4 Lessons Practicing Yoga Has Reminded Me About Personal Finance

by RJ

in Psychology

At 18, I began to have terrible back pains. When I went to visit an orthopedic doctor, he told me I was the least flexible person he has ever seen. I guess he wasn’t impressed that I had to bend my knees to touch my knees.

Since I didn’t want to pay for a physical therapist to increase my flexibility, I ended up taking up Yoga. Lucky for me, the first day I started practicing yoga, was the last day my back ever hurt.

Yoga has been a real learning experience for me. Not only do I get to attend class with 99% moms, there is also a lot I have learned about life and money through practicing yoga.

Lesson # 1 – Find a Great Mentor

I started practicing yoga off of a set of Flashcards I got waiting in line at a Border’s Book Store. I would hold each pose in the set for a minute and move onto the next. I really had no idea what I was doing.

It wasn’t until I started attending actual classes and speaking to instructors whom I see as mentors, that I began to get more of a benefit out of yoga.

In personal finance, it’s also important to find a mentor. Someone who you can bounce a few of the harder questions of life off of. Someone who doesn’t mind letting you know you’re headed in the wrong direction, based off their past experience.

Lesson # 2 – There Is No Competition

In both yoga and personal finance, you’re only competing with yourself. You’re not trying to compete with the Jones’s or that girl who can put her foot over her head. If you choose to compete, you’re going to end up hurt or broke.

Lesson # 3 – There Are Going to be Good and Bad Days

There are many times, when I get to yoga class and I don’t have the flexibility or energy to do a simple pose. I bend over from the waist and I can’t even touch my knees. Than, there are days when I flow through the class, completing every pose to the best of my ability, and the 90 minutes goes by in a heartbeat.

With personal finances, there are some days like I feel I’m going to reach all my financial goals. Days in which work comes easy.

Than there are days where I feel I’m never going to reach my goals. I’m looking at the clock every 15 minutes. Days in which I think I should stop spending a few hours a day, working on growing a blog that I have made a few dollars off of.

Yoga has reminded me that there are good and bad days in life. Some times, it all clicks and life is easy. Some days I have to struggle to get two complete sentences back to back.

All you can do is accept where you’re at today. Never look back or forward, just be where you are today.

Lesson # 4 – It’s a Lifelong Journey

If you won the lottery tomorrow, it’s not like you won the money game. You still have bills to pay, money to invest, and a monthly allowance. There is no ending.

In yoga, it’s not like you defeat Bowser and all of a sudden you’re celebrating with Princess. It’s a lifelong journey. One that you don’t win, you just keep playing to the best of your ability.

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Mike PiperNo Gravatar May 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I came to yoga after personal finance. (Been doing yoga for 1.5 years, been learning/practicing personal finance for 8 or so.)

So for me it was the other way around. A couple lessons that personal finance taught me about yoga:

1. It won’t happen all at once. No matter how hard you try.
With personal finance: No matter how low you get your cost of living, it’s going to take decades to save up toward the biggest goal–retirement.
With yoga: No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be able to do the plow right away. (And in fact, if you try to touch your feet to the ground, you’re just going to hurt yourself!)

2. No matter how much you know, there’s still a lot more to learn.
.-= Mike Piper´s last blog ..Saving Money on Gas…and Everything Else: Weekend Reading =-.

RJNo Gravatar May 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

@Mike – Thanks for the comment and great advice.

You’re dead on in saying that nothing happens all at once. Often times, thats how most people fail. They take on too much at once. Actually wrote a post on this concept this morning and it’s scheduled for next Tuesday.

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