Soft Belly with Dr. Eileen Yager

Brought to You by Creative Healing in Pain's Parent Blog

Eileen Yager, MD Clinical Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine
April 10, 2023 / 5 mins read


The VAGUS nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, the “relax and digest” part, which also calms other parts of the body. This practice, especially accentuating the outbreath, stimulates the vagus and helps you to relax when you are in pain, or anxious, or stressed. Do it for 5 – 10 minutes if possible.

  • Take a deep breath and close your eyes or look at something in the lower part of your vision, in front of you…
  • The first time only, blow out the stale air through your mouth.
  • Breathe deeply, in through the nose, then breathe out through the mouth, extending the outbreath and dropping your shoulders.
  • Imagine your belly is soft… To encourage this process, you can say to yourself “soft” as you breathe in and “belly” as you breathe out…
  • If thoughts come, let them come and let them go and return your awareness to your breath and soft belly breathing… no matter how often your mind wanders, just gently bring it back each time to the breath, the breath coming into the body and the breath leaving your body…
  • Take a deep breath and a stretch and open your eyes

Adapted from James Gordon, MD