In Mindcast

Jane O’Rourke – 5 Minute Calming Butterfly Technique

Jane guides us through the Butterfly Calming Technique which is an easy and helpful technique to use when feeling stressed or anxious. Jane O’Rourke is a Yoga and Meditation Teacher, and a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist with Children, Young People and Families. She teaches Yoga4Trauma within the Trauma Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

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Hello, my name is Jane O’Rourke, I’m a child and adolescent psychotherapist and I am a yoga and mindfulness teacher and today we are going to do the Butterfly Calming Technique. It is really good for when you are feeling stressed or anxious, and very easy to do.

So first of all, start by finding a comfortable posture, so just noticing where you might need to release some tension, perhaps the shoulders, or maybe the area around the jaw, or maybe even the root of your tongue.

And then notice how you are feeling today, I call it an internal check-in. So just noticing what thoughts are arising…

And then we are going to start to allow the breath to steady us. I like to say that the breath is like our life long companion because it is with us from the moment we are born. So imagine now that the breath is tenderly breathing through you, each breath giving us new life and helping us to steady.

And then cross one arm over your chest and then the other arm, so that your palms are resting over your heart and the fingertips are rising up towards the collarbones and it is like you are caressing yourself as if you would a really good friend.

And then start to create the shape of a butterfly by interlocking your thumbs, so that the thumbs become like the body of a butterfly and the fingers are like butterfly’s wings and you can choose whether you keep your eyes open or gently start to rest them down.

And then very steadily start to move the hands one by one like the wings of a moving butterfly, so that the right hand taps down and then the left in a nice steady rhythm. Left hand, right hand, left hand, right hand, left hand, right hand.

Find your own rhythm that feels steadying and comforting and just keep rhythmically tapping in this way, almost like the pat of a hand on a new-born’s back. Nice, steady, comforting tapping. Like the gentle rhythm of a butterfly.

And continue to do this as if comforting and soothing a loved one, gently feeling the vibration on your heart… Each breath is slowly moving into your abdomen as it rises with each in breath and gently falls with each out breath. And then when you are ready just start to slow down the tapping so it just becomes a very very slow rhythmic motion.

And then gently placing your hands wherever they feel comfortable, maybe on your knees or thighs or just resting in your lap. Notice how you are feeling now.

If there are still feelings of anxiety or stressfulness then repeat this exercise again and know that it is something you can always resource back to, your breath is always your constant companion and just placing your hands over your heart is like a loving self-gesture of compassion and self-care.

Take a few more breaths here, feeling a steadiness in your posture, a rootedness, a groundedness. Allowing the breath to just breathe through you.

And then whenever you are ready gently opening the eyes and coming into the room in your own time.

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