With the practice of awareness, many are already familiar. Its effectiveness is undeniable, but not everyone can master it. Those who find it difficult to sit still and concentrate on breathing, Sofrology is more suitable. Journalist Amy Fleming was convinced of this from this experience.

The practice of awareness has already been tested and double -checked. It helps a lot with anxiety, chronic pains, dependencies and other problems. But what if it does not fit you? For people who are not able to sit still and concentrate on breathing, all these numerous applications, manuals and courses for the development of the practice of awareness are completely useless. But they have a way out – to do sophrology.

This dynamic method combining in Europe, combining yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, hypnosis, psychology, neurology, is a good alternative to the practice of awareness, as you know, requiring immobility. No wonder Arianna Huffington herself became his adherent – a media magnate and a gurus of a healthy lifestyle. It is not so dynamic that after the lesson it was required to run into the shower, but even closing your eyes to start the session, you accompany this with a movement that immediately switches you to the relaxation regime and focuses on your body.

Sophrologist Dominic Antelio, author of Sophrology Changing Life explains to me in the first lesson how to do it: stretch out a hand in front of you with a raised finger, inhale and start very slowly bring it closer to yourself until you touch on the point between the eyebrows. “It looks rather funny from the outside,” Dominic warns, demonstrating how to fulfill this entrance to meditation: watching the movement of her hand, she brings her eyes to her nose. And this is a surprisingly effective way to start a 15-minute practice. As soon as the finger touches the forehead, my eyelids are involuntarily closed, at the same time I am making a noisy exhalation, as if I got rid of the air in my thoughts.

Sophrology was created in the early 1960s as a psychiatrist Alfonso Kaedo, Columbian by origin who lived in Spain. It arose almost two decades earlier than the practice of awareness, which was developed in the late 1970s, American professor John Kabat-Zinn, adapting Buddhist meditation to modern Western life. Kaseido used in his method various oriental practices that he studied during his travels in India and Japan, connecting them with the ideas of Western thinkers, primarily Ludwig Binswanger, one of the founders of existential psychology.

All you need to do sophrology is a stool with a straight back. I sit down, out of habit, tuning in to the “scanning of the body”, but Antelio invites me to relax different zones of the body, which, according to this methodology, consists of five “systems”. The same can be done standing if someone is so comfortable. “It happens that a person is too excited, and he does not want to sit,” Antelio later explains to me.

I can say, a veteran of yoga and the practice of awareness, trained in “scanning of the body”. Nevertheless, often this process seems boring to me and even, on the contrary, prevents me from relaxing. But when I do not lying down, but sitting and visualizing five body systems, relaxation is easier.

Sophrology includes 12 levels. At the first level, we are weakening the stress, then we pause to listen to our subtle sensations and some changes in the body. Sitting, I put my hands in the center of each of the five “systems” in turn, starting from my forehead, while I inhale deeply, strain this area, and then with a noisy exhale I relax it. It turned out that it is quite difficult to be able to strain only a specific area, without straining other parts of the body.

Since my shoulder and neck are clamped, they gave


me another task: standing up and lowering my shoulders, my hands are clenched into a fist. After this exercise, a warm wave spreads over my shoulders, and I feel a slight pleasant tingling in them. These and other physical actions help to get deeper into the process, in contrast to traditional meditation that requires peace.

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