By Jillian Pransky, mindful.org
Yoga therapist and teacher trainer Jillian Pransky teaches how to soften the belly through guided breathing. By creating the space for breath to flow more freely, we also open to the deep insight and wisdom available when we just slow down and listen.
1) Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or in a chair. Close your eyes, if you wish. Take a few long breaths. Inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
2) Let your body land on the ground. Let your breath arrive in your body.
3) As your breath flows in, feel it move down into your belly. As your breath flows out, let your belly be effortless.
4) On your inhale, think, “soft,” allowing your belly to receive your breath.
5) On the out breath, think, “belly,” letting go of any holding and resistance.
6) Inhale, “soft.” Exhale, “belly.”
7) Each inhale, imagine your belly being cared for by the breath. Each exhale, let the breath loosen any solidity. Let your breath make room. Let thoughts, emotions, sensations rise and fall in and out of a spacious belly.
8) Since our belly is our emotional center, when we soften it, a variety of feelings, thoughts, images, and memories may bubble up. Welcome all that rises and falls. If you find yourself in conversation with a thought or feeling, simply acknowledge that observation, meet yourself kindly, and draw your mind gently back to the flow of your breath.
9) After 5 to 10 minutes, place your hands on your belly. Feel your breath meeting your hands. Little by little, expand your awareness into the space around you.
10) Close your practice by setting an intention to stay connected to your breath and your belly as you move slowly out of the meditation.
Keywords; breathing, mindfulness