The Scarlet Letter
Operative magick involves internal development as well as external programming through ritual. An important aspect of that internal development is the discipline of yoga. Yoga is a process of tuning the physical and energetic bodies. This allows for greater control over the subtle energies of the body as well as greater health and vigor.
Hatha yoga involves the student in a process of body realignment. Through repeated practice of asanas, the body naturally corrects its alignment problems. The musculature equalizes and strengthens, pulling the skeletal system into proper alignment. This realignment of the grosser body is an important step in the development of a ceremonial magician. One of the first benefits to be noticed is the development of correct posture.
With correct posture, the shoulders are rolled back which opens the chest. This allows the lungs to draw more air, thereby expanding the ability to breathe deeply and fully. The increased circulation of air through the lungs oxygenates the blood which moves through the circulatory system and brings oxygen to the brain. More oxygen reaching the brain creates a greater sense of bodily awareness. This increased circulation improves heart and lung function and provides additional blood and nutrients to tissues.
In addition to improved circulation, there are a number of other benefits to changing your posture. The musculature in the back will become stronger allowing the flame asana to be held during Mass without pain. In fact, most pain caused by misalignment of the back will become a thing of the past. The flexibility of the spine will also be improved allowing for more efficient functioning of the central nervous system. Better nervous system communication means a better functioning body and mind. This is crucial in the cultivation of kundalini energy.
The straightening of the spine improves neuro-muscular coordination and nerve impulse velocity. Nerve impulse velocity is the time that it takes an impulse to travel to the brain. Without good spinal alignment, the functioning of the central nervous system is impaired. This causes a disruption of the kundalini current up the main bodily channel, the shushumna, which is located in the spine.
Changing posture seems to be a simple matter, but it requires strict discipline. A good way to go about it is to notice every time the shoulders begin to hunch over. When this happens, a mental note should be taken and the positioning of the body should be corrected to allow for proper posture. The use of this mental note will increase in frequency over time creating an unconscious trigger that pulls the body into correct posture without undue concern to the conscious mind.
The discipline involved in mastering your daily habits can be put to great use in magickal as well as mundane matters. After all, the mastery of the subtle body is much more difficult than the mastery of the earthly body. Through improved posture, not only will the physical vehicle of the magician benefit, but the subtle body will become more fit allowing the magician to efficiently unite with and wield the powers of the Universe.