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Breathe Into Sleep
10m

Breathe Into Sleep

Prepare for sleep by breathing into it

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Hi, this is Kelly Boys. Welcome to a meditation to breathe into sleep. The exhalation in our breathing is really important for allowing our nervous system to know that we can relax, so this practice will focus on an extended exhalation. Let's begin by getting as comfortable as possible, allowing your legs to be perhaps further than hip with distance apart, your palms face down on the bed, the couch, or the floor, whatever surface you're resting upon. And you can allow your eyes to gently close. We'll start by simply noticing the breath coming and going without trying to change or fix it. Just tuning into the breath, letting go of whatever it is that came before this moment and setting an intention to do this extended exhalation practice to prepare your nervous system, your body, and mind for restful sleep. We'll breathe into the count of one and out to the count of two, so do this at your own pace, gently, easily, breathing into one, breathing out to two, beginning to slowly lengthen your exhalation. Breathing into one, breathing out to two. You may find as you're doing the breathing practice, that your mind is busy, or you're thinking about something, or you're feeling something. If so, acknowledge what's here, then gently redirect your attention back to the breath, counting one with the inhale, two with the exhale. As you continue doing the extended exhalation breath practice, bring attention to the whole front side of your body, your face, chest, belly, legs, tops of your feet, tops of your arms, the whole front side of your body. As you do so, breathe into one, breathe out to two. So we're combining two different practices here, our breath and body sensing, to support our nervous system to relax. Inhaling to one, whole front side of your body, exhaling to two, whole front side of your body. As you do this breathing practice, you may feel a lightness and spaciousness associated with the front side of your body. Now continue with the same breathing practice, but now bring all of your attention to the whole backside of your body, back of your head, your back, the backs of your legs, and your heels. Breathing into one, breathing out to two Breathing into one, out to two, sensing the entire backside of your body. As you do, so you may feel a sense of heaviness or weight sinking into the surface that supports you. The opposite feeling from the front side of your body. Breathing into one, breathing out to two. Now, continuing with this breath practice, bring all of your attention now to the left side of your body, breathing into one and out to two, with your focus entirely absorbed in the left side of your body. If your mind comes in and is thinking, feel free to gently redirect attention back to the left side of your body, and your breath coming and going, into one, out to two. You may feel your body begin to shift into deeper states of sleep. Continuing with the same breathing practice as you bring all of your attention to the right side of your body, breathing into one, breathing out to two. The extended exhalation allowing the nervous system to settle. Now we'll alternate attention with a breath, bringing attention to the whole front side of your body, breathing into one, out to two. Attention to the back side of your body, breathing into one, out to two. Attention to the left side of your body, breathing into one, out to two. Attention in the right side of your body, into one, out to two. Now let go of your attention being placed on different sides of your body and simply follow the same breathing practice, inhaling to the count of one, exhaling to the count of two. As you extend your exhalation and invite your nervous system to settle, can you also feel the holding presence of spirit, whatever word you have for the divine? Can you feel how you're not alone? You're held, you're known, you're cared for. Letting the extended exhalation confirm that in your body, feeling connected to yourself, connected to spirit, grateful, perhaps, that you're taking this moment to prepare your body and mind for a restorative sleep. Letting go of controlling the breath now, simply feel your body being breathed, your breath, the breath of the divine, carrying you into sleep.

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