3 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Financing

If you’re anything like me, you’re a financial planner. Which means that you’ve witnessed a lot of people try to manage their budgets as a separate part of themselves. They want to know the tactical approach to planning out their future budget and ignore the connection they need to have with their money. Most people use their money to create a life they love — one that allows them to fulfill a higher capacity and live a luxurious life.

So what does yoga have in common with financial planning?

Aside from helping individuals minimize their chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and the most common cancer in women in the U.S., breast cancer; Yoga has become a popular activity to help individuals relax, relieve stress, and get in contact with their inner-selves, allowing them to focus on their well-being. On the other hand, when we think of financial planning, relaxing is by far the last thing that comes to mind for most of us.

Believe it or not, you can learn a lot about life in general while holding a pose like vrksasana or uttanasana. When you practice yoga, you not only learn yoga poses, but you also find inner peace by focusing your attention on things like balance, flexibility, and mindfulness; all of these ideas can be applied to concepts outside of the studio, too.

Here’s how you can apply tips you’ve learned from yoga to your personal financial life. I hope these tips help you think about your money differently.

Balance is Control

Awareness: Most of our financial habits are deeply embedded in the unconscious mind. In other words, when we act without awareness, it’s similar to sleepwalking. You aren’t sure where you’re going or what you’re doing in the heat of the moment — you’re simply reacting based on your emotions. When we act on awareness, however, we’re in control of our actions. This can help us monitor our spending habits and avoid the figurative debt-monster that’s ready to swallow up all your savings first chance it gets.

That being said, changing our spending habits requires that, first and foremost, we cultivate a much deeper awareness of our routines. So whether we’re deciding what clothes to wear tomorrow or designing a classic and memorable logo for a local company, yoga helps us maintain and energize our thought processes. In return, the less you spend, the less you owe; and the less you owe, the better your credit score will be.

A helpful tip: By way of example, throughout the day, practice shifting into a witnessing mode of awareness. To clarify, turn your attention to the silent witness within, your soul, and take the time to analyze the intelligence in all living things. You’ll be surprised to see how much money you might spend unconsciously.

Reflection: It’s the little things that make the biggest difference when it comes to reflecting on our lives. When we use the yoga practice of svadhyaya (the study of the self) effectively, for example, our actions become much more than a way to achieve external goals. Much like self-awareness, our behavior becomes a mirror in which we can learn to see ourselves more deeply. The process only works, however, if we’re willing to look at our strategies we habitually use to maintain and protect our own self-images.

The point of reflection is organization, and even organization needs time to reflect. To put it another way, reflecting can help us better prepare for the future. It can be anything. For instance, reflecting can be taking the time to review what went well and what didn’t go so well in a major project or process. By doing this, we shed light on our habits both good and bad, and bring them out into the open.

This isn’t an easy task. Normally, we’re too busy and too overwhelmed to take the time to reflect on what some people might consider a “surface problem.”

But when it comes to financing, taking the time to reflect offers a sense of rejuvenation and allows us to focus on our priorities emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. This means that for those of us who are considering making a big purchase, will have the opportunity to sit down and analyze their budget. Simple, right? Most of us would agree that everyone should look at their accounts before taking on payments they can’t afford. The problem is, however, most of us don’t. That’s why the average American is broke and still buying things they can’t afford.

Flexibility is Vital: When we think of yoga, a few words probably come to mind: flexibility, stretching and breathing. Almost everyone who practices yoga sees an increase in their flexibility; and people like me, who just don’t think they’re that flexible, also begin to see a difference as well.

Similarly, the more flexible we can be with our money, the better prepared we’ll be. Financial flexibility all comes down to the way we monitor our money and spend our earnings based on our current circumstances.

Worst case scenario: If for some reason, you empty your emergency fund due to a minor vehicle maintenance issue, can you afford to go a few months until your funds are replenished? If you realize that you need more money than you anticipated for a payment, can you find the money to make up the difference?

Generally speaking, financial flexibility pertains to small things, like dining out and how much coffee you buy throughout the week; but our budget also pertains to much bigger things, like when you decide to buy a car, how you manage your investments, and how often you spend. Let’s be honest: we all want our money to be as strong as possible. When we are open to the world around us, yoga not only improves our physical health, but our financial health as well.

Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything? What are some other ways yoga can apply to our financial well-being? Feel free to leave comments below.


Herman Davis
Herman Davis
Herman Davis loves taking advantage of the sunny weather outside. If you can’t catch him online, you might be able to catch him out playing football with friends or cheering on the Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter below.

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