Six Reasons Why Tarot and Yoga Go Together

Tarot and yoga can be seamlessly intertwined and become a powerful force of transformation and evolution.

1. Intuition and Answers

Tarot and yoga are both practices that quiet the mind. Tarotists center themselves so they can focus on the messages coming through the cards, while yogis focus on their breath and draw their awareness inwards. Both activities bring us into a state of higher listening, which helps us become the active observers of our present experience. Doing so allows intuition to blossom as we become adept at finding answers to life's biggest, smallest, and most interesting questions. 

2. Sublime Structure

Tarot contains an intricate internal structure, just like the delicate bones of the human skeleton. Each of us is made up of the same essential body parts, from blood to belly, yet who we are—the signature of our soul, the way we inhabit our body—is as unique as snowflakes in a storm. Individuality graces our sturdy skeletons, pliant muscles, and soft internal organs. No two people move in exactly the same way; even identical twins are different. Tarot’s structure is so well organized and simple that a multitude of spiritual systems and themes can be placed on top of it and still make perfect sense. Yoga's structure comes through its postures, which embody archetypal energies, just like tarot.

3. Archetype and Asana

Yoga asanas imitate the archetypes of animals (such as Down Dog) and objects (like Boat pose). We can hold an asana while breathing and meditating on the lessons of the pose, just as we may contemplate a tarot card. Placing a yoga pose with each major arcana card offers the tarot reader an opportunity to experience and embody the archetype in a fresh way. Readers are who are used to entering the cards via guided meditation or role-playing in a classroom or workshop will find a new way of embodying the cards through yoga postures. Combining asanas with the majors, and calling the major archetypes to mind while inside the postures, can help us embody the eternal lessons of archetype. It also merges the archetype with the chakras, breath, and motion, thereby filling them and yourself with energy from the universal life-force.

4. Sacred Space

Tarot and yoga both allow the practitioner to carve out sacred space amid the noise and distractions of day-to-day life. The practices often (but not always) involve the use of sacred objects, such as incense, candles, and a dedicated space. A tarotist clears and quiets the mind as they draw cards; a yogi settles down and focuses on the breath to quiet the mind at the beginning of their practice.

5. Flow

Both tarot and yoga reflect life as a constant state of flow. In yoga, we move from one pose to the next, while in tarot, the cards move in numerical sequence, the minors from Ace through 10 and back around. The majors run from zero (Fool) to 22 (the World) and back again.

6. Personal Evolution

Tarot and yoga are both practices, or paths, that aid the soul in its unfolding. Each pushes us forward in unexpected ways, unleashing possibilities that we can scarcely imagine.

Find out about yoga and tarot programs with Sasha Graham and Alison DeNicola at Kripalu.

This piece originally appeared on Sasha Graham's blog.

Sasha Graham is the award-winning author of more than 10 books and tarot kits, including The Dark Wood Tarot, and teaches and lectures around the world.

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