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If you struggle with body image or disordered eating, this practice helps you tune in to what you need to feel physically and emotionally nurtured.
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor. Rest both hands on your belly, one above the navel, the other just below. Throughout the practice, breathe deeply, letting your stomach inflate as you inhale until it spreads your fingers wide.
2. Identify Sensations
Notice the sensations you feel in your belly. Try to put words to what you feel beneath your hands. Do you feel … emptiness? Achiness? Tightness? Numbness?
3. Acknowledge Needs
Ask yourself what needs those sensations might point to. If you feel empty, perhaps you need food? If you feel tight, perhaps you need sleep or time in nature? Or do you simply need a hug?
4 Observe Your Reaction
Witness your instinctive response to your sensations and needs. Do you get angry? Deny or judge them? Tune out by thinking of your to-do list? Notice any reaction, without judgment, and let it go.
5. Take Action
Ask yourself what action you can take to meet your needs right now. Over the next three minutes or three hours, what can you do to take care of yourself? Eat? Drink water? Practice a favorite pose? Call a friend? Commit to at least one action and take it.