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Soft Belly

Soft Belly is a deeply relaxing and restorative practice. Since this type of breathwork lessens the stress response, it brings about feelings of peace, calm, and contentment.

So, to reduce anxiety,
start by taking a moment to relax your body..
soften any unnecessary tension in your belly and shoulder,
and find a posture that feels both relaxed and alert.

Now close your eyes
or look downwards
and rest your hands
in an easy effortless way.

Take a few moments
to scan your awareness
through the sensations of your body,
and wherever possible,
soften and release
obvious areas of physical tension.

Relax your breath,
and breathe in through your nose
and out through your mouth.
This may be a little unfamiliar,
but when done is a natural, easy going way,
it can be a very relaxing way to breathe.

In through your nose
and out through your mouth.

In through your nose
and out through your mouth.

Now let your belly be soft.
If the belly is soft,
more oxygen goes to the bottom of the lungs.

There’s better oxygen exchange.

Oxygen moves more easily into the blood,
and it goes to all the cells in the body,
including the cells in the brain,
supplying your brain with the nourishment it needs.

Soft Belly

If the belly is soft,
it helps to activate the vagus nerve.

Vagus means wandering,
and this nerve wanders up
through the abdomen and chest,
back to the central nervous system in the brain,
and it promotes relaxation.

It is an antidote
to the fight or flight stress response.

Breathing deeply,
activating the vagus nerve
helps relaxation to come,
and as the belly is soft,
and you breathe deeply,
all the other muscles in the body
begin to relax as well,
and you can feel that now.

Some people like thinking of the word “Soft,”
as they breathe in,
and “Belly” as they breathe out.

See what that feels like for you:
“Soft” as you breathe in,
and “Belly” as you breathe out.

If thoughts come,
let them go
and gently bring your mind
back to “Soft” on the inhale, and “belly” on the exhale

“Soft,”
as you breathe in,
and “Belly,”
as you breathe out.

“Soft,”
as you breathe in,
and “Belly,”
as you breathe out.

Now slowly open your eyes
and bring your attention
back into the room,
and notice how you feel...
and notice what’s changed
from before you began to do this “Soft Belly” practice
to now

You may feel a little bit calmer.
Your heart rate may feel like it’s a little bit slower.
You may be seeing the room around you
with a little bit more clarity.

Maybe your shoulders are more relaxed.

See if you can bring this same quality of kind awareness,
of soft relaxation in the core of your body and being,
with you throughout the day

Thank you for your mindfulness practice
as you continue to feel less and less anxious
in your body and mind.

end

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