I had a huge epiphany a few weeks ago while on vacation. I’ve been stewing on writing this newsletter ever since. I know you may be thinking, “Why is my yoga teacher sending me this and what does this have to do with yoga?” Well, a whole heck of a lot, if you ask me.
Allow me to explain. As synchronicity would have it, I’ve been working on my own relationship to money and self-worth, when one of my favorite podcasts, Soulful MBA started a series on women and money. In the first episode in the series, each of the two hosts (Sandy and Jeni) share their personal stories and messaging around money growing up. Sandy described how her mother was a single parent who couldn’t get a car loan when Sandy was a child because she didn’t have the signature of a husband. Smack! That’s when the epiphany hit me.
Think about it. Not that long ago, a woman couldn’t even buy a car on her own without the power of a man. And here we are today, sitting on the edge of a historical frontier where women are finally starting to have their own money and power. Yes, we are still making less than men, and we still have a long way to go, but the shift is occurring. Women today are entering the political arena in large numbers and are aiming for the highest office of the country. This is really a new phenomenon in the history of humankind. For thousands of years men have controlled almost all of the resources.
How does this information relate to yoga? First of all, most of you reading this are women, not all but most. Krishnamacharya (the yogi most credited for spreading yoga to the west) predicted that women would spread yoga throughout the world and that’s exactly what’s happening.
Secondly, and more importantly yoga is about empowerment. Yes, it is. And money is power in today’s world. When we are financially strong, we have choice and power. So, it is a part of our personal growth and evolution in our lives to address our relationship to money.
One thing that I learned in my years of tantric yoga study is that nothing is separate. It isn’t the case that our spiritual practice is over in one corner and money, relationships, and everything else is over in another. No! It is all tied together and the measure of an effective yoga practice is that it touches and positively influences all aspects of our lives.
In yoga we seek to uncover the unconscious habits, beliefs and patterns that keep us from truth and that hold us back from realizing our full potential. This applies to every aspect of our lives. It doesn’t just apply to the poses and stay separate from everything else. Actually, its most important in our day to day living where it really counts. Many of us have a lot of programming and unconscious blocks around money and our personal power. Especially women because culturally we have been held back from access for so long. We also haven’t had many role models.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in relationship to money, <<First Name>>: What were the messages about money in your family growing up? What was your mom’s relationship to money and earning power? Are you paid what you are truly worth? Do you negotiate and ask for more money in career related interactions? Do you have the ability to support yourself financially?
As a yogini woman who wants to support and empower other women, I encourage you no matter where you are in life to start examining your relationship to money. Start asking the hard questions and observe your relationship and thoughts around finances. Apply the very same curiosity and presence of mind to money that you would to your asana practice! Start to strip away the fears in the same way you work towards a scary or challenging pose.
Here is the podcast that inspired this newsletter, I highly suggest you give it a listen.
Another one also hosted by the Soulful MBA drives home the idea that we need to charge what we are worth and be mindful of where we spend our dollars. This one hit me hard. When we buy, we support practices that may or may not be harming people or the environment. We can actively choose to support women-owned businesses and also businesses owned by people of color who have been under-supported for many years. Our money is power so lets be conscious where we put it.
Here’s to us all growing and becoming empowered financially and in every area of our lives.
All Love & Yoga,