As well as the Andorra sophro experience I also participated in theSummer University (in the UK we say Summer School in France it’s a university!) of ‘La Fédération des Ecoles Professionnelles en Sophrologie’ one of the many French Sophrology Federations.
It was the first time that I had met up with this group and I was surprised to find that some of the directors of the member schools had been with me at the Trainer Training course in Andorra in 2003. It was fun to discuss old times and our journeys from then till now.
We spent 3 glorious days experiencing a wide range of sophrology exercises and applications. I loved all the workshops but one of my favourites was:
A workshop on the skin, (sophrology Level 1, we explore the skin), given by Dominique Aubert a kniesiologist and sophrologist. He gave an in-depth biology of the skin, then the different ways of touching that they use in kniesiology – effleurage (light stroking), lissage (firmer storming), petrissage (kneading). In sophrology we touch our own skin so that we can become more aware of it and appreciate it more. We all like being appreciated and our skin, being a living organism, also likes to be appreciated. So we all tried out the different touches on our arms and enjoyed exploring the sensations and reaction of the body.
He then talked about the psychology of the skin as our wrapping, our communication with the outside world. There are many expressions with the word skin, ‘thick skinned’, take the skin off your back’, ‘gets under my skin’. In French, ‘Je suis bien dans ma peau’ – I feel good in my skin, ‘Elle a use peau de vache’ – she is thick skinned. We finished with some sophrology exercises similar to ‘Discovering the 6 systems’ – one of the Sophro Downloads on this site.
Other workshops that I remember were:
- experiencing a very British afternoon tea using all the senses
- using classical music and writing poetry, to evoke emotional awareness
- experiencing moving through space and time through conscious walking
- creative ways of fitting mini sophro exercises into the daily routine
- sophrology for Tinnitus
This all took place in a large French Country Domaine near Lyon, with a beautiful view across the valley. We ate delicious food, sipped elegant wines, enjoyed exchanging getting to know each other and celebrated the last evening with dancing and Karaoke, where Florence and I celebrated the expansion of sophrology in english by singing a song from ABBA!