What might a Tarot Card a day and health and fitness have in common? How might we use the stories within the Tarot to inspire our fitness? How can the Major Arcana of the Tarot help with a 22 day fitness challenge?
Like any new thing we want to do, our mind and body undergo a transformation in order for the goal we have in mind to be realised. Deciding we are going to get fit once and for all is no different. We desire a change, and with change comes a series of roadblocks and gateways to pass through as we undertake the necessary action for the change to manifest.
The failure of the fitness industry.
I was a fitness instructor for 5 years amongst other things I also did professionally back in 2012. I taught yoga classes, cycling, and other resistance based classes. I also had 1 on 1 clients. If there was one thing that each person had in common as they began their fitness journey, it was the challenge to stay motivated. I began to see clearly that it is not so much physical energy we need to be fit-it is the emotional and intellectual energy to stay on course.We are wired to be inspired by stories from a young age (‘Once Upon a time…’), and when we can hook our minds into a road map and symbols around where we want to go, we are more likely to have the energy to get there.
We also need spiritual energy.
I would take this statement even further and say we also need spiritual energy to stay true to what our deepest desires and wants are to arrive at them with ease and grace. The fitness industry is rampant with ‘push push push’ and ‘motivate motivate motivate’, yet most people who take on a gym membership or take some other action to start a fitness regime stop very early in the game. Why? There are a number of reasons, but I think it has everything to do with the emotional, mental and spiritual energy they had when they signed up or began their new direction towards better health. There was nothing of substance to feed their journey towards improved fitness, and so the inspiration died out early.
The Fools Journey.
This is where the archetypes and The Fools Journey from the Tarot can come in handy. The Fool passes through a series of gateways which lead him to more enlightenment and wisdom as he navigates the ups and downs of the goal he is moving towards.
The Fool in Tarot can represent a new idea or new beginning. It is that spark or urge to create something new from seemingly nothing. You imagine how it would feel to be fitter than you are, and it feels inspiring to you.
You then move on to ‘The Magician’ where you gather all your tools and resources. You might check out the local gym and their prices, research personal trainers in your area, see what free classes are around in your community, or browse the latest fitness apps on your phone. At this stage, you are still feeling excited by the new idea and have not yet felt the discomfort of taking some physical action.
The First Gateway.
You then arrive at The High Priestess. You have undergone your first session of exercise and feeling pleased. However, the next day you are sore. The High Priestess is your first gateway and she challenges you by asking ‘is this what you really want to do?’ The challenge might show up in the form of it raining first thing in the morning when the night before you had decided you will go jogging first thing. Or, a last minute work commitment shows up and clashes with the time you had decided you were going to go to the gym. Or maybe you come down with the flu and all your good intentions get put hold for a few days.
These are the small things that can derail our focus to get fit, and we must find ways to stay the course, despite the inevitable initial setbacks (the first gateway of The High Priestess) that come up. If we can move past this initial resistance of the unconscious energy of our mind which is uncomfortable with change, we have passed the first gateway.
We then move onto the Empress. This is where you start to feel some of the physical benefits of being fit, and start to enjoy it a little more. At this stage, you exercise when you feel like it, without any firm commitment to a routine. However, in order to keep moving successfully forward, you realise you need to implement some structure. This is what the next card in the Major Arcana offers- the Emperor. The Empress allows for flow and enjoyment in your efforts to get fit, yet things keep getting in the way of your commitment to your new found fitness, and this is where the energy of The Emperor and his structured ways can help out. You need a routine that you will stick to.
A little later down the track another challenge presents itself in the form of an injury. You realise you have been trying to do this by yourself. At this point, many will give up. But The Fool knows he just needs a little more education and comes face to face with the Hierophant. He also desires to be around a group of people who are interested in living a healthy lifestyle who seek the guidance of a teacher or instructor for better results. The group consciousness can help him through. The Hierophant is a teacher and initiator for more knowledge. He is the mentor and challenges you to be in touch with your higher self in order to continue your quest with grace for better health and fitness.
The cyclical nature of life.
The story goes on where each Major Arcana card helps you to recognise a hurdle or a helpful energy that is useful to fuel your mind and motivate you from a deep place to keep you moving forward. Your ultimate goal is to reach The World card where you have fully integrated the new lifestyle, eating habits and routines needed to have the level of fitness you desire. Of course, it doesn’t stop there as cycles in life repeat themselves, and now you want more. Perhaps now you want to try a half marathon? The new idea and the new beginning of The Fool starts again, and on the story goes.
Fitness With Tarot is a fitness challenge which is delivered via audio recordings while you walk for 20 minutes for 22 days in a row. Each day is focused around one of the major arcana cards in Tarot which combines epic cinematic music, fitness instruction and inspiration from the stories of each of the cards. It is like a walking meditation that gets your heart rate up!
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