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For this practice we’re gonna try to send our breath down into our belly and diaphragm.

  1. Sit on the floor or in a chair, or stand with your feet planted on the ground.
  2. Place one hand on your chest, and the other hand on your belly.
  3. Inhale slowly through your nose and try to send the breath down to your belly, feeling the belly rise and expand against your hand.
  4. Exhale slowly through the nose or mouth, and feel how the hand on your belly lowers back down as the belly softens and lets go. 
  5. Inhale - belly rise.
  6. Exhale - belly fall.
  7. Notice how the hand on your chest remains steady as your belly rises and falls with the breath. 
  8. Repeat for 3-5 minutes.
  9. Once you’ve finished, notice if anything is different from just a few moments ago. Are there any shifts, however tiny or subtle, in how your body feels? Remember that whatever comes up is okay, and if you can, just check in with yourself and see if there’s anything else you need in this moment.

( i )       Deep belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is a technique that reminds us to intentionally deepen our breathing a little by moving our breath all the way down into our diaphragm. Breathing into the diaphragm actually sends a signal along the vagus nerve that tells our bodies to activate the parasympathetic nervous system of that green zone.

Being able to consciously regulate your breathing in this way, even if it’s just for a couple minutes a day, can help to bring the nervous system out of a stress response and back into a more regulated state.