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4 Ways Master Yogis Bounce Back from a Bad Day

PRESENTED BY CORNING GORILLA GLASS: No one is immune to a bad day, but everyone can do something to turn it around. Learn how to keep your calm like a master yogi.

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Inspiration, Found: Paria Overlook


No one is immune to a bad day, but everyone can do something to turn it around. That’s what I learned standing in the middle of the Southwest’s Navajo Nation on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure organized by the Corning® Gorilla® Glass team. As the founder and CEO of FitFluential, I’d been lucky to snag an invitation. Supplied with a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, we planned a day trip to Alstrom’s Point, where we’d take photos of sapphire Lake Powell. But when we couldn’t get a federal permit in time for the trip, I was bummed.

I snapped out of it when our guide suggested that we take a UTV ride to Paria Overlook instead. This backup plan took us on a rough ride through remote canyons teeming with wildlife while the smartphone camera rolled. Our destination rewarded us with a breathtaking, rare view of the Grand Canyon from the north.

Corning scientists had to overcome many such obstacles in the development of Gorilla Glass 4. Dropping hundreds of devices to learn how and why glass breaks, they dropped test devices a combined total of 16 miles. This work resulted in dramatically improved protection against drops, such that I was confident taking my Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ with Gorilla Glass 4 on that amazing UTV ride.

A UTV won’t always be there to save the day, but when you want to crack life’s curve balls out of the park, turn to wisdom from Patanjali’s 2,000-year-old Yoga Sutra, the definitive guide to yoga. The first chapter reveals yoga’s two core principles, practice and non-attachment. Practice (abhyasa) is the relentless pursuit of a tranquil mind. Nonattachment (vairagya) is the process of letting go of fears, anxieties, desires and false façades that cloud our mind, judgement and true self. They are a trusty pair: While disciplined practice moves you in the right direction, non-attachment kicks in like a discerning nightclub doorman, slowly looking distractions like pain and pleasure up and down before turning them away. It’s this combination that allows master yogis to deal with lackluster days and find an adventure on the flip side of disappointment. Here’s how they do it.

See alsoThe Yoga Sutra: Your Guide To Living Every Moment

4 Ways Yogis Turn Bad Days Around

1. They Ask Themselves, “Do I Need This?”

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.

2. They Lean Into Their Practice

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.

3. They Have a Standby Mantra

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.

See alsoKathryn Budig’s Rise + Shine Mantra Meditation

4. They Jump Into the Fire

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.