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3 Yogi-Approved Practices to Build Resilience

Three Yoga Journal contributors share how they overcome life's challenges.

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Write Love Notes to the Divine

Penning letters to a greater, loving force helps me build resilience. Try it: Take a few moments to ground yourself with deep breaths and stillness. From this settled place, write a love note. Start it with Dear Source, God, Love, Natural Order… use whatever name resonates with you. Express your gratitude for miracles around you and within you—for a heart that beats on its own, for the majestic neurological system that protects and informs you, or for specific challenges you’ve overcome. List as many examples as you can in five minutes. Let this practice remind you how little your beautiful life requires your control or intervention. You’ve bounced back and grown from hardship before, and you will again, naturally. Cultivating awe and gratitude inspires peace in knowing you are supported now.

Michele Smith, E-RYT 500m, boutique studio and apothecary operator

Practice Mindful Awareness Meditation

When we think of weather, we often look up to the sky, but “to weather” means being able to make it through the ups and downs of life. I work toward personal resiliency by remembering that my mind’s ability to weather holds more power than any forecast. I practice this through mindful awareness meditation. Using my breath as an anchor, I allow thoughts and physical sensations to strike my awareness without getting lost in their content. Without grasping onto thoughts and feelings, I can better separate them from reality. This process of checking in allows me to better understand which thoughts to engage with as I navigate the rest of my day. The more we bear our individual ability to transcend all of life’s fickleness, the more we foster a collective resiliency that is our humanity.

Jenny Clise, yoga therapy candidate, Prema Yoga Institute

Repeat “I Am” Mantras

“I am attracting positivity into my life. I am free from limiting beliefs. I am loving and kind with myself. I am radiantly healthy.”

These mantras help me start each day with strength and courage—no matter what I’m facing. I usually search YouTube first thing when I get up for “Morning I AM Affirmations.” Then I choose one based on how long I have to meditate. Common phrases I repeat in these sessions are I am powerful. I am loved. I am safe. I am abundant. I am blessed. I am fearless. I am kind. I am open to receive. When I begin my day with peace and positivity, I notice I’m clearer and calmer when hardships arise.

Lindsay Tucker, executive editor, Yoga Journal

See also: 

5 Mantras of Affirmation

A 5-Minute Mantra Meditation for Overcoming Fear

A Sequence for Building Resilience in Our Political Climate