Slow your heartbeat at will.
Survive sub-zero temperatures whilst naked.
Remove doubt and stress from trading…
…using these ancient powers from India
Three evenings a week – Monday, Wednesday and Thursday – I pull on my lycra pants (don’t worry, nothing too tight) and head down to the village hall to do a yoga class.
I’ve been doing it for years. It changed my life and I simply couldn’t do without yoga.
I practice at home too and if a day goes by without me pulling a few stretchy shapes I start to feel like something’s missing.
But did you know the physical side of yoga is only one part of the overall package?
Do the fancy twists and bends and sure, you’ll end up flexible and toned, but that’s just a nice side effect.
The real magic happens on and in your mind.
The asana (that’s what the stretches poses and postures are called) train your mind to focus on a single point. While you teeter around on one foot and bend your body into unnatural shapes while sweat drips off your nose, it’s pretty hard to think about anything but the job at hand, trust me!
Combine that with pranayama (that’s what the special yoga breathing techniques are called) and your everyday worries soon dissolve into the ether. Concerns over whether you forgot to feed the cat this morning become a dim and distant memory. And replaying those pesky losing trades over and over in your mind becomes impossible.
It’s like taking a mini mental holiday for an hour every time you roll out your yoga mat.
The story is that the physical side of yoga developed eons ago as a way to keep randy teenage boy’s minds away from ‘improper’ thoughts. And the more you practice, the more the positive effects start to spill over into everyday life.
So if they have the power to curb certain adolescent enthusiasms, imagine what such techniques can do for your mental discipline when it comes to trading!
Now, I tell you all this for two reasons…
1) I really do think traders have a massive amount to gain from yogic techniques. You don’t have to do anything physical if you don’t want to. Some of the simple breathing drills alone can help lower stress levels in an instant. And they can certainly help keep you cool, calm and collected in the heat of a hectic trading session. I’ll give you an exercise to try in a minute.
2) I’m planning to do a ‘yogathon’ this summer and need your help. It’s a charity fundraiser on behalf of a little boy (5 years old) who has leukaemia. I’ll be doing 108 repetitions of a flowing sequence of postures. Last time I did it I pushed a bend too far and overstretched my hamstrings. I couldn’t walk downstairs to get out of the hall to the car park. No pain or anything, just couldn’t work my legs properly. So there may be some ice baths involved too!
So anyway, in the spirit of the occasion I thought I’d create something special for you.
Since we’ve been talking about positive mental effects I’d like to address your number one problem or concern when it comes to trading mindset.
I’ll write it all up in a special report that you can download for free. And if you find it useful you can maybe chip-in a small donation for charity.
So if that sounds good I just need you to tell me exactly what it is I can help you with.
Send me an email – email@example.com – and tell me: What is your top problem, struggle or concern is when it comes to the mindset side of trading?
Let me know and I’ll cover it for you.
Please do send me your suggestions. It’ll make it all the more worthwhile if you can directly benefit from my work.
And in the meantime here’s that breathing exercise for you to try…
If you ever feel yourself flapping because you can’t bring yourself to pull the trigger on a trade, or because a trade is going against you, this is what you should do immediately. It’s called Alternate Nostril Breathing.
This is real ‘mind-over-matter’ stuff. I don’t think you need to worry about levitating out of your chair or anything, but there have been scientific experiments where monks consciously slowed their heart rate down to almost nothing using methods like this. They even controlled their body temperature to survive subzero temperatures – whilst sitting naked – for hours at a time.
If they can use breathing techniques to command their mental processes and metabolism to that extent, getting you and me back in the right frame of mind for trading should be a walk in the park!
Alternate Nostril Breathing – here’s how to do it:
1. As soon as you start to feel a loss of discipline approaching turn your chair around to face away from the screen or get up and walk outside.
2. Close your eyes and tilt your head down a bit so you lengthen your neck at the back and rest your thumb and forefinger either side of your nose.
3. Gently press your left nostril closed with your finger, focus your mind on counting as you breathe out through your right nostril to a count of four.
4. Deep inhale through the right nostril to a count of four.
5. Close the right nostril and deep exhale through the left to a count of four.
6. Deep inhale through the left to a count of four.
7. Close the left nostril and deep exhale through the right to a count of four. This completes one full cycle.
8. Continue for ten cycles or more as you get comfortable with it. You can also try and extend your exhale to be longer than your inhale for an increased effect.
The theory is, by doing this you’re balancing out the right and left sides of your brain and tuning into a special frequency of relaxed brainwave activity. You might be a little bit spaced-out when you first open your eyes but it feels good!
And trading aside, you can also use this to de-frazzle yourself in any situation.
It’ll leave you in a mentally alert but chilled-out state. Give it a try now and get familiar with the process. Don’t wait until the day you actually need it!
Be Prepared: Market Moving Data Coming This Week (London Time)
Wednesday 20th April
09:30 GBP Average Earnings Index
09:30 GBP Claimant Count Change
15:00 USD Existing Home Sales
15:30 USD Crude Oil Inventories
Thursday 21st April
09:30 GBP Retail Sales
12:45 EUR Interest Rate Decision
13:30 USD Philly Fed
13:30 EUR ECB Press conference
13:45 EUR Deposit Facility Rate
Friday 22nd April
08:30 EUR German Manufacturing PMI
13:30 CAD Core CPI
13:30 CAD Retail Sales
Monday 25th April
09:00 EUR German IFO Business Climate
15:00 USD New Home Sales
Tuesday 26th April
13:30 USD Core Durable Goods
15:00 USD CB Consumer Confidence
So keep an eye on that stuff coming out of the European Central Bank on Thursday. It could rattle the markets a bit! And I’ll catch up with you again soon.
P.S. What is your top problem, struggle or concern is when it comes to the mindset side of trading? Send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll cover it for you.