Lose the Bully With Your Belly by Amy Karl

“You suck!” the #1 seeded varsity tennis player whisper-yelled from the sidelines, as I lobbed my forehand over the fence. I was practicing with my doubles partner on the team for an upcoming tournament and pretended not to hear Maggie; but she was hard not to hear with that mouth on her. Maggie was a force of nature with her fire engine red hair, freckled face and self-grit.

I was the #1 seeded player on the junior varsity team and compared to Maggie, I did suck. But everyone sucked compared to Maggie. Why did she have to single me out? Pick on me? My shoulders sinking, I wished I had the confidence to tell her off or pull her ponytail so tight her head would snap. Instead, I served my next ball into the net and fell apart for the remainder of practice. I lost all my power, empowering Maggie to just be meaner next time by allowing her verbal assaults to conquer me.

In today’s world Maggie would be labeled a BULLY. Back in my pre Facebook, high school days, however (and maybe this would be true today, too), Maggie was treated like some kind of hero, almost idolized because she was too scary to be confronted.

But what if no bully had the power to disempower you because you truly, and I mean truly, didn’t care what the bully said (this does not include physical bullying. I am talking verbal here) because you felt that great about yourself? Would “no attachment” to Maggie’s verbal assaults make Maggie go bully someone else? Stop her from bullying people altogether?

I am a woman who cared my whole life about what other people thought of me. It got in the way of some of my biggest dreams and held me back. If I only knew then that a little belly power (navel / 3rd chakra) acquired through breath could have helped me be strong and confident and comfortable in my skin, things on that tennis court would have been different.

If you are catching heat from some bully out there, do this exercise and you will get stronger and better and braver. And please remember that one day this bully will be dead to you. In fact, just last week my mother bumped into Maggie who said, “Please say hi to Amy,” and “How is Amy doing?” and “ Please tell her I said hello.” and “Oh, I hope Amy is doing great.”

And I replied: “Maggie who?”

So build your belly power through your breath. A strong belly means you will not shrink into a shrinking violet like I did on that tennis court. Naval energy is strengthened through breath! Naval energy gives you self-grit and lots of determination.


If nothing else, it will build compassion and help you understand your mantra for this month: “I’m fine and nothing’s personal!”

Click here for the exercise link: https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/pranayam/meditation-conquer-self-animosity

Note: Your belly should balloon out on the inhale and deflate on the exhale.

amyAbout the Author: Amy KARL is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor, Marketing Director, Writer, and Blogger based in Scottsdale, Arizona. After completing an acting program at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Amy moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in the famed Playhouse West Conservatory Program. Within a year, she booked a small movie role in an independent film and landed several national TV commercials, including Budweiser. Read More… 

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