A ‘parallel’ way of healing: Instructor pairs yoga with tarot card readings

  • Myk Freedman does a tarot card reading for Greenfield resident Lindsey Stormo at the Community Yoga and Wellness Center at 16 Federal St. in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The Community Yoga and Wellness Center at 16 Federal St. in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Myk Freedman does a tarot card reading for Greenfield resident Lindsey Stormo at the Community Yoga and Wellness Center at 16 Federal St. in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Myk Freedman does a tarot card reading at the Community Yoga and Wellness Center in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 8/3/2022 4:44:06 PM

To some, yoga and tarot cards might seem like an odd pairing. To Myk Freedman, though, “there’s a real parallel.”

Having taught yoga classes at the Community Yoga and Wellness Center at 16 Federal St. since last fall, Freedman has found the studio to be “a perfect fit” for tarot, a centuries-old divination practice. The “quiet space” with wood floors and “lots of windows,” he said, creates “a place where you can turn in.”

“I see that both yoga and tarot are systems and practices to help with self-exploration and learning about ourselves,” he said.

Freedman said he discovered the power of tarot reading through his grandmother, a European Jew, who had learned tarot as a teenager while wrongfully imprisoned in Romania. There, she practiced diligently until her eventual escape. Generations later, Freedman has turned to tarot as “a psychological tool” that provides some of the same healing elements that got his grandmother through dark times. Through tarot and yoga alike, he said, he has found the space to breathe and de-stress both physically and mentally.

“In life,” he said, “we don’t always make that space in our lives and that’s what people who come to yoga know right away.”

Prior to last week, Freedman said he had only performed tarot for those close to him — just the way he liked it. He was persuaded to expand his audience following an occasion where he agreed to do readings at a friend’s wedding. As he did readings for a group of mostly strangers, he was “really heartened by how serious people took it and really brought their hearts.” This, he said, sparked a realization that he needed to take his readings farther.

“I see that there’s a real need out there these days for us to connect, to talk, to have a safe space and to bring things to the surface,” he said.

Freedman said his first week of readings at the Community Yoga and Wellness Center was “really inspiring.” Having moved from New York, Freedman said he’s observed that residents from smaller communities “might resonate more with connecting to their space” than those from large urban areas.

“In general,” he said, “I find that people in Greenfield are really down to slow down in a lot of ways and to make space for quiet, introspection and healing.”

Currently, Freedman holds hour-long readings for $40 by appointment only on Wednesdays from 8 to 10 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Going forward, Freedman hopes he and the center are able to make tarot readings more accessible “so that people know it’s a place where they can come.” In return, he hopes people are willing to open their minds and set aside preconceptions of tarot reading as something “silly.”

“It’s not that at all,” he said. “It’s really a system to help us unpack ourselves and explore.”

More information and a link to register for an appointment can be found at bit.ly/3OQtcpC.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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