Soften your body into your seat. When you feel ready to begin, take your awareness in with. Let’s start by checking in with your body today. We turn our gaze inward to connect with the self, the inner truth, the core of our being. It is from this place that we can find the strength to overcome any tension or stress felt in the outer body. from within, we can find the strength for all challenges we may have to face. In today’s meditation, we will be practicing deep belly breathing, and using both visualization and the breath to soften and release physical tension. This is something we can practice while we’re pregnant to release any physical tension that builds in the body so that when we’re in labor, we can soften and release into the contractions rather than tensing them, which makes the pain of them worse. Start by bringing your awareness to the parts of you that are connected to the floor or furniture. Concentrate on the feeling of this support beneath your skin. Notice how the weight of your body rests on these points. As you breathe in, feel this part of you expanding with the breath and softening further on the exhale. Bring your awareness now to your lower body. Scan from the toes, past the feet and ankles, up the calves and thighs, all the way to the hips and buttocks. Notice any areas of tension in these parts of your body. If you feel any particular areas of stress or tightness, breathe into this part of you. Feel it expand with the breath and soften on the exhale.
Bring your awareness to the torso now. Scan the low back all the way up the spine to the shoulders. scan over your growing belly noticing any movement or tension and breathing deeply into any areas that need releasing and softening on the exhale.
Take your awareness all the way up your neck towards your head and face. Breathe energy into any tension that you might be holding in these areas. And then exhale them away. Just as you exhale out tension in different parts of the body. We’re going to use the breath to release tension in the belly now. We’re going to practice deep belly breathing and rehearse softening the belly on each exhale, so that we can use this same practice during labor and birth to ease the tension of contractions. It will be easy to practice today while there is no tension. However, with practice, we can create an automatic relaxation response to the physical practice of breathing deeply into the low belly. If you feel lightheaded at any stage, return your breathing to its normal rhythm until you feel normal again.
Let’s start by lengthening each breath we take, deepen and lengthen each breath. Now on your next breath, breathe the air into the belly as if it were a balloon that you were trying to fill. As you breathe in, notice that the skin of the belly tightens as you inhale and softens as you exhale. Breathe into the belly as much as you can until it is completely full. pause for a moment and then empty all of the air from the lungs. You may even like to imagine the belly as a balloon being filled on the inhale and floating away on a breeze as you exhale As you breathe into the belly, imagine all of the beautiful loving energy that is surrounding your baby as you fill your belly with oxygen rich breath. And notice a sense of calm and relaxation as you exhale out any tension that you feel there. Try to lengthen your inhalation and exhalation now, as I assign account for each breath, continue this breathing deep into the belly. Breathe in for three, to one, and out for 321. Breathe in for 4321 and out 44321. Breathe in for 543 to one and out 454321. Continue this pattern of increasing the length of your breath by one count each time you inhale until you reach the limit of your lungs. Complete three rounds of this breath and then return your breath to its natural rhythm.
Bring your awareness back to the whole body. Now. scan your body this time from the top of the head down towards the feet. Noticing if any tension remains if there is any tension that remains. continue breathing into this area and practice releasing it with the exhale. visualize this part of you softening.
When you feel ready to finish your meditation, start to slowly bring small movements back to the body, stretching out wriggling fingers and toes and rolling ankles and wrists. Take your time to bring your awareness once again, back to the places of your body that connect with the floor or the furniture. Notice the temperature of the room and when you feel ready and grounded back in the body. It is time to slowly end meditation and return to your day.
”Take your awareness all the way up your neck towards your head and face. Breathe energy into any tension that you might be holding in these areas. And then exhale them away.