Yoga is more than exercise and becoming bendy and stretchy. Of course physical health is a valid reason to start practicing yoga but, if you are open to them, you will quickly discover other benefits of yoga. Yoga aids spiritual development when it is practiced with awareness of the breath and body. Yes, yoga has wonderful physical benefits but the mind and spirit benefit greatly too from mindful practice.
I am by no means a yoga guru, however I do like to combine my interests of tarot reading and yoga, which keeps my yoga practice from stagnating. As I stated earlier, yoga can be used as a tool for spiritual development so it plays well with other tools of the same purpose.
When the numbers of the year 2018 are added together, the sum is 11. In the tarot deck, the card traditionally associated with the number 11 is Justice. Judging from my other readings and the readings of other tarot readers, Justice will be a global theme this year. Justice is about taking responsibility for our actions and reclaiming power by not being a victim of Fate, but a Creator of our destiny.
Since Justice is the theme of 2018, I created a well-balanced yoga sequence that can be done in the mornings, during a break or anytime you need to find your inner strength. Strength, according to Justice, can mean the power to fight or the wisdom to surrender. If you have a Tarot deck, or a screenshot of a Justice tarot card on your mobile device, you may focus on this card as you flow through this sequence.
The three pose sequence starts with Warrior 2, followed by Warrior 1 and finally Humble Warrior.
Warrior 2 starts off the sequence because the pose personifies Justice. Our body weight is evenly distributed between the bent front leg and the straight back leg. One arm extends in front and the other reaches behind. In this pose, like a scale, the shoulders are strong and level. Justice, being ruled by Libra, is ruled by air. The heart chakra’s element is, uncoincidentally, air. Air is very fitting for the heart chakra because love is expansive and fills us up. Love is like a “breath of fresh air”. So when in this pose, open the rib cage and breathe into the diaphragm and finally the lungs. Use this breath to keep you in this pose.
Feel the balance of Warrior 2. Feel the balance of Justice.
The second pose, Warrior 1, is as strong as the sword in the Justice card. The sword represents truth, which cuts through any confusion and illusion. The sword is evenly balanced in its double-edged blade, much like the arms pointed straight up towards the heavens in this Warrior pose. Justice is about taking higher wisdom to balance the primal drives of the physical world. Receive this wisdom with your outstretched arms to keep your base solid, balancing on both strong legs, standing firm in your truth.
This is a difficult pose to maintain. Like Justice, it’s not about one side of the scale and it’s definitely not about depending solely on the legs. Use your arms to give you strength. Full awareness will aid you, not by making the pose easier, but by giving you the strength to endure it.
The last pose in this Justice sequence us Humble warrior. This is such a nice pose to melt into after the challenging Warrior poses. Justice is not always about fighting. Having the wisdom to know when to surrender is equally valuable in attaining Justice.
Flow into Humble Warrior effortlessly by straightening the legs of Warrior 2, bringing down the arms and clasping your hands behind your back. Now humbly bow forward, with an aim to touch your forehead with your lightly bent knee but without force. Reach your hands, still clasped behind your back, as far up and over as they can comfortably go. There is only surrender in this pose. As you stretch your back and release the tension in your shoulders, you will realize the strength that comes with vulnerability and humility. The strength that comes from being flexible, not rigid.
This pose can increase your range of motion in your back and shoulders especially. The chest is opened, allowing for love to expand. In this pose though, the chest is turned in on itself, not like the expanded chest in Warrior 2. This inverted pose reflects self-love that gives us the ability to be humble and forgive ourselves without judgment. Justice, after all, is not about judgment but maintaining balance. Avoiding extremes is important to not tip the scales.
If you find yourself always actively fighting, find balance in humbling yourself. And if you are too passive in your struggles, find the strength to stand tall in your truth. May this Justice yoga sequence give you the wisdom to know the difference.