The Power of Compounding


Ganesh Balachandran

I recently listened to this book , “The psychology of money” by Morgan Housel. I found a praiseworthy mention of this book in Om Swami’s blog. It was written during the corona virus pandemic and offers a perspective of investing during turbulent times. The book has a lot of sage advice and written with much wisdom. One of the things that struck me the most was the chapter on “The power of compounding” and how applicable the principles of  investing are to our yoga practice (which is meant broadly to include all limbs of yoga like meditation and not just asanas).

The author says that while there are over 2000 books written about how Warren Buffet attained his fortune not one bears a title close to describing the true reason- investing every day for three-quarters of a century. He says that the true path to wealth is regular investment even if it is small. This is so true of yoga as well. My meditation teacher, Gil fronsdal, would say that success in meditation comes not through long stretches of intense meditation done infrequently but by daily mundane sits, however short they may be, done over a long time. Patanjali says the same in the Yoga sutras (picture below: Courtesy: Dr. Shriram Sarvotham).

Morgan Housel, in his book, mentioned something that I found particularly interesting. He says, “Big gains in investment happen during 1% of the days that are tumultuous when everyone around you is losing their cool. On those days, if one can maintain a level headed approach to investing, great benefits arise.”. Further the next time you encounter a tumultuous situation, the fact that having kept your cool in a previous situation created positive results, only reaffirms your confidence to stay cool again. This is so true of yoga. When going through a difficult phase in our life, the ability to continue our practice not just gives positive results (as opposed to plunging into melancholy and negativity) but also re-affirms our commitment to our practice during future difficult times. This is the power of compounding in yoga.

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