Recommendations for physical exercise disciplines?

What would you guys recommend system-wise for physical exercise? Although as magicians & sorcerers alike we may be focused on mental and spiritual development, without a solid foundation in the physical world all our grand astral castles come tumbling down. Like it or not, our foundation in the physical world is this fleshly meat suit, and being in shape with healthy daily exercise can make a world of difference in the manifestation of our ritual work.

Now, I used to be in excellent physical shape through martial arts and simple free weight exercises, but sadly laziness and focusing on other pursuits have yielded some flab and lack of flexibility that needs to be banished back to the Abyss from when it came. :smile:

I’ve heard good things about yoga, but I’m a bit bewildered by the myriad number of different styles. There are also an incredible amount of diverse workout programs, from CrossFit to Isometrics to the Eastern styles like Qi Gong. I’m looking for a discipline that meshes well with magick; one that prepares the body to be a launching pad for the spiritual rocket of the soul.

Any suggestions? :rocket:


Aikido seems quite well (“the way of harmonious spirit”).


At the moment I don’t know or remember what was recommended by Pythagoras (which may be useful). Anyway, the hermetist Kremmerz suggested ball playing, horse riding, fencing, swim and hiking.

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Martial arts/self defence.

Think Krav Maga, MMA, kick-boxing, Muay Thai. Avoid boxing - too much head hitting.

A magickian is also a warrior - reflect this on the physical.

A good alternative, if you already know how to fight, is just pure old gym. Use the iron and shape yourself.


I’ve been practising something our teacher called “real” aikido. Yes, there are so many different schools and teachers.
Find a good one :slight_smile:


Qi Gong is excellent for magic. If you want more rough and tumble, ninjitsu includes using energy in it’s upper levels. Check out the book Path Notes of An American Ninja Master by Glenn Morris for a hobbyist’s take on the art.

If you just want pure exercise, lifting heavy in the gym, or simple bodyweight calisthenics will get you there.


Qi Qong is very very good because it lets you get use to the flow of energy and lets you work with energy in a different way outside ritual work

Yoga is a very good option as well.

Tai Chi works too

Plain old kickboxing or boxing or jui jitsui or any other physical exercise can help you get used to attaining heightened emotional states and it’ll be an easy way for you to learn to channel that emotional into your rituals.

Cardiovascular exercises like running, jogging , swimming will help you strengthen your endurance plus it has the added benefits of making your breath work better in rituals.

Also swimming and frequently being underwater can help you get into what it feels like to quiet your mind


I think ANY form of exercise is beneficial. I used to hate running and now I run 20 minutes a day as part of my routine. I feel so accomplished and I don’t hate it. I’ve practiced Yoga, pilates, barre, free weights, various machines, body pump and body combat, for the most part.

I think the most important thing is to feel and practice being INSIDE your body and being IN CONTROL of your body, no matter what exercise gets you there.

My favorite is my combat class. I have been wanting to do some form of martial arts for many years but cannot seem to choose one!


Awesome advice, everyone! Lots of good possibilities to research. :sunny:

I took Aikido when I was a kid for a little while, but I’ve forgotten a lot of it. Isn’t the main idea about using your opponent’s energy against them?


Cool. Any recommendations as far as books or schools to check out as far as Qi Gong? And what would you summarize the essence of Qi Gong as?

freeletics is good

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This is for you:


Aikido is still in development. The basic idea is to use opponent’s energy for self-protection, but also to master your own Ki and many other things. Some kind of synthesis of physical exercise, energy working and mental discipline.

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I would check out Energy Arts, the school of Bruce Frantzis. He has qualified instructors around the world and his books are very in depth. I recommend his Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body, and Dragon and Tiger Medical Qi Gong. You can find more info at

if you want an easy form to begin with, I recommend the Precious Eight. You can find the exercises in many books or on the web. These are the set I myself practice.

Qi Gong for Total Wellness by Baolin Wu is also an excellent book to learn to cultivate Yin energy.

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Just wanted to say thanks for this recommendation! The book by Morris is a fascinating read. I had no idea ninjitsu had such an esoteric component to it.

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Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba as an expression of his personal philosophy. It started in the late 1920s and until now it’s still evolving in independent organizations. A usual boring story about a disagreement with the son of the founder and famous practitioners…

How does Nei Gong compare to Qi Gong? I’m reading conflicting information… Some sources say Nei is just an older name for Qi, whereas others say that Nei increases chi from the inside out starting from your primary energy channel whereas Qi works from the outside in starting from tertiary energy system.

My understanding is that Qi Gong is a foundational practice for Nei Gong. Please note that my knowledge comes from what I have read within the Taoist tradition, particularly that of Bruce Frantzis, who is the holder of multiple lineages, and not from personal study with an actual teacher. Qi Gong uses movement to build and circulate chi, and Nei Gong uses stillness, meditation and intention. In Frantzis’ system, Nei Gong is a higher level art than Qi Gong.

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Thanks, that makes sense.

@TheStorm You’re a Nei Gong practitioner, right? I sent you a PM recently, not sure if you saw it. Care to weigh in here?

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@Nyxifer @DarkestKnight I have NOT seen your PM. Sorry. As for the question here, what I always say is that it’s the difference between wizard, sorcerer, witch and warlock. There are minor connotation with each word, but overall they have no special meaning in and of themselves. In EACH SEPERATE TRADITION of course large distinctions are made between Qi Gong and Nei Gong. The definitions really are up to whichever lineage you are in though as far as I am aware.