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Settle With Your Breath

Melli O'Brien






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Settle With Your Breath

In this meditation, we'll practice a breathing exercise that will help lower the heart rate and settle the mind in preparation for sleep.

So as you prepare for this sleep

meditation, just taking some time to

make sure that you're in as comfortable

a sleeping posture as possible so

that you can drift off during this

meditation or perhaps shortly afterwards.

And as you settle in, if you

haven't already done so, you

can invite your eyes to close.

And let's start by taking

a deep breath together.

So breathing in through the nose.

And breathing slowly

out through the mouth.

And just letting the body relax here.

Allowing the jaw to relax.

Allowing the shoulders to relax.

And letting the belly be soft.

And any other part of the body that

is able to relax and let go, just

letting them go now, as we transitioned

from the day and into sleep.

And just tuning in to the coziness

of your sleep space, maybe the

bed beneath you, or, the warmth

of the covers and the pillow.

And just reminding yourself

now that the day's done.

It unfolded however it unfolded and

tomorrow is another opportunity.

But right now you don't need

to worry about any of it.

And you can just notice the thoughts

moving through your mind or the

momentum of the day still in your

body, and just relax around all of it.

So we can't force the mind to turn off

and we can't force the body to relax,

but we can create the conditions to

let go and relax, and we can remind

ourselves that right now, we're here.

The day is over and

tomorrow is yet to begin.

And you can simply give yourself

the permission to just be here.

So noticing any sounds moving

through your current awareness.

The sounds of this moment.

Letting them be the melody that

connects you to this present moment.

And to help calm our nervous system

and lower our heart rate, we're

going to do a breathing pattern

called four-seven-eight breathing.

So this will involve breathing in for

four seconds, holding the breath for

seven seconds and exhaling for eight.

So I'll walk you through

the first few rounds.

So let's begin.

So let's breathe in for

four, three, two, one.

And hold for seven, six,

five, four, three, two one.

And now exhale for eight, seven,

six, five, four, three, two, one.

Great job.

Okay, if you have trouble exhaling for

eight seconds, you can imagine that you're

breathing onto a cold window like this.

And then do that breath

with the mouth closed.

It might sound a little bit like this.

So this is going to help you

elongate the exhale and relax

the body a little more deeply.

So let's try it again.

So when you're ready, just breathing

in for four, three, two, one.

And holding for seven, six,

five, four, three, two, one.

And then exhaling now for eight, seven,

six, five, four, three, two, one.

And as that exhale fully releases, just

feeling your body settling in more,

deeply, relaxing, more and more fully into

the evening and letting go of the day.

Just getting ready to

transition into sleep.

So we'll try that again.

And hen you're ready, just breathing

in for four, three, two, one.

And holding for seven, six,

five, four, three, two, one.

Exhaling for eight, seven, six,

five, four, three, two, one.

So I'll just give you some time

now to practice this breathing

pattern at your own pace.

And as you do this, if anything about

this practice creates anxiety or feels

difficult, it's okay to let it go.

You can do normal or you can do deep

breathing, or you can find a way of

doing this practice at your own pace.

But if it feels okay, just take a couple

of minutes to practice this particular

pattern as it can be very settling to

the nervous system and helps us lower

the heart rate and get ready for sleep.

So I'll just give you this time now

in silence to try it out on your own.

So it can sometimes be soothing

to imagine the sound of the

exhale being like the ocean.

And seeing if that's something that you

connect with as you continued to practice.

And just letting each breath

relax you even more deeply.

Settling your mind, relaxing your body.

There's nowhere else you need to

be, nothing else you need to do.

Just fully letting go and

surrendering into sleep.

And if your mind wanders off or feels

agitated, just see if you can notice

it with a kind of ease and grace.

Just watch the mind thinking and kind of

having a sense of an inner smile at it,

and then simply inviting attention back

into the breath and back into this moment.

And with each exhale, you might notice

the tension in the body softening,

settling and letting go a little more.

So just letting the breath serve as

a gentle, compassionate awareness,

inviting the body to release as much

as it needs to, as much as it cares to.

Whole body relaxing a little

more with each and every breath.

You're doing great.

But remember at any time you're

welcome to drift off into sleep.

You can let go of the breathing

or any sort of instruction and

just go into your own space.

Just going off into your own

land of dreams and deep rest.

And now you can just let go of

any control of your breathing.

Just allow your body to breathe in

its own natural rhythm and pace now.

Just letting go of any control.

And just observing what

it's like to be here.

Safe, relaxed with the

rhythm of the natural breath.

Just relaxing into this

very gentle, soft awareness.

There's no agenda, nothing you need

to fix, nothing you need to get right.

So just accepting yourself

just as you are right now.

Being as you are right now.

And as we transition from this

meditation, just remember that you

can come back to this practice at any

point, and you're welcome to replay

it now, if you're still settling in.

You can replay it as many

times as you'd like to.

And if you'd like to spend more time

just resting in silence after this

ends, you can continue to dwell in

this relaxed and soft awareness,

letting each breath to you and take you

deeper into this moment of letting go.

I wish you deep rest and pleasant dreams.

Thank you for your practice and take care.

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