One of the most important things a witch can do to prepare for magick is to prepare your body. Along with eating properly, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, you need to learn to breathe properly. Yes, we all know that sounds ludicrous, as we have been breathing for at least a decade or more, depending upon our age. However, many witches never learned to breathe properly before performing spell work. Diaphragmatic breathing, or breathing to oxygenate the brain and body, is very different from normal day-to-day breathing patterns. How often do you fully expand your lungs? How often do you breathe deeply and rhythmically? It is not common for most people, and as such, must be learned. Believe it or not, breathing properly before spell casting can increase the potency or your spell work because it increases the strength of your body and mind, in general.
Diaphragmatic breathing is something one should practice often in the days and nights leading up to any magickal workings. If you perform spell work daily, you should work on your breathing daily. Breathing in deeply for at least ten minutes, two or three times a day, is an excellent preparation for strengthening your body and mind prior to working your craft, just as it is for meditating. Remember that breathing deeply brings our native air deeply into your body. As such it delivers the nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and other crucial elements your body, and brain, needs to not only survive, but to thrive on our planet.
The best way to start is to focus on the act itself and become aware of the physical side of breathing. When you first notice your breathing, do you see how shallowly your natural breaths are? Do you notice how you do not completely fill your lungs on each breath? This is normal. Our cultures expect us to retain control over emotions and our bodies’ responses to stimuli. One way of doing so is by controlling our breathing. It is universal to humans, if you pay attention you will note that when you are feeling angry, your breathing pattern changes. It changes when you are trying not to cry, it changes when you are anxious, frightened, excited. Therefore, as you can see, your breathing links directly to your emotions as well as your body’s actions.
It is this ‘natural’ breathing pattern, which must change for you to awaken fully your potential and your power. You must fully oxygenate both your mind and body in order to reach their best potentials.
Start by sitting or lying in a comfortable position to keep your spine and body straight. Do not slouch or slump as this inhibits the space your diaphragm needs to use in order to inflate your lungs to their full capacity. If you have good air quality in your area, do your breathing in the outdoors. The better the quality of air, the better the effect of your breathing exercises.
Focus on each breath as it enters your body and fills you. As the breath draws in, focus on feeling your diaphragm pull down toward your abdomen. You should see your stomach and chest literally lift and/or expand with the force of the indrawn breath. Hold the breath for one heartbeat and then exhale.
As you expel the air, feel the diaphragm moving back up toward your chest. Watch as your chest and stomach deflate. Feel the warmed air as it leaves your body via your nose and/or mouth.
Continue this action for no less than ten minutes at a time. This increased flow of oxygen will leave you feeling invigorated in body and mind because it is a feast to your senses. The extra nutrients, which you are breathing, in fill your blood and flow out to each individual cell of your body, thanks to the wonders of your circulatory system, in a single minute.
As such, for each minute you practice your diaphragmatic breathing you are improving your overall health. You are, not only, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, strengthening your digestion and metabolism, but also, providing a boost in your brain function by restoring the natural balance of the biochemistry in your brain.
With all the wonderful reasons to use deep, diaphragmatic breathing, what is stopping you? As a witch, you have to take control of that most basic of functions and use it to increase the flow of oxygen to your brain. In clearing your brain and oxygenating it, you are preparing to bring the full focus of your mind and the full strength of your intent to your spell work.