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I have dabbled in all kinds of fitness regimens. Aerobics when I chanced upon an article on Jane Fonda; pilates when I fell in love with the exercise ball; I also bought a cross trainer when it was fashionable to have a home gym. But somehow, I could not stick to anything. Yes – the cross trainer became a towel rack! That was until I found myself in yoga. Yoga for me has brought discipline, fitness, energy and an all-around sense of well-being in every aspect of my life. So as we celebrate the International Day of Yoga on the 21st of June, let me show you how lessons learned on the yoga mat can help not just your body, mind and soul; but also your bank balance.

Something for everyone

The yoga classes I attend consist of a motley crew – from a lady in her 70s to my daughter who is 8 and all ages in between. Someone is battling knee and joint problems; another one has back issues; I got my daughter hooked because I wanted her to learn how to focus her energy and I am in it to lose weight. Our goals are different and so are the asanas we practice. But yoga offers all of us a path that can lead us to our goal.

Similarly, when it comes to personal finance when you start looking around for the perfect vehicle to increase your wealth, you will find it. Once you have identified your goal, you can find the ideal instrument to achieve it – be it a recurring deposit or a fixed deposit; debt funds or equity funds; short-term savings or long-term plans. The paths are varied, but there is something for everyone.

You don’t need anything to start except the will

Before I started a regular yoga practice, I would keep finding excuses to put it off. My reasons ranged from ‘I don’t have the right clothes for yoga’ to ‘I won’t be able to do it because I am not flexible’ and more. But once I started I realised that the best thing to wear for yoga – or anything else – is the right attitude; and flexibility is something that comes from practice – from being unable to even sit in the vajra asana, today I am able to do the Dhanush asana easily.

So when it comes to taking charge of your personal finance, just go for it – stop finding reasons for maintaining the status quo. You do not need the ‘right clothes’ – all you need is the will. Stop hiding behind reasons like – I don’t have enough savings to invest; I don’t understand the markets; I have never done it before. You don’t need a huge corpus to start investing, you can start small and grow your money. You don’t need to know everything from day one – do your research and learn as you go along. The most important step is the first one.

It’s all about abhyas

Ritu, my yoga guru, keeps reminding us that yoga is all about practice – yogabhyas. If today you cannot do the camel asana or ustrasana, keep practising and soon you will be able to. If you are able to do only two sets of suryanamaskaras, don’t give up. In time you will be able to do more suryanamaskaras than you can count. Another great thing about yoga is that even if you miss a few days due to your busy schedule or laziness, you can still get back on track.

In personal finance too, the biggest gainers are not the ones who give up – it is the ones who stick with it who win. Pick your investments and do not let setbacks throw you off. There will be gains and losses but the more discipline, patience and diligence you show, will result in greater stability and balance.

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