The cliche' is "practice makes perfect". How does this apply to meditation?
Practice is the effort we make to become better at something. One part of Sophrology is the practice of meditation which we call Dynamic Relaxation Exercise where more is going on than just quietly sitting. We spend much of our life standing, walking and sitting so we use these positions during Sophrology exercises to create neural pathways in the brain that will remind us to be calm anytime, anywhere, and in any of the positions we use in normal daily tasks.
Meditation in Sophrology is the opportunity for you and your body to cooperate and experience balanced breathing, gentle movement, and creative visioning.
In keeping with the authenticity of Sophrology to incorporate western and eastern philosophies we first look at the science of breathing.
With each breath an exchange of gases takes place between the body and the planet. The body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. The respiratory system is the mechanism by which this takes place. Its main job is to bring fresh air into the body while removing waste gases. This takes place in each cell of the body as oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide. In addition to gas exchange the respiratory system monitors the air so that the body is at appropriate temperature and humidity levels. It prompts coughing, sneezing, and swallowing to protect the body from harmful substances, and it supports the sense of smell.
Metaphysically speaking, balanced breathing is a connection to spirituality, to nature, to Gods, to each other. Exiting the womb, the first thing the body does is breathe. At that moment the air around you is shared by all of life. At that moment you connect with all of creation.
In his book, The Tao of Natural Breathing, Dennis Lewis explains that, "to breathe is to live fully, to manifest the full range and power of our inborn potential for vitality in everything that we sense, feel, think, and do."
Movement is essential to the health and wellbeing of the body. Are you familiar with the eleven systems of the body?
These systems are programmed to keep you healthy and alive. We generally don't take notice of these systems unless there is pain or discomfort.
Sophrology helps us become aware of the physical sensation of these systems. It invokes connection and awareness to the work your body does to keep you healthy and alive. The goal is to learn to love all the bits that are you, building a healthy relationship with your body.
How much movement do you get in your daily activities? How does stress affect you and your body? Your physical body actually becomes more stressed when you don't move. Think about how your bones creak when you stand from sitting for too long. Physical activity also generates the production of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that help to create more happiness for you.
Another element of meditation is creative visioning. This is when you get to use your imagination. In respect of imagination in science we look to Albert Einstein who was a master of imagination. He said,
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination is the language of the soul. Pay attention to your imagination and you will discover all you need to be fulfilled."
Consider all the inventions in the world, telephone, computer, airplane, electricity, etc. All of it began with the imagination of an inventor who used creative visioning to create something that would enhance our modern lives.
Think about your power to create. Some of us are gardeners, some of us like to work in the kitchen. Maybe you create connections for people. Or are you an athlete creating health, vitality, and happiness for yourself?
As you engage your imagination you will begin to discover your creative impulses. What did you create yesterday? What are you creating today? What will you create tomorrow? Creative visioning in meditation helps you to establish more confidence and trust in yourself. The more you practice this, the more you train your brain and body to achieve desired outcomes.
Meditation in Sophrology is Dynamic Relaxation. The practice of creating harmony of mind, body, spirit, breath, and consciousness. The goal is to achieve awareness, overcome brain fog, and enjoy overall happiness and wellbeing. The more you practice the greater your ability to respond positively rather than react instinctively.