.: Number 4 :.
It’s not news to anyone that exercise is hugely beneficial to the physical body. But when it comes to magick and energetics, exercise also has a notable benefit: it allows physical and non physical energy to move. When observing the natural world, I find that energy repeats itself in fractal-like patterns. Life occurs in cycles, it moves like a turning wheel. Look at Newton’s first law of motion: “an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.” The mind is a great example of this. If you have ever meditated, you have probably experienced the sensation of sitting silently, nothing occurring inside or outside of you and then suddenly a thought appears seemingly out of nowhere. And it feels as if it did this on its own! Did I think the thought? Or did my mind think the thought of its own accord? The mind is like a force of nature and has been compared across cultures as a snake. The illusion. Maia. It’s serpentine body spiraling in infinite circles like the waves of the ocean, or our planet orbiting around the sun. The mind will continue to think of its own accord even when it accesses higher states of consciousness and awareness.
When it comes to experiencing a state of anxiety, it is useful to observe the experience outside the qualities of positive and negative. Taking in sensations without judging them can open you up to a completely different experience. Your armpits are sweaty. Your breathing picks up. Your hands tingle. Your stomach churns in knots. If you strip “anxiety” of any sort of connotation, you begin to realize that what you’re experiencing purely and simply is arousal. Your body is experiencing one form of energetic expression.
But what do you do with all this extra energy?… here we move back to the topic of movement.
Movement creates a state of externalized energetic release. There are fields of psychology which hypothesis that trauma is stored in the body and physical expression is highly therapeutic in addressing and moving that trauma out of your energy field. It is as if your body holds an experience in your muscles, skin, and bones. Movement allows that experience to pass out of your being on a physical level that benefits the psyche. Similarly, the mind and body work together in a circular feedback loop. You can hold energy in your body that reflects your daily interactions with your mind. And your mind can hold energy that reflects your interactions with your body. It is useful to also examine the individuals that exist in your space, as their mental and physical energies can have an intense affect on your state of being.
An exercise ritual does not have to be performed every day, however daily movement of some kind can be highly beneficial. Similar to the previous ritual practices, it is useful to choose a consistent day and time that you are most likely to complete the process. Before you begin, close your eyes and scan your body. Move the awareness from the top of your head moving through all the body parts until you reach your feet. Become aware of your breath. You can warm up your muscles in conjunction with your breath. If you need warm-up suggestions, go here for a few simple, Yogic warm-ups. Set an intention as you move in to your practice to remain aware and conscious of your body moving through space. The single most important thing to focus on with movement energetics is the breath. This will speed up the movement of energy.
Traditional exercise such as weight lifting, cycling, or running are completely effective in a movement ritual. You can use free weights, machines, or just your body. Other movement practices such as Chi Gong, Yoga, or dancing are also extremely beneficial. You can even go as far as moving intuitively by finding a private space in your home, closing your eyes and allowing your body to guide you beyond the thinking mind. Whatever style of movement or level of fitness, the key is to tax your body for at least 10 minutes at a time. You can measure this by the talk test–if it becomes difficult to talk, the exercise or exercises are at an appropriate level of intensity. If you want to get scientific you can use a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate in relation to your maximum heart rate (age subtracted from 220). You should only aim to be at 50-75% of your maximum heart rate.
In general, it is advisable to prioritize movements and exercise styles that bring you joy, evoke curiosity and challenge your expectations. From my perspective and background as a personal trainer, I have found repetitive exercises that never change to become energetically draining with time. I also feel that it is useful to leave yourself wanting more when you finish exercising. Shorter, more frequent exercise can reduce the risk of injury and magnify energy, as opposed to draining energy. Don’t do an hour plus of exercise if you haven’t exercised in two years. Start with 20 minutes and practice a little each day. Every week increase by five minutes. You want to feel strong and capable when you move.
This ritual is highly individualized and depends on your specific interests, available time, equipment and physical capability. But if you’re seeking inspiration, seek out the fitness section for specific workouts that are scientifically shown to be effective and can open the energy centers for greater access to your own magick.
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