Bad Days

Everyone has had a bad day. Some of us have more of them then we would like. Running late. Stuck in traffic. Dropped our smart phone. Slow wifi. So many things can cause a bad day. But hold on! There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Master yogis know what’s up! So how can we turn around this day? 1. Are you heading in the right direction? 2. Meditation 3. Mantras 4. YOGA

-Do you constantly scrutinize your focus? Master yogis tune in to their inner compass and decide whether their words, thoughts and habits are nudging them in the right direction. Maybe your spouse made you angry, which spurred a much-needed honest conversation. But let’s say your flight got canceled: Will you complain and continue to negatively charge your headspace in a situation you can’t control? Or will you pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read and settle in a hotel for a quiet night? When your reactions aren’t productive, it’s empowering to drop them.

-Your boss embarrasses you in front of your colleagues. Someone elbows you on the subway. Practicing discipline and nonattachment isn’t confined to eucalyptus-misted studios with bamboo floors (though it’s pretty sweet when it works out that way). Master yogis will stealthily deploy a meditation anywhere—even in a beige conference room or noisy train.

Next time your mind rattles, try this mini-visualization meditation incorporating breath: Close your eyes or bring your gaze to the ground in front of you and take a few centering breaths. On your inhalation, imagine drawing in a quality that illuminates your true Self; on the exhalation, imagine you are slowly releasing something that stands in the way of that intention. Keep going for 4 to 8 rounds—or longer if you have time. Return to your breath, slowly bring your awareness to your body, open your eyes and BAMMER. Clear head in a matter of minutes.

-Mantras create a vibration that soothes body and mind, hushing unproductive thoughts that get in the way. Choose a go-to meaningful phrase (like All Will Be Well or Hari Om, referring to a spirit that removes the obstacles to awakening) as a reminder that chasing negative reactions down the rabbit hole is futile.

Close your eyes and turn your attention inward for a few breaths. Begin saying your mantra slowly, focusing on the sound it creates. After a few tries, time the words to your breath. For example, say half on an inhalation and the rest on an exhalation, or say the complete phrase as you inhale and exhale. When your mind wanders, bring attention back to the mantra.

-Master yogis train themselves to stay in challenging, uncomfortable poses because it translates to a coping mechanism when life dishes out challenging, uncomfortable situations. Dare yourself to hold a challenging pose like Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose) or Plank for 8 to 10 breaths. As your thighs or core start to burn, sustain a steady breath and stick with the sensation of fire, stretch and shakiness. Guide your breath to areas that can use the love and exhale what’s no longer needed once the pose is completed.

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