Have you ever had a spiritual experience during a workout? Have you ever started to see yourself or your life differently? Have you ever felt lighter in spirit after exerting yourself physically? Is your health and fitness an important part of your life?
Perhaps you already consider your fitness to be a spiritual practice, or perhaps you simply need to make that declaration.
Fitness becomes a spiritual practice when we make it a spiritual practice.
We transform through fitness in more ways than physical, and our physical lives are directly related to our mental, emotional, and spiritual lives. One of the simple notions this book stands on is that fitness helps us lead happier lives.
What else does it mean, fitness as a spiritual practice? Part of what it means is that there is always more going on inside of us. There is more going on when we are going through a workout or executing a challenging skill or lift. There is more going on inside of us when we are at home deciding whether to go to the gym, or deciding what foods to eat. Whenever we seek to grow, aspects of ourselves rise to the surface.
Where are your thoughts? What is in your heart? What do you feel? Where is your focus? What does your body feel like in motion? How about your energy and your breathing… These, among others, are all things to tune into.
Part of what it means is that our health and fitness symbolize more to us in our hearts. What does your fitness mean to you? What does it represent at a deeper level? Spiritual practice helps us lead happier and more fulfilling lives. It is the practice of being happy, of connecting with something deeper within ourselves, connecting with what truly matters. It is connecting with the metaphysical in relation to the body, the world of the unseen: thoughts, heart, and energy.
Spiritual practice and personal growth is a way of life, a way of engaging life, something you do, the practice of your faith. Do you pray? Meditate? Practice yoga? Do you work out? Do you engage in uplifting activities? Do you talk to God or the Universe? Do you listen carefully? Do you take a moment to breathe? Are you kind, caring, understanding, and loving toward yourself and others?
It is no surprise that so many are finding happiness and purpose through physical exertion. We tend to like things that are meditative in nature. It is no secret that exercise helps release endorphins and combat depression, but what happens when we combine this with conscious meditative focus?
Many aspects of the new book, Meditative Fitness – The Art and Practice of the Workout, were inspired by days when I awoke suffering from a spiritual kind of depression, but no matter how I felt, I laced up my shoes and headed to my local gym determined to raise my vibration. The practice often began on the way to the gym, opening my heart and giving it to the workout, allowing my effort to symbolize moving to a better state, often ending the workout with a brief sitting meditation.
My sincerest desire is that Meditative Fitness helps you to uplift your own heart and soul, to love yourself in your present moments, and to take action toward your inner and outer goals.
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And remember, the workout is an act of love. Love on!
(This post was inspired by and has direct quotes from Meditative Fitness: The Art and Practice of the Workout)