Make yoga your way of life and enjoy the unconditional and uncountable benefits leading to better physical and financial health, says Harjot Singh Narula
The spirit of yoga is being celebrated globally today as International Yoga Day. Originating from the Sanskrit 'yuj', Yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy.
Yoga is a way of life and offers numerous health benefits to an individual practicing yoga through peaceful amalgamation of body, mind and soul.
But have you ever realised that apart from giving us the way to lead a healthy and peaceful life, yoga also acts as a foundation for important financial lessons too.
Let us understand how yoga teaches us three important money lessons for better today and tomorrow.
Balance is the key
Balance is the key to maintain an in our lives.
Practicing yoga involves balancing your body, mind and soul through various stretches, postures, meditation, asanas. Yoga brings balanced development in a human life which in turn affects the mind and body in a positive way.
Just as how yoga can teach us to balance ourselves to perform yoga effectively, similarly maintaining proper BALANCE is important in your money life too.
A balanced financial portfolio is important to grow and nourish your savings and investments. Diverting your money towards purely risky instruments or highly conservative tools may not fetch you the aspired returns.
A balanced mix of investments towards equities, mutual funds, insurance (health and life), provident fund and/or fixed deposits (or other safe instruments), planning your retirement through pension plans or pension schemes is important.
Now, it does not mean you need to invest in every instrument, but investing in extremes should be avoided.
It is important to maintain equilibrium in one's household budget too.
A proper balance between the income, savings and expenses is important to have worry-free life.
A balanced budget will adequately help bifurcate allowances towards various expenses. So, if say your expenses exceed your anticipated limit, a balanced approach will help you plan your money matters prudently to change your alarming spending habits.
Discipline is inevitable
Yoga is not religion; rather it is a way of life.
Practicing yoga teaches us how to be disciplined and regular in our approach to enjoy its numerous benefits.
Discipline is usually associated with social behaviour, but it is also applicable as to how you manage your money in a self controlled way, referred as financial discipline.
A disciplined approach towards contributing to the saving and investment instruments periodically will always be fruitful in the long run. Simple disciplined financial approach like paying your insurance premium on time, paying your bills as and when due, paying your credit card or EMI installments timely, etc., can save you from shelling those extra quiches of money for not being disciplined.
A disciplined investor will certainly fetch uniform and consistent returns from investments.
Having financial discipline allows you to make sure you have money for what's most important to you.
Flexibility is vital
Practicing yoga without flexible body and mind is like finding water in the desert. Yoga teaches us how to be progressive and flexible in our approach towards more complex asanas and postures for a healthy body, mind and soul.
Similarly, being flexible in your money matters is also important. More flexible you are, the better prepared you will be financially.
Financial flexibility pertains to your ability to change your spending and saving patterns as per your current financial circumstances and not on anticipated gains.
Your earnings change with time, your spending change accordingly, which in turn changes your lifestyle, your financial goals (both short term and long term).
To review your current financial condition periodically and make changes towards your ways and means of attaining your financial goals is always helpful.
Like, when you bought your first life insurance policy, you may have bought a sum assured of Rs 2 lakh as per your age and health at that point of time. But gradually, you got married and now have kids, which resulted into more dependants, more expenses, and changes in lifestyle, etc.
Do you think, considering that Rs 2 lakh of life insurance which you bought years ago will be enough to offer financial protection to your family?
It's a big NO; so it is important to be flexible in making your financial decisions along with reviewing them periodically.
Photograph: Tim P Whitby/Getty Images
Harjot Singh Narula is founder and CEO, ComparePolicy.com