Been to the Spiritual Gym Lately?

We are all aware of the importance of diet and exercise in relation to our health and wellbeing, but what about the other aspects of what makes a whole healthy person?


There has been increasing emphasis, especially in the last few years regarding mental health issues and the importance of “Mindfullness” which is a great step in the right direction to achieving holistic wellbeing.

spiritual gym

We don’t hear much about spiritual health? Is it because it’s more difficult for our western scientific approach to quantify Spirit? Or is that there is a severe shortage of role models in popular culture to show us how a spiritual person lives and acts?

We have a quick fix culture of sound bites – facebook clips – youtube and social media overload. Pop culture is full of reality TV programmes with celebrities who are famous for being famous??? We have dumbed down programmes, articles and have biased news reports all distracting us from the “bigger issues” in life. We all like a Hollywood blockbuster now and again, but sometimes we need something a little deeper to nourish that part of our soul that wants to grow…

Growing through this life experience, we can hope to become more knowledgeable, gain wisdom through our experiences and follow our dreams, enabling us to make to make informed decisions that affect not just the people directly in our lives but everyone on the planet. This takes time, effort and dedication. No quick fixes or short cuts here, it is a constant journey.

We all need a little depth to understand how to grow and evolve, pop culture does not provide this. You have to go out of your way to find genuine role models.

Here are a few of the resources that I have found over the years that have inspired me to delve a little deeper into becoming more conscious.

I regularly practice Thai Chi, Zone Exercises, I also use a device called a heart math sensor that tells me when my heart and brain coherence is in balance, its great for beginners as it gives you real time feedback. As anyone will tell you when you first start to meditate it can be a real challenge, especially to know if you are doing right, the sensor takes the guess work out of it.

I also periodically attend a “Sweat Lodge” this where I throw a lot of weight on the spiritual weights bar and have a whole day of cleansing my physical body, working on my mental, emotional and spiritual health.

spiritual gym

The preparation starts the day before when I have a day of fasting. Fasting helps with energy and being able to connect, when you don’t have to use energy for digestion. The day starts around 9am with a cleansing ceremony around a large bonfire in the middle of which are volcanic rocks being heated until they glow red hot.

The first round – we (twelve of us) enter the lodge (a small tent like structure) which is pitch black with a hole in the middle of the floor where the red hot glowing volcanic rocks are ushered into – I could instantly feel the temperature rise to where it’s a little hotter than the average sauna. We sat in quiet contemplation for several minutes, then Roland the Shaman guided us through the particulars of how the rounds in the lodge would work and that we could leave at any time if needed, but encouraged us to accept the heat into us to assist with our healing journey.

Cooling off in the river

The water was added to the volcanic rocks still glowing red in the middle of the lodge, the only reference point for my eyes to focus on in the pitch black. The steam was all consuming as I felt my heart rate elevate, breathing quicken and felt a little nauseous at first, so I settled into some meditative deep breathing and just tried go with it… I don’t know how long it was I lost all sense of time, but soon enough the door was opened and we crawled out of the womb like lodge into the sunlight made my way over the little wooden bridge to the rope swing and descended into the cold refreshing river, never have I been happier to get into a cold river in February, cooling down didn’t take long, It felt amazingly refreshing and rejuvenating. After a short rest I was back in the lodge for round 2.

Roland from Maya Medicine is a great teacher / healer and supports everybody as they progress through the various rounds during the day. With each round it seemed to get a little easier to accept the heat and the healing before I knew it, the day was over having completed several rounds until all the volcanic rocks were used.

I felt good, very good, a sense of being grounded and calm, feeling like I had shed a lot of the stressors, the type that creep up on you during the day to day challenges we face. Strangely, I also felt very clean on the inside, that I had purged the toxicity that also accumulates through our fast paced modern city living. The next day I also noticed that many of my physical aches and pains had either gone or diminished significantly.

So between now and the next sweat lodge which are held monthly in a beautiful valley, on a farm, in the Kent countryside I attempt to maintain the balance I have gained from the sweat lodge, for as long as possible…

Visit: www.mayamedicine.co.uk to find out more about how you can raise the bar on your Spiritual Gym Training.

In Health & Happiness

Christian