Fitness tips: three sophrology exercises for beginners

Tretac, for focus Handy before starting anything from meditation to giving a work presentation. Extend one arm before you at eye level and focus on your thumb. Inhale, hold your breath and slowly bring your thumb towards the space between your eyebrows, until your eyes cross. When your thumb reaches your face, exhale and release your arm. Repeat three times.

The pump, to release tension First acknowledge the emotion you are feeling. Stand in front of a chair for support, eyes closed, arms by your side, fists clenched. Exhale through your mouth. Inhale through the nose. Hold your breath, raise shoulders to your ears and drop, pumping them up and down. Exhale, relax arms and fists.

The rag doll This brings awareness back to the body. Jump up and down on the spot for five seconds. (If you suffer from back pain, keep your feet on the ground and shake your body.) Stand still and listen to the sensations in your body (heart pumping; leg muscles). Take a seat and be aware of the sensations settling.

Dominique Antiglio is the author of The Life-Changing Power Of Sophrology (Hodder & Stoughton, £9.99).

As told to Alexandra Boulton

Original »