• Jennifer Hart MA,E- RYT, YACEP

Body Centered Practice: Belly Beads

Hey Soul Tribe!

When it comes to “mindfulness” there are so many activities we can practice and implement into our lives. One practice that I have implemented into my life is belly beads. I have several reasons for why I wear them, and my list of reasons lengthened once I started wearing them and seeing how my life has changed because of them. Check out this blog post for the wonderfullness of BELLY BEADS!

1. Belly beads are body positive! In our western world, I am quicker to see body shaming instead of folks being comfortable in their own bodies! Once I place a piece of jewelry on me ( anywhere, whether it be on my ankle, or my ears, of my fingers), I don’t mind showing the jewelry off. Adorning myself is a mindful practice because it teaches me that I am worthy of being adorned with pretty things. Lemme’ tell you…its hard for me to think of my belly as ugly when Ive got pretty shiny things adorned across my waist! Okerrrr? 😊

2. It teaches me to be mindful of the present. When I am eating, drinking, exercising, taking a shower, sleeping, and even laying down, I have to bring more awareness to my body in order to keep them on! I remember the first set I had, I quickly popped because I was RUSHING, and wasn’t mindful of how gentle I need to be in my movements. One quick movement and my beads were DONE! Belly beads slow me down. I become more graceful, and alert to how gentle I need to be in order to keep them on. I used to be VERY clumsy. Waist beads have helped me be more mindful of by bodily movements…and I have had to SLOW down!

3. It helps me keep track of my weight. Its really not healthy to weigh yourself everyday. While in undergrad, I studied communications and psychology. I was a double major while in the program, and one thing I learned through research is that it is very unhealthy to weigh yourself everyday. It becomes a compulsive and addictive activity and it can lead to shame, anger, and guilt. A more mindful and contemplative way to monitor weight, that is less compulsive, is using belly beads. Whenever I am eating, I have to bring attention to how I feel around my stomach area while I am eating. If I get uncomfortable, then I know I have eaten too much. And then I have the decision to eat more….or not. But it’s the bodily awareness that helps me make that decision…not a number on a scale.

4. They remind me of my heritage.

The western world tends to adopt different ways from various cultures. Beard wearing can be found in cultures of the African diaspora; and from there it could symbolize or mean several things, depending on your tribe. It could signify what tribe you belong to, the amount of wealth you had, your age/level of maturity, your ability to bear children, femininity, status, rites of passage. I personally wear them for color therapy, as well as stones to protect my aura. I have belly beads with semi precious stones such as tigers eyes, opal, and tourmaline! They help cleanse my energy field as well as remind me to be present during the day!

5. It encourages me to practice self love, feminity, body love, body awareness, and confidence. ( There are different beliefs on whether one should wear beads to be seen by others, or whether to wear them privately. As for me, I usually wear them privately. This is usually based on personal choice and reasons. The thing I love about it…is that its all choice and and its based on what I want to do with my body. As an African American woman, living in America, I rarely come across a practice that encourages me to feel adorned, with pretty things that I picked, and gives me the option for what I want to do with it. With belly beads I am able to practice being care, contemplative with my vessel, adorn it, and choose! Those are things that I am readily encouraged to do in America.

Im a black woman. I adorn myself. I take care of my self. I pick what I want to do with my body.

And I find contemplative practices to remind me of who I am, where I came from, and how to be present within my own vessel!

I hope you find contemplative practices that work for you! If you're interested in belly beds, be sure to visit our website’s online shop. All of them are handmade with love! They will be posted by May 1st, 2021.

Until next time.

Find a way to be comfortable in your own body!



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