Revealing The Links Between Tarot and Yoga

In Life Experience, Self Improvement, Tarot Tipsby David Harvey10 Comments

A Yoga Journey With A Hint Of Tarot

I’ve found that my tarot practice has grown along with my yoga practice, which has been really interesting.   I often find myself referencing yoga when I am doing my tarot readings.  This is partly because I know that yoga is such a useful tool for healing and partly because some of the cards have strong yoga references for me.
I know the The Tarot Lady – is a long term yogi and teacher and she often talks about the parallels.  It would be interesting to hear if there are any other tarot readers out there who also practise yoga.  Just type in the comments below and let me know your thoughts.
My yoga studio in Sydney deserves a shout out as they have created a really great nurturing space and the teachers are fantastic –
When I have finished a class I find that my intuition sings and my ideas just start to flow.  To me  yoga is very medicinal both mentally and physically.  It really is quite wonderful.
I started to think of the different cards that could reflect the flow of a yoga class.

 Death Card – Letting Go

photo-27-08-2016-18-06-48-1Whenever we start a yoga class there is quiet time to allow you to just let go of the day that has gone.  This made me think of The Death card  as every class is a chance for a little piece of you to be reborn, but it does involved a certain amount of surrender.

The Hermit – The Teacher/Yogi

photo-27-08-2016-18-06-21-1I see The Hermit as being a great teacher.  In a reading I’m always drawn to where he is shining his light and which other cards he is illuminating.  He is a great guide who can illuminate your path through life.  I very much see a parallel with the yoga teacher.  They are passing on their wisdom.  Through practicing yoga we actually start to learn things about ourselves, which makes it much easier to navigate our path to fulfillment.

The Empress – Breath

photo-27-08-2016-18-05-31-1Focusing on calming breath is a huge part of yoga.  I do remember one teacher saying the if you are not breathing with the movement then you are doing exercise and not yoga.  The breathing part of yoga makes me think of The Empress.  There is something very natural about The Empress as she is very grounded and comfortable in her own skin.  I find the breathing in yoga the most transformational part.  It’s amazing that after 5 minutes or less of deep breathing you can all of a sudden have this feeling of well being and calm.

The High Priestess – Tuning In

photo-27-08-2016-18-05-21-1The High Priestess represents intuition to me but she is also the holder of secrets and the gatekeeper to another world.  It’s really important to listen to your body whilst doing yoga.  You need to ‘tune in’ to  your subconscious and if something doesn’t feel right or if that inner voice is telling you to get into child’s pose rather than a head stand then you need to listen.  We actually have all the answers within.  Our body knows exactly what it needs but we just have to get into a space to hear the call and notice the signs.

The Sun – Sun Salutations

photo-27-08-2016-18-07-38-1I do vinyasa yoga so there is a lot of flow and many sun salutations.  This card represents sheer joy and the power of the sun.  The sun brings life to everything and when you are reaching up with your face to the sky you can almost imagine the warm, healing sun bringing happiness, life and energy.

2 of Pentacles – Balance

photo-27-08-2016-18-08-20-1I love doing balances in yoga.  For some reason I particularly like the tree pose.  I find that during the balances I am totally focused and kind of go to a different place.  I start with a focal point but then let my gaze soften and go into a dream like state.  I should probably aim to get this feeling in other parts of my practice but I am not there yet.  This card just reminded me of somebody trying to balance to our busy lives.

The Hanged Man – Inversions

photo-27-08-2016-18-06-42-1Life is so much better when you are upside down! I’ve been doing a bit of research into the benefits of inversions (headstand, handstand, shoulder stand etc).  There are huge physical benefits to letting the blood flow to your head every now and then. I even read that it’s a method of non-surgical face lift. I’m in!  There is also something very joyful about being upside down and it definitely brings a different perspective.
I’ve heard people say that if you are feeling stuck and don’t quite know what to do then you should go upside down as you will start to see things from a different view point.  The Hanged Man is upside down but you will notice that he looks happy to be there.  It’s as though he is choosing to be there and in no rush to change things.  In tarot this card can be about surrender but it can also be about turning your problem or situation on it’s head and taking a different point of view.  You can see that there are huge parallels.

3 of Cups – Collective Energy

photo-27-08-2016-18-10-21You can practise yoga on your own but I always prefer to be in a class.  There is something about the collective energy that I like.  It’s nice to know that we are all going through the same thing at that moment in time.  The 3 of Cups is all about celebrating, dancing and community, which I thought was very appropriate.

8 of Pentacles – Growth

photo-27-08-2016-18-09-04-1There is something very grounded about the 8 of Pentacles.  The card represents hard work for me but it’s all about growth and mastering the art.  I feel that if you want to get the most out of yoga you really do have to put the work in.  I wouldn’t say practice makes perfect as I believe that there is no end to yoga but practice will definitely mean you reap the rewards.  The similarities for me are about working hard to build your strength and practice then enjoying the benefits.

The Star – Healing

photo-27-08-2016-18-07-21-1I see The Star as being the card that is all about healing.  I also see my yoga class as medicine. I’ve actually lost 10kg since getting more serious about yoga.  I would say that it’s a combination of tarot, yoga and launching my business that has helped me lose the weight, but that’s a story for another day.
There is something very healing and self nurturing when it comes to yoga and this is what I feel is represented by The Star.

4 of Swords – Shavasana

photo-27-08-2016-18-12-14My absolute favourite part of yoga is Shavasana!  This is the part at the end where you lie flat on your back and just do nothing!  The feeling of relaxation at this point of a class is nothing short of amazing and it’s a very important part of the practice.
I see that the 4 of Swords represents rest, relaxation and meditation.  When I see this card in a reading it usually means that the person needs to take some time out and get into a space of receiving rather than doing.  We live in a very masculine world where we feel we have do take action all the time but it’s important that we find the balance between ‘being’ and ‘doing’ (yin and yang).

The World – The End

photo-27-08-2016-18-08-01-1The World represents the ending of a chapter and completeness.  As you can see even during one yoga class we go through quite a journey.  It’s important to recognise the natural cycles that we go through no matter how big or how small they are.

The Fool –  New beginnings

photo-27-08-2016-18-04-58-1When I leave a yoga class I always feel that it’s a chance to have a fresh start.  It’s very much the reset button for me.  You should now feel refreshed, recharged and ready to take on the world!
So there you have it.  My take on how the yoga and tarot worlds are aligned.
If you are interested in tarot and haven’t tried yoga I would encourage you to do so and vice versa.  Let me know, in the comments below, what your experiences are with tarot and yoga and if you feel there are any cards that I have missed.


  1. Hi David, I’ve just started a beginners course in ashtanga yoga and hadn’t thought of a link to the tarot. I agree with your take on all of the cards that you’ve highlighted. The wheel of fortune comes to mind as I do sometimes feel that I’ve gone up in to an inversion on one side and come down on the other side so making a circle. What goes up must come down and I’glad that it’s me I this case.
    Thanks so much for all of your posts, I love reading them and learning from them.

    Niall x

    1. Author

      You are so right Niall. The wheel of fortune is a great choice. It also reminds us the everything is cyclical/seasonal.

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad that you are enjoying the posts as much as I am enjoying writing them.

  2. Hi, Great post, I was curious to find out why so many Yogis do tarot. I feel like Tarot and yoga both strengthen your connection with the spiritual. I haven’t drawn parallels between yoga and the individual cards before so this post has been very insightful. thank you and namaste

    1. Author

      You are very welcome Maggie. Yes I also feel that both strengthen spirituality and even a connection with the earth. Glad that you found it useful. X

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  4. I have found that my tarot readings make more sense after I’ve done yoga. I now always do yoga before I do a reading. The readings are more intuitive and I have gotten great feedback from them.

    1. Author

      I totally agree. Definitely helps you get in the right head space or heart space! I find my mind is a lot clearer after yoga

  5. Totally agree. I feel that my work in yoga has been part of what has prompted my interest in tarot.

  6. Hi David,

    I like to think of the warrior series as The Strength card, as warriors manifest a gentle balance of strength, grace and poise.
    I also see backbends, like bow and wheel, as expressions of the Chariot and Wheel of fortune: it is important to remain flexible to continue to go with the flow of life.
    I associate Natarajasana/Dancer’s pose with the Tower. It has the power to destroy everything with radical change and build everything up from a clean slate.
    I very much like the Judgment card, a call to heed to our higher calling, as welcoming us onto our mats, to dive in.

    1. Author

      I love this! Thanks for your input. I totally get what you are saying from every one of these similarities. Great stuff.

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