17 September 2012

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What yoga can teach you about yourself

"In today’s rush we all think too much - seek too much - want too much - and forget about the joy of just being." - Eckhart Tolle

Debt Free Living looks at ways to live a life that is rewarding and financially efficient at the same time. For this strategy to work, we have to reward ourselves in ways that aren’t material. We have to be grateful for our lives and not just take pride in our things. We have to stay true to who we are and where we’re going and not what we want to buy.

Good morning yoga sequence - something everybody can try.
Be sure to find instructions that tell you how to do
 yoga safely or attend a few classes to start with
That’s a lot to take in, I know. But you’ll see what I mean soon enough!

One of the biggest rewards you can give yourself is time alone. Time spent with your mind in a calm place can help you come to terms with who you are and where you are. Reflecting on what you have and what you really want can make you a better person to be around. So it’s not selfish to take time alone when you have a family.

From personal experience, you cannot find this time in a busy home with your family going about their things. You don’t need a lot of time, a few minutes a few times a week are enough, but for that time your mind should truly be at ease and away from the daily hustle and bustle.

I've found that yoga helps me with this. The instructors that focus on the mind-body connection know that when your mind is free and calm you can be more in tune with your body and when your body is working hard it needs your mind to focus to be more efficient. Through concentrating on doing more difficult poses, you not only strengthen your  body, but also your mind. You even feel stronger as a person and proud of yourself when you find you can hold poses for longer or your form improves.

To start the process of tuning in to your body, we first sit still for a few minutes and imagine any thought that comes to mind to drift through on a cloud. This helps a lot. Our minds are so used to always being full of random thoughts that we’re surprized by how hard it is not to think. But when you can let the thoughts go it gets easier and easier to and feel at peace with yourself.

After the exercising part we relax again and let the tension that might still be left from the work out go. It’s really surprizing: I’ve felt my muscles’ pain evaporate by taking my mind to that spot and only focussing on relaxing it. It made me wonder how many times I’ve held tension in my body and felt uncomfortable when I could have released it by simple tuning in to my body.

Yoga class with women doing simple yoga poseIn our day-to-day lives we aren’t tuned in to our physical being or to our spiritual side. We are just thinking logically, imagining the future or the past and running around to get things done. Yoga is the opposite of all this and that’s why it’s so rewarding. For a few minutes you are really present and content with what your body is doing for you. When you start if might not feel like you’re doing much with your mind, but that’s the point. As you get more and more in tune with your body, your mind will find it easier to go into that meditative, peaceful state.

Practicing yoga can put a lot of things into perspective.

When you feel content and happy by doing something that doesn’t cost you anything, you begin to wonder why you were spending so much time and money on entertainment that only left you more nervous or tired than before you started. You might wonder why you have so many things you don’t really need when your life can be fulfilling if you just become grateful for what you have. 

Debt management like debt counselling helps you to gain control of your finances, but what will ultimately determine whether you get and stay out of debt is your mind-set and lifestyle. You have to change in order to change your ways. Even just deciding to learn new saving habits is deciding to change and putting them into action is also changing your mind-set because every time you want to go back to your old ways you have to remind yourself of your goal and so you learn a new way of thinking.

I hope the connection between our minds, our focus and our financial well-being is clearer now. Have you found a way to get in touch with yourself? I’d love to hear from you! We can all learn from each other.

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