Are you holding your belly? If you are, you’re not allowing your energy to flow freely.
The image of soldiers, or instagram models may look appealing in a picture but in reality it’s a staged and forced position. Holding the belly is so common these day that it has become part of a normative image we have about the body. When naturally we all have a belly, not having a belly consistently only happens through a very strict diet or for some it’s simply their body type. Generally as human beings we store fat for our survival and not having any fat stored can become a very tiring business (and it’s a big business).
But this is only half of the story. Emotions play a major role within holding the belly as well. We could hold for beauty standards, which is already a holding out of insecurity. Or we could be tensing our belly because we are scared, not able to let go and not wanting to express which lays dormant in there.
If we hold our belly, we cannot fully breath and if we cannot fully breath we cannot be fully alive. Breathing and stress are intimately related. Which makes the belly a very important part of the body. When we cut of it’s movement, we restrict our movement within the mind and body. In long term this can lead to digestive issues because of the contraction of the organs. Or circulation issues as blood is not freely flowing to the lower part.
In Tai-Chi it’s well known that the dantian, the spot tree fingers under the navel and center of the body, is the main energy center. If we restrict this area we lose energetic potential. On one side by holding the contraction (which is costing a lot of energy) and on the other side by limiting the physical movement and movement of the blood. This gives the same effect as tying a belt around the belly. Something we do to stop blood from flowing if someone has a serious cut.
We can ask ourselves:
- Am I holding my belly now?
- Am I allowing myself to breath fully, into the belly?
- Do I feel any tension within the body?
- Can I consciously let go of that tension now?
What we can do:
We can consciously remind ourselves throughout the day that it’s oke to let our belly out and to consciously do belly breathing. This way we will, after some time, return back to full body breathing.