What do many athletes and stressed-out school-kids across Europe have in common? They're all proponents of sophrology—the mind-body practice that is essentially a smorgasbord of mindfulness meditation, breath work, visualization, and body awareness techniques.
A couple of years back, after an unexpected and gut-wrenching break-up, I was all over the place – so I threw myself into my yoga practice in the hope of regaining some equilibrium. One day I saw a flyer on the noticeboard at the yoga studio. “Reduce stress and manage emotions,” it said. “Detach and refocus. Instil calm.” Oh yes please, I thought. But what was it? Mindfulness? Meditation? Buddhist chanting? No. Sophrology.