In an increasingly anxious world, more financial advisors are fine-tuning their bodies with yoga to clear their thinking and make the right financial choices.
So the next time you walk into a financial planner's office, do not be surprised if you find your money guru on a yoga mat, in a downward-dog pose.
Financial planner Cary Carbonaro is one of them.
"Yoga centers you and forces you to slow down, like a total reset of your buttons," said the New York- and Florida-based author of "The Money Queen's Guide," and a yoga practitioner. "So even if my clients are freaking out, they have to go through me first, and I won't let them make bad financial decisions."
Carbonaro is part of a growing movement in the United States of yoga practitioners, now numbering some 36.7 million Americans, according to a new study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, up from 20.4 million four years ago.
Planner Leon LaBrecque of Troy, Michigan, took up yoga around 15 years ago as part of his martial-arts training, but quickly found that it had advantages in the workplace. LaBrecque practices his yoga breathing when the market gets agitated, and says it helps him make better decisions.
"It gives me grounding in my day-to-day practice, helps me focus on the big picture, and takes away all the little details," he said.
A Moment Of Mindfulness
Talk of body poses and proper breathing might seem, well, a bit touchy-feely when financial planning is such a serious and quantitative field. But it makes sense to Hedy Kober, an assistant psychology professor at Yale University, who runs its Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory.
"From many studies we know that mindfulness improves our attention to detail and ability to concentrate," she said. "Research also shows that if you delay your decision-making by even just a few seconds, those decisions tend to be much more accurate. So mindfulness gives you the ability to pause and think things through more fully."