfulness activity focuses student attention on their bodies and any tension or other sensations they feel. This activity is traditionally done sitting or lying down. Through a guided meditation recording, or teacher prompting, students focus on each part of the body (such as feet, legs, torso, heart, arms, hands, etc.)  while taking note of what they feel and releasing any tension. The Mental Health Teacher (2022) has put together the following guided video to help young students with the body scan meditation practice, or you may use the additional guided meditations linked  in the materials section below.

Watch on YouTube

Intervention Guide

Grade Level: All
Materials: None needed, but you may consider using a body scan meditation recording such as the one found here.
Duration: 5 minutes daily or as needed

If you decide not to use a recording, prompt your students with the following instructions:

  1. Have students find a comfortable seated position and encourage them to close their eyes if they feel comfortable doing so.
  2. Invite students to notice the feel of the chair they are sitting on while taking slow, deep breaths.
  3. As students breathe, invite them to focus on relaxing while they exhale.
  4. Bring students’ attention to the sensation of their feet on the floor, followed by their legs. Have them recognize any tension and focus on releasing it. 
  5. Repeat this exercise with the back, stomach, arms, hands, neck/throat, and head.
  6. Have students notice the sensations of their whole body and their sense of relaxation and freedom from tension.
  7. When students are ready, have students open their eyes and return their attention to the class.

Greater Good Science Center. (n.d.). Body scan meditation. 

Shankland, R., & Rosset, E. (2017) Review of brief school-based positive psychological intervention: a taster for teachers and educators. Educational Psychology Review, 29, 363-392. 

The Mental Health Teacher. (2022, February 27). The body scanner! Mindfulness for children [Video]. YouTube. 

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