By day a mild-mannered mortgage specialist and by night Jacqueline Richards is a Hatha Yoga instructor. When her Yoga students discover her finance background they often ask for money advice. This led her to the realization that the underlying principles of Yoga, balance and flow, are the same principles that create financial health. Jacqueline says that the strength and calmness that comes with practicing Yoga helps us deal with the tougher aspects of becoming money-wise, especially during tough times. Here, she gives readers some advice on the relationship between the chakras and one’s financial health—from her book, Yoga for Your Personal Finances, which includes detailed worksheets for setting goals and other useful guidance.

1st Chakra: Muladhara (Root) located at the base of the spine.

This chakra deals with basic needs and self preservation. You will recklessly fulfill wants, rather than take care of the essentials. If you find yourself buying that expensive suit with the money you need to buy groceries and pay the electric bill, your root chakra is out of balance.

Sample goal: Build a realistic, useable budget.

2nd Chakra: Svadhisthana (Navel)

This chakra deals with sensuality and the appetite for life’s pleasures. When this chakra is in balance, your relationship with the material world is healthy. When it is out of balance, you may find yourself spending wildly to satisfy impulse appetites, only to sink into depression when the bills come due.

Sample goal: Build (or rebuild) a healthy credit record with the financial bureaus.

3rd Chakra: Manipura (Solar Plexus)

This chakra is the location of both your sense of self and your physical power. Balance in this chakra means a healthy self-esteem that enables sensible financial risks. If this chakra is out of balance, you will suffer from low self worth. Overspending in an attempt to bolster your self-esteem creates financial problems.

Sample goal: Begin a savings/investment program; a dollar a day can turn into $20,000 through the miracle of time and compound interest!

4th Chakra: Anahata (Heart)

This chakra unifies the lower (physical) and higher (spiritual) energy circuits. Balance in the Heart chakra encourages tolerance. When unbalanced, your judgmental behaviors push away your loved ones. Or, when the Anahata is too open, over-empathy with others’ anger or misery can depress you. You may lack the optimism necessary to make a comfortable home a financial priority.

Sample goal: Determine how much of a mortgage you are eligible for.

5th Chakra: Vissudha (Throat)

This chakra deals with communication. If it is unbalanced, it may result in an inability to sit down with your partner and have that hard talk about the future impact of shared debts and risky spending habits.

Sample goal: Begin comprehensive will and estate planning.

6th Chakra: Ajna (Brow or Third Eye)

This chakra controls your ability to make your hopes and dreams a reality. When it is unbalanced you have difficulty visualizing where you want your life to lead and how you will get there. Balance in this chakra infuses your spirit with a sane attitude toward money, stopping the behaviors that create financial problems for you and your family.”

Sample goal: Enroll yourself in “Insurance 101”—figure out the types of insurance you might need and who you want to protect.

7th Chakra: Sahasrara (Crown)

This chakra gives you the faith and strength to act from your ethics and values, rather than your fears. When the Sahasrara is balanced, you are in a position to become a guide and mentor. Share the lessons you have learned on the path to financial freedom. At this point, the journey has become more important than the end result. Because you are aware, happy and secure, you are in a position to be of service.

Sample goal: Consider ways to convert your bad debts into good tax deductible debt (such as the “mortgage maneuver” or finding a good readvanceable mortgage).

Listen to an online interview with Jacqueline Richards

Source: Integral Yoga Magazine, Winter 2009