At first glance, yoga and magick might not seem to have anything in common—and yet, these two practices can be combined for powerful results! Not only will combining magickal practices and yoga asanas into one practice deepen your meditation and focus your magickal skills, but it will empower you to hear your own True Will more clearly.
While the modern practice of yoga can involve hot studios, active bending and stretching, and calming music, the core of traditional yoga practice is the asana—the shape your body makes.
When we talk about yoga here, we’re talking about sitting in asana, in one pose, for a certain length of time. Most of us aren’t conditioned for holding still, let alone sitting in a certain pose for very long, so start with 15 minutes and work your way up to an hour as your body allows.
If it sounds uncomfortable, well, it will be… but only until you get used to it. Continuous daily practice makes it easier. It’s training, just like running or lifting weights. Over time, your chosen asana will strengthen and align your body while teaching your mind to be still.
A modern practitioner needs to maintain a calm, clear head, and the best way to get there is through yogic meditation. Extensive rituals have their place, but yoga asanas are the foundation from which all other ceremonies are built. Asana empowers the adept to form his or her own True Will, to create their own destiny.
(If you’re ready to discover your own true will, it’s time to join The Adept Initiative, which will take you on a journey to discover your true potential and prepare you for whatever the future holds.)
Yoga asanas can be a challenge when you’re getting started, and truthfully, even seasoned practitioners need extra support from time to time. Here are four ways you can use yoga asanas to supercharge your magickal practices. Revisit this list any time you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated. Consistency is key!
1. Which asana is best for meditation?
If you tried a new sport every week for a year, you might have some fun weekends, but you wouldn’t be particularly good at any of them. Sitting in asana postures is the same: you can switch between them often and not make much progress, or you can pick one and see exponential improvement. The asana that’s best for you is the one that you will stick with long-term.
Do you have to pick one without trying a few first? Heck no! Take a week or two to experiment with different poses and see which work with the way your body is built. Don’t expect any of them to feel great right off the bat. You’re looking for the one that is easiest to maintain in correct form. If you want the best results, stick with that one pose for the duration of your practice.
2. Remember that it’s a practice
Sitting down to meditate is training for your mind, just like putting on your sneakers and going to the gym is training for your body. Like every other form of training, it takes discipline and consistency to see results. (And if you aren’t writing your experiences daily in your journal, now is a great time to start. Tracking lets you see your own growth.) After a week or two of daily practice, you’ll notice fewer aches in your body, and it will be easier to stay still. It’s almost like your brain is rewiring itself to shift bones and muscles back into place, and release the anxious, spinning, reactive thoughts that so often drown your mind. Hmm…
Didn’t have a great meditation? Of course you did! Even a day of practice where your body spends the whole hour twitching, and your mind dashes around in circles, is better than a day where you didn’t even try. When your body is tense or in pain, breathe into the sensation and understand that it’s temporary. When your mind resists peace, keep noticing the distractions and letting them go. It’s all practice.
3. Make your asana meditation fit your needs
If you’re in perfect shape, you might have no problem sitting in a difficult posture for an hour, with the slightest stiffness that a little stretching will fix. Most people aren’t that lucky. In the real world, there are knee problems, back problems, injuries, and all kinds of other reasons a standard pose won’t work. So we adapt the asana to the person.
If you’ve chosen God asana, sitting upright in a straight-backed chair with your knees pressed together and your hands on your thighs, but find you can’t quite hold your legs tight, try using a belt or a bit of fabric around your thighs to keep yourself in line. If you’ve chosen Dragon asana, kneeling on the ground with your spine straight and hands rested in your lap, use a bench to lift your hips. This relieves the pressure on your knees and maintains circulation in your legs. A bench makes this pose less painful and easier to maintain for a longer time. A zabuton, or small floor cushion, can be used to assist in any seated or kneeling pose to decrease pressure on painful joints.
4. Remember why you began your practice
You didn’t begin this journey for funsies because you were bored. When you stepped onto this path, you had a purpose. That purpose may change and grow, but you remain on the path. What are your goals? Why were you attracted to these methods to support them?
Magick infuses every breath of air and every spark of fire, and it infuses every action you have taken since beginning your journey. It’s not something that’s outside of you. Magick flows through you, and your asana practice allows you to work with it more deeply and channel your own true will more fully to reach your own goals and be more effective in the world.
When you falter, when you have a busy day, when you’re just not “feeling it,” remember why you started. You don’t need motivation, and you don’t need to feel like everything is sunshine and rainbows to sit down and do your practice. Whatever your own unique reasons for adopting a magickal lifestyle are, your asana practice is the solid foundation on which you can build your future, both magickal and mundane.
Finally, if you haven’t started your asana practice yet, your next stop is The Adept Initiative course. This course will explain everything you read above in far more detail, and give you the secrets to building a successful meditation practice even if you’ve never meditated before.
See you in class!