practice makes perfect: what yoga can teach you about managing your money

business yoga can teach about managing your money

“Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory” – Sri Krishna Pattabi Jois

You sit and stare at the bills wondering how on earth you managed to rack up all those expenses over the course of a few days. Why is your telephone bill so high and why are you falling behind on the mortgage payments? It just doesn’t make sense. You followed what the experts said and you sat down and made a budget at the beginning of each month. You were diligent and careful to include all foreseeable expenses and you even underestimated your income. You wrote it all down on paper and as a matter of fact, you saved it on your computer in an Excel file. With this budget, you were on your way to financial freedom. So what went wrong? You feel like you have been detoured and you are so far off course that you feel like giving up. What’s the use of budgeting if you end up right where you began… in a financial hole? 

We may have all the right intentions when it comes to managing our finances. We read all the financial literature we can get, and may even hire an expert to help us to manage our finances but somewhere along the journey, something goes wrong. 

Just like yoga, managing your finances is 99% practice and 1% theory. When Sri Krishna Pattabi Jois said these words, he was referring to the practice of yoga students who spent their time engaging in philosophical discussions about enlightenment and the meaning of life instead of focusing on what was really important – actually doing the yoga asanas that he had taught them to do. That is where the real power and the real transformation takes place, on the yoga mat during the practice of the asanas, not in theoretical discussions.  

Similarly, when it comes to managing your finances, no amount of budgeting on paper is going to help you make financial progress if you don’t actually put that budget into practice. If you budget to spend 30% of your income on food and you end up eating out 5 days out of every week and consequently spending 45% of your income on food, then your budget is destined to fail. 

How about developping the discipline to put into practice what you know in theory? That is an efficient way you will make progress with your finances. Likewise, if you budget to save at least 10% of your income monthly and you don’t, your budgeting would have been in vain. Not even the best financial advisor in the world can help you if you don’t put into practice the things that the experts recommend.

So the next time you sit down to write a budget, do yourself a favour and follow up by putting it into practice. By committing to your practice, you will truly be on your way to achieving all your financial and personal goals both on and off the mat.

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