It may sound far-reaching but yoga improves your finances. I’ve done yoga for over a decade but only recently learned more about the history and philosophy of the practice. As I went for my yoga teacher certification, I couldn’t help but connect yoga to sound financial principles.
Yoga is a practice rooted in a philosophy of living. Honestly, I thought yoga was simply about flexibility and unique poses. It couldn’t have been further from the truth. The yoga poses are meant to get us into our bodies through movement and prepare us for deeper meditation. It sounds exactly like the methods I wrote about to cope with financial stress.
Some yogis might argue that my desire to connect yoga to money is sacrilegious. But then again yoga isn’t a religion, but a practice meant to improve our wellbeing. If it can improve our mental and physical wellness, then it might help us positively impact our financial health.
With yoga, the goal isn’t attachment but to accept the impermanence of our situation. One thing I’ve learned is how impermanent our financial situations can be. One day we are saving money and the next day find ourselves not having enough. Accepting the fluidity of our situations, we can better prepare ourselves for the inevitable. For example, having an emergency fund strategy to cover periods of unemployment or underemployment.
Here are five ways yoga can help your finances. And maybe a good reason for you to start a yoga practice to improve your well-being.
Improves focus and control
In yoga, with every inhale there’s an exhale. Yoga teaches us to focus our breath on the movements that help us better control our bodies. With money, there’s an in-flow and an outflow of cash. By focusing our attention on income and expenses, we can have greater control over our finances.
Money is energy
In yoga, we’re taught about the bandhas which are energy locks in our body. Certain poses help us control the flow of energy with physical and mental benefits. In our society, money flows in and out of our lives. Those who have better control can often achieve financial goals sooner. How can you gain control over money? A budget can be a tool to lock-in money for your goals. It helps direct your spending so you’re funneling your “energy” into areas that improve your life.
In my book, You Only Live Once, I shared the importance of mindset and financial awareness in living a wealthier and purposeful life. Yoga is a practice that helps you become more mindful of your body and breath. That mindfulness leads to an increased awareness of how you’re feeling. How you’re feeling impacts your financial behaviors and decisions. If money was simply about the numbers, then spreadsheets and steps would be the only thing needed to achieve goals.
With yoga, there is a logical reason for the pose sequences. It starts with warm-ups that lead to deeper poses. I’ve found if I jumped into certain poses I increase the risk of injury. With money, there’s actually a set of financial steps that are tried and true. For example, you want to pay yourself first each payday and use tax-advantaged retirement plans before taxable brokerage accounts.
Yoga benefits include increased physical flexibility. It may be challenging to start yoga but in time you’ll improve. The more yoga you do the more flexible you become. With money, the more money you keep the more you’ll have to invest. Making money with money increases your flexibility and can contribute to financial independence. It may be difficult to cut spending and challenging to lower expenses but doing so can lead to greater financial flexibility.
Yoga is certainly a mental and physical practice but it can positively improve your finances too. Do you practice yoga? What benefits have you experienced financial or otherwise?