Breathing seems simple. We all do it without thinking all day, every day but this unconscious breath has a tendency to be shortened and shallow. We’ve all picked up the habit of minimal breathing, be it through the “suck it in” mentality of diet culture telling us that our stomachs and by effect our diaphragms should be tight and flat all day leaving no room for deep breaths or through the desire to distance ourselves from discomfort. Shortening the breath causes less alertness, less energy and makes trudging through a day or classes or a desk job seem less unbearable.

This shortened breath and dampened energy won’t do for magic though! Breath is one of the most effective ways to fill the body with energy. Taking just two minutes for steady, purposeful breathing before working any kind of magic will create a heightened experience. You gain more awareness of the sensations in your body and the flow of energy in and around you.

Try it yourself, start with a yawn. Go ahead, fake a yawn, feel your throat and chest open to let the air into your body. Now, for the next minute breathe normally with your focus on your index finger. Imagine your breath moving into and filling your finger and then ebbing out again as you exhale. How does your finger feel now? More awake? Is there more sensation in that part of your body than in others?

You can apply this technique to any part of the body, focus your breath on your genitals to stimulate arousal, if you have an injury or pain you can focus your breath to it to work healing magic or if you need to ground you can breathe into your feet.

Breathing can also be used to energize the entire body. You can breathe energy from the ground up through your feet and into your body, you can expand the energy of your heart or your sexual energy out into the furthest reaches of your body.

The next two exercises are breaths you can incorporate into your magic, your sex and, as you become more comfortable with them, you can use these breaths to bring magic and pleasure out into your daily life with you.