Did you know that any type of physical activity used as a workout can be simultaneously used as a spiritual workout as well? Let’s face it, all of us are aware of the benefits of working out and staying physically fit and healthy but many of us find it very difficult to maintain it as a regular practice or even a lifestyle adjustment. Most of us, I know I do, need more than a “swift kick in the rear” to do lots of things we know we should but definitely working out hits the top of the “should do” list. Lots of us need more than one reason, payoff, excuse, ‘why’, cause, explanation, justification, or rationality to do the things we know we need to do.
What would your fitness life be like if you integrated some of your spiritual practices into it? I know a few people who work out to gospel music by I’m not referring to that nor am I referring to something formally religious either. Music is a great motivation during workouts but strengthening one’s inner voice is something all of us could benefit from. You can never get enough of your own positive encouragement and reinforcement. In fact, making your self-talk a daily practice of positive reinforcement and encouragement is a great way to strengthen your inner-voice allowing for it to click on automatically on a ‘need-to’ basis and especially when you need encouragement and self-belief the most. Adding a few spiritual exercises to your existing (or soon-to-be) workout routines can not only provide great positive benefits to you spiritually but also increase your physical, mental and emotional strength as well.
Here’s a few suggestions:
The next time you head out to your favorite workout, spend 2-3 minutes of non-stop acknowledgment of the things you’re grateful for that directly pertain to your workout. Give thanks to all the parts of your body that allow you to engage in physical activity. Show gratitude by literally pointing, touching, rubbing and speaking to the various physical parts of your body positively. Say things like, “I love how my legs, arms, and back allow me to do these exercises with grace and ease!” Then, give thanks to the support system and resources which have allowed you to conduct your workout. Show gratitude for the ability to pay your membership fees, your car which brought you to the gym, your spouse or significant other for taking over some of your daily obligations so that you can go to the gym, your workout partner and especially your awesome, nice and sexy workout clothes! (Smile) You gotta look sexy when you’re working out, right? It’s just part of your self-acknowledgment, lol.
I recently started back doing yoga as it’s been about 10 years since my last class. Although yoga, in my opinion, is much harder than lifting weights, it already has a sort of built-in spiritual component to it. You focus on your breathing, moving various body parts, eyes closed at times, nice, calm music and an overall calm and peaceful environment guided by a knowledgeable teacher. You also get to show gratitude as you challenge your body and balance to move in different, unfamiliar, directions. All of this led me to think of new ways to incorporate spiritual strengthening during my physical strengthening activities. Mostly because I’ll probably continue to do more lifting than yoga, more bench-pressing and pullups than child poses and downward facing dog poses. But, hey! Yoga does the trick!
Again, did you know that any type of physical activity used as a workout can be simultaneously used as a spiritual strengthening workout…and not just yoga? Actual weight-lifting is spiritual strengthening! Check out my latest video below as a reminder to show gratitude before, during and after your physical strengthening practices. Give yourself another HUGE reason to take your butt to the gym and workout! Love and Light! Peace and power!