I've been meaning to write about the SoulCore workout for about six months. But...things. If you're like me you don't get excited about the terms "working" and "out" being put together; or it's not so much that you find exercising difficult so much as sitting on the couch watching Downton Abbey while eating banana bread sounds like a lot more fun. There is also, naturally, not enough hours, minutes, seconds in the day to get everything done on your endless list, or the energy to get out of the house and exercise.
But what if we could combine a solid yoga/pilates/stretching/Jillian-like workout with praying? We could do two things at once, ladies! And as if by an answer to prayer I read about SoulCore and knew I had to give it a try.
I first heard of SoulCore as a yoga-like workout that is done while praying the Rosary. I was really curious how this would all be done. Would it be boring repetitious exercises done quickly while bleating out fast Hail Marys? Would it be boring as all get out? Would I not be able to pray because the exercises were too hard? Would the exercises be too easy and make me fall asleep while only getting through a decade?
I plunged in by ordering the workout DVD for the Joyful Mysteries. Firstly, I found the exercises to be challenging and a great whole-body workout. The 55 minute DVD definitely incorporates familiar yoga and pilates movements, but with each prayer there is a new exercise presented. Although this may sound like a slow paced workout to hardcore fitness fans, it works remarkably well, and as each decade functions like an interval your body comes out feeling great instead of exhausted by the end.
Photos taken of my tv? Oh, yes.
Obviously I'm not a fitness expert, so I found most of the exercises themselves to be at a great level of challenge without the possibility of hurting myself. I love feeling my whole body being stretched and toned, and have always liked yoga and pilates at the moderate level that I've attempted them.
But what I was most impressed by was the approach towards prayer that was presented in the workout. The fitness instructor simultaneously leads us in prayer and exercise without coming off as flippant, new-agey, or boring. I really appreciated the thoughtful prayer at the beginning and end of each mystery; a beautiful approach to the Rosary is shared, and a great focus placed on the virtues and fruits of each mystery while making them personally applicable.
As far as praying while working out, I was blown away by how my prayer was effected and enhanced by movement. We all become so used to simply sitting or kneeling while praying that being active while in prayer really brings about a different dimension to our expression. I was shocked by how my physical movements helped me focus on my prayer, how different positions revealed different spiritual attitudes, and how I felt differently about the Rosary as a whole from anything I have experienced previously.
The best thing about this workout is clearly the ability to bring about two goods in our life especially when we're feeling maxed out in both the areas of our own physical fitness and prayer. Most times that I use this DVD I don't go through the whole workout, usually two or three decades at a time, but even when I just make time to do 10 minutes and pray one decade I'm amazed at how relaxed I am afterward and how it gives me a great boost to how I feel about my own personal prayer time. These reasons may be a bit superficial, but we can all fall into ruts so easily when we have little time for personal prayer in our busy days, and sometimes a boost is what we need to realign our attitudes towards ceaseless prayer.
SoulCore has now come out with downloadable versions of the Luminous and Glorious Mysteries for only $5 and I really encourage you to give it a try if you're looking for an at-home workout that's not only challenging but brings focused prayer to your day. There's nothing like offering up your shaking muscles and non-existent ability to do push-ups in prayer!
This review is entirely my own and I haven't been compensated in any way, I just really like it and think you will too! Today I'm giving away a copy of the Joyful Mysteries DVD Workout, but if you can't wait to see if you win, hop on over and download the workout for the Luminous & Glorious Mysteries! Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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