1. Abundance is a state of mind. I have plenty of food, shelter, warmth, and love in my life. Yoga has taught me I have the choice to savor them all and feel blessed or spend my days pining away for the lifestyle the Joneses put on their credit cards. I think I’d rather be happy and content.
2. Things are less fulfilling than experiences. I love when a yoga teacher asks me to be still for a few minutes after a pose and just observe how my body and mind feels. For me, contentment is that moment of rest after a great chest opener like Camel Pose. I’ve noticed that when I step back to observe how I feel after any heartfelt activity in my life—a yoga class, hike, or visit with a friend—I feel better than I’ve ever felt after a shopping trip, no matter how big or grandiose the purchase. The happiness I feel after a fulfilling experience is also longer lasting and less harmful to myself (and usually the planet) than the high I get from spending money.
3. But some things are worth every cent. I think of living a healthy, yoga lifestyle as an investment in myself and my future. It’s true that I might spend more money on healthy foods, yoga classes, preventive health care, and things that motivate me to be healthy than is always necessary for my daily life. But I truly believe that these choices will save me a lot of money and heartache later on.
4. Seeking stability and flexibility is the key to balance. My body is naturally very flexible, so to avoid injury I have to work harder at building my muscle strength to create stability in my poses. I’ve learned a similar lesson in my financial life. It takes a willingness to use money on things that matter and a structure to keep everything in check.
5. Reuse. Recycle. Repeat. Ahimsa (non-harming) to me means not using more than I need, finding creative ways to give new life to things I’ve already got, and buying things secondhand when I can. This saves tons of money, has made me realize just how many things I already own, and makes me feel good about the way I’ve chosen to live my life.
What lessons has your yoga practice taught you about your financial life?