Although we may not have found the fountain of youth yet, the number of celebrities caught toting a yoga mat suggests that this is one beauty regimen with real staying power. But if you've spent any time honing your "asanas," you probably already know that yoga is about more than better posture and toned abs. In fact, the philosophy behind yoga is not about exercising at all, but about living life in a balanced way. As a result, yoga philosophy also provides a very balanced way to look at your finances.
With this in mind, check out these yoga-inspired financial lessons that you can use to take your financial problems to the mat!
Awareness is one attribute people in financial trouble - or those headed toward it - often lack. (If you've ever put off opening your credit card bill, you may fall into this camp!) But, just as you'll often hear your yoga teacher reminding you to tune in, to listen to your body, and to breath, awareness goes beyond the physical; it's about being aware of yourself, and digging into why you do what you do. The problem with financial decisions is that they are often tied up with emotion. This is what propels some people to rush out and shop at the end of a hard week, while others show too much restraint, denying themselves any and all non-essential pleasures.
If you find yourself standing at the cash register ready to charge something you really can't afford, take a little time to think about what you are doing and why. You might just walk out with those designer jeans anyway, but if you can understand some of the reasons why you made the splurge, at least you've made progress.
Karma goes by the age-old saying, "what goes around, comes around." This means that your current actions are also your future consequences. Money and karma, therefore, clearly go hand in hand. What you do today is really planting the seeds for your future experiences. Depending on what you choose, those choices could either blossom into financial freedom someday - or leave you overcome by an overgrowth of debt.
But fear not: your karma is not your fate; it's a choice. So be flexible, be open, and stay poised to react with confidence to whatever financial curve-balls life throws your way.
Balance is a tricky thing - both in a physical and mental sense - because it is so easily thrown off. Fortunately, balance is something you can learn through practice. So, while saving and investing is important, it's safe to say that most people don't work their way up the career ladder for personal satisfaction alone - they want money, and all the luxuries it can buy. That's okay. The key is to balance the luxuries that you want now with the bigger goals you've set for your financial future.
Much like balance, flexibility is a skill that extends beyond being able to do the splits. It also means going with the flow, taking things as they come and trying not to become too attached to judgment and expectation. Sound familiar? Just like your yoga teacher might tell you to let physical progress happen in yoga, rather than fixating on it, you can also practice good financial habits over time without becoming attached to the end result. The reason for this is that many things in life are out of your control; a job loss, a pregnancy or a divorce, for example, can all disrupt your financial plans. You can either bend with those changes and continue to patiently and persistently maintain your best efforts toward your finances, or you can allow those challenges to become the excuses that derail those efforts altogether.
Refocus your yogic energies
As many long-time yogis know, yoga is more than a physical practice. So, next time you unroll your yoga mat, allow yourself to forget about your body for a moment and focus your yogic energies on your bank account. Namaste!