Sophrology is a wellbeing practice taking the UK and Europe by storm. It teaches you techniques to deal with stress, and is used by elite athletes (Olympic and professional) to sharpen focus and boost mental and physical performance.
We spoke with Dominique Antiglio, founder of BeSophro and author of The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology, who told us more about the practice and shared her top tips on how Sophrology can make you a better runner…
Sophrology is a practical self-development method that uses a combination of breathing, relaxation, gentle movement, visualisation and meditation to bring the mind and body into a state of harmony and build resilience. Practising Sophrology on a regular basis for just 10 minutes a day will make you feel calmer, more empowered, energetic, positive, more confident and creative about your daily life. It will bring new perspective about yourself and the world around you, and unlock your full potential.
For people who feel stressed, unfocused, or lacking in energy, Sophrology is a great way of finding more balance, improving sleep, learning to let go of tensions, calming the mind and renewing your energy. It will also help with preparing for important events from competitive races to speeches and presentations so you can perform to the best of your ability.
- Instils intrinsic motivation
Sophrology helps you to connect with your human and intrinsic motivation to perform. It helps you to find meaning behind the training and competitions so you can sustain your motivation over time and find extra energy when needed. That motivation is something you can experience in the body as well as in the mind, and reactivate through simple Sophrology breathing techniques when needed.
- Helps you tune into your body and mind
Sophrology is a training method for body and mind. Through the practice you learn to become aware of your body in depth, to observe its more subtle changes or calls to be taken care of. Knowing your body and being strongly connected to it is the best way to maintain good health and trust that it can perform well.
- Builds confidence and sharpens focus
Through simple body movements, visualisation and breathing techniques, Sophrology helps to build confidence in your ability to focus, this raising your performance to a new level. It helps you to let go of negative beliefs or fears e.g. of losing or fear of injury, and allows you to concentrate on building up your ability to win and form healthy habits – this is why so many elite athletes use the technique in France and Switzerland.
Sophrology is practiced in a state of dynamic relaxation, which means that the body is totally calm yet the mind is fully alert. This a restorative state for the muscles and the nervous system that assists the body to recuperation after training. Over time, this state assists in preventing injury and increasing energy levels. In this dynamic relaxation state, you are giving yourself permission to stop, which is an important part of being ready to perform and one that is often overlooked by athletes, but understood by elite athletes.
- Builds resilience
Through simple visualisation, you can rehearse for competitions and races or keep up with the preparation so that on any given day, you can be at your best. For the brain, it is as though the race has already been run, so you only experience “positive stress” to perform and are not held back by worries, lack of focus or emotions. The overall method allows anyone to find more harmony within themselves so that when things don’t go according to the plan, you can find the necessary resilience and perspective to bounce back quickly and stronger.
The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology by Dominique Antiglio is an Amazon best-seller and the ultimate authority on Sophrology.