When you think of workout benefits, you likely think of the healthy effects on your body. But workouts can be good for your mind — think stress relief — and even your soul. Yep, with these spiritual workouts, you can get in touch with a higher power and do some self-reflection while you get physical. If you think spiritual workouts are solely yoga, think again! These eight spiritual exercise programs may just have you sweating while you do your soul searching.
The willPower Method 1 of 8
The willPower Method incorporates a positive philosophy, and a focus on function. willPower + Grace will work you from head to toe — with an emphasis on the feet, to keep you firmly rooted to the earth — and from body to soul. Touted as "exercise as therapy," the willPower Method workouts are said to help you feel emotionally connected to your workouts, so you work your mind and your body.
Qoya 2 of 8
Qoya classes combine the traditional benefits of fitness — including strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and agility training — with a unique empowering approach, according to the Qoya website. These mind-body workouts are said to nourish the soul as they work the body through moves drawn from yoga and dance.
Spiritual Boot Camps 3 of 8
A workout said to "empower our members to connect mind to body, breath to movement, self to world, and intention to action," Circuit of Change will also get you moving. This "ultimate workout" combines martial arts, cardio core strengthening, gymnastics, plyometrics, yoga, and meditation for a total mind-body experience.
IntenSati 4 of 8
Over at FitBottomedGirls.com, we've long been fans of IntenSati, a mind-body workout that combines cardio with uplifting affirmations. There are now several Sati workouts, from warriorSati to danceSati to coreSati that all focus on the mind, body, and spirit. You can try classes live or do the workout DVDs, but they're all uplifting and empowering. The spoken mantras can lift your mood while the workouts tone your rear! IntenSati participants say the spiritual exercise makes them feel energized and powerful.
Laughter Yoga 5 of 8
When you think of spiritual workouts, you likely think yoga. But do you think of laughter yoga? The benefits of laughter yoga are numerous, from working those abs to increasing endorphins, to improving blood flow. But can it be spiritually enlightening? Some who practice laughter yoga say that laughter connects you to love and a higher self. Maybe laughter really is the best medicine.
Credit: lululemon athletica, Flickr
SoulCycle 6 of 8
SoulCycle isn't just another cycling class. Sure, there's energetic music and pedaling, but there is also upper body work and work for your soul, too. With dimmed lights and candlelight, SoulCycle is said to be a place where riders can come to clear their heads while changing their bodies and finding their souls.
Religious Gyms 7 of 8
If you're looking to combine weights with worship, certain gyms are fulfilling that need. On the religious end of the spiritual spectrum are religious gyms like Trinity Fitness. On a mission to "provide an atmosphere that inspires people to get in the best spiritual and physical shape of their lives," this gym hopes to get people healthy inside and out.
Credit: midiman, Flickr
Faith-Based Workout DVDs 8 of 8
Really, it doesn’t take an official “spiritual workout” designation to allow you to clear your mind and connect with your spiritual side. If guided workouts aren’t appealing, make the great outdoors your sanctuary while hiking, or you can reflect and focus while walking, running or swimming — whatever soothes your soul.