Whether or not yoga is your thing, you’re probably familiar with it. The practice of yoga has become popular enough that most people know how yoga is done and how to do the basic poses.
What you may not know is that you can learn a lot about life in general while holding a pose like downward dog or happy baby. When you practice, you study not only the yogic postures, but also things like balance, flexibility, and mindfulness. And you can apply all of these concepts outside of the studio, too.
Here’s how I’ve come to apply things I’ve learned from yoga to my personal financial life. I hope these ideas help you think about your money a little differently, maybe with a little more Zen! (See also: 4 Zen Concepts That’ll Improve Your Finances)
1. Balance Is Central
My favorite yoga teacher will tell us to center ourselves not just over the left foot, but over the toes, or the heel. Slowly, I’ve come to realize that how I balance myself changes the posture subtly, often bringing in more of a stretch or making it more challenging.
Just as how you balance is key in the yoga studio, it’s helpful when you’re thinking about money, too. Most of us want more money, but what if we were to focus somewhere else? For instance, is there enough to pay the bills? Are we spending more thoughtfully than we did last year? And what would making more money actually add to our lives?
These questions, and more, can help us think in a more balanced way about our money. This, in turn, will free us to change spending or saving habits that might be harming us.
2. Proper Preparation Is Key
A good yoga teacher will prepare you for what is coming, both in the current class and in the future. There’s a reason that harder poses often come near the end of a yoga class — it’s because you wouldn’t be ready for them before that. You have to open your hips, your hamstrings, your shoulders, and whatever else is needed for that final, challenging pose of the flow. If you don’t prepare, you’ll hurt yourself and hamper your ability to progress in the long term.
Money works the same way. What are your long-term financial goals? And your short-term goals? These aren’t just going to happen. They require planning and preparation ahead of time. Just like in yoga, you need to do specific things now so you can reach your goals later. Want to travel around the world? Start saving. Need a specific kind of of mortgage, come spring? Look at starting the application now. Proper planning will help ensure your long-term financial health, just like a proper flow will help ensure that you stay healthy enough to continue practicing yoga. Continue reading >>