Mindfulness meditation has become very popular nowadays. With over a thousand meditation apps available, more and more meditation studios popping up, and even access to residential meditation retreat centers — meditation, once thought of as an alternative practice, has become wildly mainstream. It should come as no surprise, then, that different types of meditation are gaining traction. One such practice is sophrology. Already popular in parts of Europe, where it has been used in schools, businesses, professional sports, and hospitals, sophrology is a form of meditation that strives to reduce physical and mental tension while increasing mental alertness as well as helping maintain your emotions through events that can bring you stress, such as competitive sports, academic endeavors, and even surgery. The technique, which can be done anywhere, combines meditation, breathing, and relaxation methods with gentle movement and visualization. To get started, you can find a certified practitioner, search for guided listening apps, or look online for videos. In the meantime, try this beginner exercise:
• Sitting, standing, or lying down, close your eyes.
• Breathe in through your nose, holding your breath as you tense all the muscles in your body.
• Breathe out through your mouth as you release your muscles and the tensions in your body.
• Repeat 3 times.