I started practicing yoga more than ten years ago and I can honestly say that it has changed my life for the better. It helped me deal with grief, launch my financial planning business, focus on what matters most, and has simply given me more energy in my every-day life.
Today yoga is becoming more and more popular around the world. From Silicon Valley offices to tiny villages in Africa, people everywhere are learning about the benefits of blending mindfulness and physical activity.
How can I possibly find connection between yoga and financial planning? I believe the comparisons are endless and hopefully I can help you apply some of these to your own life.
1. Yoga Helps You Establish a Healthy Routine. Getting yourself out on your yoga mat on a regular basis can be hard, no matter how long you have been at it. There are days when it takes me 20 minutes before I can stifle those voices in my head that are saying, “why am I here?”, “this is too hard,” or “I have too much work to do.” Financial planning is similar. Most of us procrastinate when it comes to making decisions about our finances. But once you take that first step, you will find that taking action to meet your long-term goals frees up your mind to make other important financial decisions.
2. Yoga Helps You Go With The Flow and Focus. While I may struggle to focus my mind at the beginning of a yoga class, eventually I surrender. All it takes is to be present and breathe. By the time I get to the final resting pose at the end of class, my mind is more open again and I let go of all the unnecessary chatter that does not serve me any purpose. The same thing happens when I meet new clients and we finalize that initial financial plan. The plan allows clients to prioritize their financial goals and provides a sense of direction. Clients’ minds are freed of constant worry and they have a renewed sense of purpose and direction.
3. Yoga Helps You Accept The Unexpected. During yoga practice, things often do not go as we planned or our bodies might not cooperate in the same way during every class. Perhaps the teacher has a different style. Once I learned to embrace not knowing what is coming next, I was able to be fully present and trusting the steps. The same holds true in our financial and personal lives. The one constant is change. Having a plan that addresses all the potential outcomes enables you to shift gears when necessary and stay on track. When your stock options are suddenly worth less than you expected or when you find yourself out of work, your financial plan will help you stay the course and adapt to your new situation.
My favorite yoga teacher once said, “yoga exemplifies the pleasure of direction without distraction.” As you think about your financial plan, be mindful of the benefits of mental clarity. Just as yoga teaches people to tune out “noise” and adapt to changing circumstances, a well-designed financial plan can deliver similar benefits.