If exercise has become synonymous with torture, it is time for a fresh perspective. Why not bring the recognition of Magick and energy from your Wiccan or Pagan practice into the work out for a full body-mind-soul charge? To begin, we need to flex one of the most important parts of the body- the brain! Decide for yourself why it is important to engage in physical activity. Better health? Less stress? Endorphins? Once you have clarified the basic reasons you have been working out in the first place, it is time to extend beyond the mundane in true Witchy fashion and start to discover what more the practice of regular physical activity has to offer.
Could this half hour to hour of time dedicated to the body be a way to seek solace in your physical form, while realigning energies of your body with your intentions for the day? Why not make the work out a sacred time, free from distractions, out of reach of the demands of work, home and other obligations? What if the process of working up a sweat was also the process of cleansing the body of toxins, refreshing you cell by cell? The view of exercise begins in the brain. Extend your list of reasons to be active further now, including benefits to your mood, as well as cultivation of a specific type of energy. Now that you are closer to the zone, let’s explore other ways to make Magick at the gym!
Sacred Time for the Body
If an exercise routine has become boring it is time to reclaim the routine! Instead of a chore, consider this time - however long or short it may be- as sacred time. This is your body’s time to play! The experience of your body stretching and moving is a gift to be cherished. This is your time to let the parts of your body that have been cooped up at a desk or in mundane routines thrive and wander through movements that you don’t typically get to enjoy. This is also your uninterrupted sacred time. For your next routine of whatever length you can devote to yourself without interruption, unplug or silence the phone. Limit distractions like television. If music helps to charge you for your work out, that’s fine: set a playlist on your music player and use this and not clocks or watches to keep the boundary of time in which you will relish in movement for the sake of reinvigorating your body.
Sacred Motion for the Body
Forget bicep curls, jumping jacks, or stair climbers. These terms are boring and lack life. When you engage in lifting a weight toward you, imagine that you are pulling forth refreshing energy. Align your actions with spiritual intent and expand the meaning of the motions you are making. Your movements are sacred, filled with energy both expanding and constricting, bringing harmony and growth. Consciousness makes all the difference. When running, try to align your physical sensations of your motions with a purposeful sense of spirituality. The legs are not just repeating the same forward movement; they are carrying you through the breeze. Jumping Jacks are not a means of repeatedly pounding your feet on the floor while flinging your arms carelessly, they are an opportunity to raise energy from the Earth below you and collect energy from the sky above you, this energy being drawn in as your arms lower and collected when arms are outstretched. Explore other ways motion common in your exercise of choice draws or repels energy, and then add the factor of intent.
As you engage in the practice of cycling, swimming, weight lifting, walking or other physical activity, visualize in this delineated time of sacred communion with the body, and what you are striving for too. It may be a mental representation of a goal, each motion bringing you closer to your dream. It may be a color or image representing the energy cultivated in your exercise. Consider the process of exercise much like the process of raising energy in a magickal circle, you are building up this energy with some kind of intent which can be as magickal or mundane as you would like.
Release and Cool Down
Don’t forget the importance of cooling down the body. This provides a transition time between your sacred motion and re-emergence into the mundane world. This is an opportune time to release the energy raised during the work out. Visualize sending out the excess energy raised to take its course toward manifesting that which you intended. It should be for positive ends at all times. Stretching will open up the body to realign and adjust, allowing for more energy to refill and replenish. Use this time to focus on refilling your system with renewed energy, intending any stagnant, negative, or residual energy having dissipated through the cleansing activity. You have allowed motion to regulate and refill your body’s energy. Don’t forget the cleansing power of water as well, and be sure to stay well hydrated even if you don’t think you need it. Remember, water is powerful and can be charged to provide another source of reinforcement to your original intention.
As always the goals of these practices are to bring connection to the body and not to cause harm to one’s self or others. If the body is giving signals that certain activities are beyond your current capacity, then activity should be modified to prevent injury. This should be a process of celebrating and joining with the body, not fighting against it.
Article by: Angela Kaufman. Angela is a Priestess for the Dragon Warriors of Isis Coven in Upstate, New York, and the co-author of Wicca: What's the Real Deal? She is a professional tarot reader. For more information about Wicca: What's the Real Deal? visit http://www.wwtrd.webs.com.