The Huddle #21: Get In (Your) Belly
If the gif of Fat Bastard is any indication, this week’s message is deeply spiritual. Let’s start with a little meditation.
Sit comfortably. Put one hand on your belly. Breathe. As you inhale, notice your belly inflate like a balloon, and as you exhale, notice it relax. Do this a few times. Then, take a moment to notice what you’re feeling, right here beneath your palm, and in the surrounding areas. Notice any physical sensations, any tension or tightness, or hunger or fatigue. Notice any emotions that you’re feeling here as well. Lastly, notice anything you’re having a hard time letting go of… that one is tough. Relax.
Our society seems pretty anti-belly. The focus tends to be on shrinking our stomachs, flattening our abs, and treating your belly like it’s the bad guy. Every day there’s a new workout focused solely on beating up your core, and a new diet fad claiming to trim belly fat.
Today, I’m standing up for bellies everywhere. Soft bellies, full bellies, bellies full of jelly... Read my sign: ALL BELLIES ARE WELCOME HERE.
The older I get, the more I notice my peers having imbalances in their gut. Equally, I notice my peers having emotional imbalances (myself included)- unexplained anxiety, stress, or depression. Now, I’m no medical professional, but through my studies and my experiences, I can say firmly that these two are not mutually exclusive (and if you want to nerd out with me on this, check out this Harvard health article).
The region around our low belly, hips, and low back, carries so much gold (in addition to, let’s say, “other stuff”*). This is where we store our emotions, our creativity, our sense of pleasure and desire. Our bellies tell us when to be afraid (a pit in our stomach), when to be excited or nervous (butterflies), and when we’ve been holding onto something, a grudge perhaps, longer than necessary (this one is less obvious, but for me it usually manifests itself in achy hips and low back pain). This region is sacred- it’s where new ideas are born, hopes and wishes are sprouted, and, for my female-bodied friends, babies are made!
I’m not trying to get you to dip out on your next Pilates class- we need core strength, and we all want nice abs. Plus, we’ve got to look good in our rompers/romphims. But the more we can get connected with our gut, the more we’ll feel connected to ourselves.
So, go on. Get in (or at least, get comfortable with) your belly. What do you notice?
*Poop. I’m talking about poop.