Monday, September 17, 2012

Faith & Fitness

Many fitness and exercise instructors are changing the status quo of working out by incorporating a holistic approach to strengthen the mind, body and spirit. Specifically, instructors are adding a spiritual element for those who are searching for a fuller, more meaningful workout routine. Being healthy requires not only physical fitness, but also an intentional focus on the mind and spirit.

In my personal experience, including the spiritual aspect into my fitness regime has definitely had a positive effect on my life. When I work out I am able to let go of any stress and frustrations that I have endured during my day. I love the feeling that I get when I include a time to pray and meditate to my God while completing my daily yoga routine. I utilize my  routine to become fit spiritually as well as fit physically. By concentrating on my whole being I am able to successfully go about my day without letting daily obstacles get in my way.

Back in my hometown of Katy, Texas, my yoga instructor, who also happens to be a very good friend, incorporated praying and scriptures into our routines. The scripture was meant to be uplifting for the middle of the week or “hump day”. Scriptures such as Jeremiah 29:11 were used (For I know the plans for you,  says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future.). This is one of my absolute favorite verses because it reassures me of the faith I have in my God. One of my favorite parts of the routine is meditating and praying. She begins the routine with breathing exercises to release the negative and absorb the positive. We then end the session with praying to God. Along with praying we send love and light to people in our lives. These could just be loved ones or someone that you know is struggling. This helps other people to also feel God’s love and light. This type of yoga seems more relaxing and calming than just doing the poses. I feel I get more and feel healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

There are many different religious views out there and many people hear the title “faith and fitness” and shy away because they think it is based on mainstream religion. Fitness instructors are not solely tied to one religious type, but can put their own faith into the class. The world of fitness has transformed from only having spin classes and yoga to being faith-friendly to all walks of life.


  1. Many people are afraid to express their faith because they are worried about being ridiculed or judged. This seems to be especially relevant for “hard core” athletes or gym rats who strive to be seen as tough or self-sufficient. The facts are that we cannot get through this lifetime alone and any assistance from a higher power can go a LONG way. We must realize that everyone goes through struggles and we should all be there for each other instead of trying to bring each other down. The fact that there are yoga classes out there that focus on the spiritual side of a person and not just the physical is very uplifting , this can assist people in becoming healthier as a whole, and bring us closer as friends and fellow human beings.

  2. This is a great way to recollect after a stressful day, especially for anyone involved in the sports profession. We get so worked up and busy that we never set aside time and be thankful to God about the opportunities he has given us, even if it means those opportunities force us be on our feet all day working with multiple individuals. This concept of “Faith and Fitness” maybe off setting for a big population of individuals just because it could come off as lame or a waste of time. So the actual intention of the practice is lost because yoga can be “too girly.” However, being fit and finding God all at the same time is humbling, and everyone should try this method of prayer and stress relief.


  3. This is a very interesting take on combining your physical well-being with your spiritual well-being. Exercise is generally thought of as tough activity on the body and leaves you tired and wore out. Prayer on the other hand is intended to encourage and uplift a person. The addition of prayer and spiritual relaxation to any workout should relax and encourage you allowing you to focus on greater things than yourself while your body is continuing to train and be pushed to the max for physical training. 1 Timothy 4:8 says “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. “ The Bible says that physical training is of value, but that godliness has value for all things. The combination of the two is a great idea to have healthier mind, body and spirit!