The Spiritual Benefits of Exercise
By Jafree Ozwald
“From pain comes strength. From the negative comes the positive. Relish in this strength and nurture it. It will take you through the great fire and pull you up to the higher path.” ~Babaji
One of the most fundamental aspects of manifesting the life of our dreams is having an unlimited source of energy at our disposal. This means that our body is operating physically, emotionally and mentally everyday at it’s peak. To reach the top of any summit in life, one must train for it. If we aren’t prepared, we will struggle all the way there and back.
I find that physical exercise is an essential key to tapping into our hidden spiritual resources. Interestingly, it can become a catalyst for opening up to the most spiritually enlightening journey’s we’ve ever encountered. When we are following an exercise routine at least 6 days a week, a shift happens in our brain where we find a deeper devotion to our selves and our life mission. When we are pushing our bodies to the point of exertion, sweating at our brow, heart pounding, breath pumping, we are forced to empty out all of our mental and emotional neurosis. In this emptiness we open our being up to finding connection with the Divine within us and all around us.
This Divine connection is already always here now, it’s just that the mind was always in the way of the heart experiencing it. Through intense physical effort, we don’t have to seek out this connection, it simply seems to find us. We discover a natural abundance of energy from within it to create anything in life that we desire. The mind then no longer yearns to hang out in the land of over-analysis, insecurity, lethargy, or emotional constipation. Our energy is too high for that, and our consciousness simply requires a new dimension to play in. A profound joy and excitement for simply being alive skyrockets our lives through our agendas in the coming months ahead. We begin to naturally expand our perception of what we are capable of, and suddenly discover ourselves as the divine cosmic beings we truly are.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mystical. It is the source of all true art and science.” ~ Albert Einstein
Great things in life often sound too good to be true at first. The rapid movement of blood rushing through our brains will force our entire perception of reality to expand into a spiritual dimension. The only reason we haven’t noticed any spiritual side effects from exercise in the past was simply because we weren’t putting our attention there. We were not aware that exercise was a spiritual experience.
Once we accept that it is possible, there is no place that we cannot find a spiritual experience in our lives. By owning the reality that exercise is a powerful way of increasing our energy so we can burrow through the mind and find a deeper spiritual connection, then it becomes effortless to come up with more reasons to make it a constant priority.
When we learn how to move our bodies with pure intention, holding a specific goal or vision in mind, it’s as if this entire divine machine starts working towards the manifestation of the experience we desire. The perpetual exertion of the breath hypnotizes us to expel all of our minds garbage, releasing it and surrendering into a deeper alignment with our cosmic nature. It naturally happens after 45 minutes or so, that the mind simply expands and we start seeing and feeling into our life purpose, knowing that is much bigger and more amazing than we will ever know.
Exercise used as a method in expanding consciousness is perhaps one of the most fundamental health secrets of the 21st century. The endorphins that flood our brain create the most authentic sensations of gratitude and appreciation for the simple things we have once over looked. Divine inspiration becomes a constant river behind our every desire, and the great source of creative energy fuels the fire behind our every thought. We seem to step aside, and witness the spiritual being living its life through us.
I’ve found that one of the greatest unknown benefits of daily exercise is that it forces fear to have less of a grip on our minds and hearts. Exercise almost acts as a protection agency that blocks the dark intruders from tormenting our soul. The more often we flood our brains with these happy feel-good chemicals that one workout provides, the harder it becomes for feeling of lack, negativity and poverty consciousness to sneak it’s way inside. Negative thinking simply cannot get it’s foot in the back door of the mind while our sweet golden heart is pounding with aliveness, feeling the new energy blossoming within our soul.
“Not only does God play dice, but he sometimes throws them where they cannot be
seen.” ~ Stephen W. Hawking
There is nothing so sexy and instantly gratifying for raising our vibration than pumping a plethora of oxygenated blood through our heart and brain. There just comes a point in one’s spiritual journey through life, where perpetually resting in lotus pose just cannot reap all the amazing rewards that the ancient yogic text books once portrayed. The valiant meditator within us needs something catalyzing and invigorating to balance out the overly mantrafied mind or some half yogic lazy lifestyle. Our soul chose to live in a body because it needs movement, oxygen, energy and a breath of fresh air to open up the cosmic valves and reach into the next dimension.
Laziness can happen to the best of us. Whenever we spend an excessive amount of time
sitting around, taking long lunches, going out for coffee, hanging out in meetings or tending to the kids all day, or laying around on the couch in a horizontal daze, we slowly sink and fall into a deeper lazy haziness about our lives. The sharp side of the swords edge tends to dull, and our manifesting engines start to get rusty. If you’re on the verge of falling into your couch (or just have a half a cheek tucked in) you will want to wake yourself up by answering the following heart opening questions.
No matter how hard it may be to answer these questions, don’t give up. Sit with these questions until an authentic answer arises within you. Wait until something inside you knows what the answer is for YOU. Are you ready? Answer each one then go to the next.
What truly motivates you in life?
What could you do to make your heart sing louder than anything?
What makes you the happiest to think about right now?
What is that one thing that you absolutely cannot live without?
What is that one thing you know you need to stop doing yet cannot?
Once you find out what truly excites you in life, and what is blocking you from creating that, you’ve done 95% of the work. It just takes a consistent trusting intention to take daily action. Very soon you will springboard your life off the path towards lazy-land and onto the sacred highway to spiritual exercise-ville. It really doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, tired, sick, broke or always have felt challenged by the “idea of exercise”. Just remember one thing. Those who move their body tend to enjoy being alive much more than those who don’t move it and decide to groove with it.
Perhaps you think it’s too late, and you’ve already sunk into life’s cosmic couch crevice and are unable to escape from it’s cozy grasp. If your life has reclined into a permanent slouching position, it’s best that you start with doing something radical and amazing…unplug the TV! Even better, you’ll see your whole life change if you put it outside and trade it into the salvation army for some new walking shoes. I guarantee you won’t regret it. The secret here is to look at your life and remove those major time/energy drains which are distracting you from increasing your vibration and consciousness.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain!” ~Vivian Greene
When it comes down to the rubber actually meeting the road, it’s good to know that we are all truly motivated by two things, love and fear. We are motivated to avoid the life we know is more painful, and motivated by a vision that inspires us and makes us feel good about doing what we love. Strong emotions may rise when we see a movie about a happy fit successful person who exercises, and a film about a sad gluttonous struggling broke person who refuses to leave the sofa. We need these extremes to help us find the middle path, where we can transcend all our blocks, hesitations and insecurities that have been following us for lifetimes.
One of the most empowering things you can do this week is to devote a day to find out where your “excuse saboteur” lives. Get to know it, intimately, so that it cannot speak without you knowing it’s talking, nor sneak in your back door and pull you out for an afternoon cocktail while you’re getting on your running shoes. The big secret here is to find out what pulls your saboteur out of hiding. Who triggers it to come out? How often do you catch yourself creating new excuses? What actually truly motivates you on both the fear and love extremes. More amazing questions to sink your brain into…
Don’t come down on yourself if you are one who has major resistance to exercise. Most of us are hiding behind the guise of our friendly saboteur, who is mucking up some part of our life from the inside. It’s that stubborn hard coated voice that puts you down, and tends to over judge you for any small lack of motivation in life. It comes up with wonderful excuses for you to become even more lazy, and can still make you believe you’ve discovered your soul’s higher calling. If this sounds like you, I have a sweet little trick you can play on your saboteur to flip it’s grip on you totally upside down.
To trick your saboteur into enjoying the ease and power of daily exercise, find out what it’s favorite treat is. What makes it quiver with eagerness and elation? It may be something unusual, like a healthy snack, an old TV show, time with a good friend, shopping at the mall, or a hike alone through the forest. Whatever it is that you MOST love to do, that makes you feel more free, excited, and jazzed about life on every level, no matter how healthy or unhealthy it may be for you, simply allow yourself to have it AFTER you have done a week of exercise 6 days in a row.
When you can train your saboteur to wait for 7 days to get it’s special treat, you have
conquered one of the most fierce aspects of your mind. The more often you make sacred this 7 day commitment with yourself, and that you absolutely never break this promise, you will find that you become unstoppable in all that you decide to do. The saboteur loses it’s power to try and fill that empty space inside you with something tantalizing, temporal, superficial and is truly ungratifying to the soul.
The real treat always happens when we get excited about our spiritual connection. Then its truly effortless to create more time for the things which really do matter. It becomes easy to let go of our attachment to our addictions of the physical world which make our heart go pitter pat. A new type of energy of equal expansion and excitement must find it’s way in to fill that gap.
“Only one moment of understanding is needed. That is all. One moment and you
realize you are the Buddha.” ~Osho
If your saboteur has a permanent seat embedded in your inner couch, and is always asking you what counts as “exercise”, it’s time to set things straight. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re not breaking a sweat, you haven’t started exercising yet. If your heart rate is not up, you haven’t the energy to pull yourself out of a rut. If you are breaking a sweat you’re about to get your energetic needs met. Break a sweat for 25 minutes a day, and you’ll discover life feels like one glorious long roll in the hay.
One of the greatest things I love about exercising, is how amazing I feel after it is done! The jubilant elated feelings from our natural chemical releasing endorphins catapults our perception of reality into a higher dimension of consciousness. From this higher state of mind, it’s easy to know the answers to life’s hardest questions and how to manifest everything we want in life with joy and effortless ease.
Another great thing about exercising is that it strengthens our ability to control the mind. After one week of daily exercise, we have to rise above our lazy ego and show it who is truly in charge. I think after one week you’ll be shocked at how quickly that old lazy gremlin inside is mysteriously motivated to get out the door and lead the way to the park or local gym again. While your favorite music is pumping, your joy valve is blasting open, and the connection to Spirit is right here in front of your nose, you feel unstoppable in all that you do! Doing 6 days of exercise in a row, you have just discovered one of the most powerful, obvious and yet valuable secrets to skyrocketing your manifesting abilities.
Exercising is the means to tap into a “super energy source” because after a week of working out, the body begins to believe you truly require more than the usual amount to get up that hill and start looking for these connections to extra energy reserves. The more energy we burn the more octane the body seeks to burn. We naturally open ourselves up to finding that abundant resource of energy we never knew we had.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ~ Lao Tzu
If you don’t know what type of exercise you should do, listen to what your body needs. There are sooo many different ways to exercise the body. To explain them all and how they each benefit you, we would need 1000 photos, books and videos. If you have a large 5 inch circle of fat surrounding your stomach, sit ups would be a good place to start and any cardio movement will do. When it comes down to the basics, your body simply wants to pant, breathe deeply and move. Do whatever feels FUN for you, and gets your blood and breath a moving rapidly in and out everyday.
Whatever exercises you choose, just make sure that you incorporate some stretching and gentle warm-up movements before AND after your sweaty workout. This will ensure that you don’t pull a muscle or attract an injury. We want you super healthy and it’s great to use up this quiet time to tap into the greatest spiritual power hidden in the resources of your being. As you stretch your body, relax into your mind. Use your body to liberate your mind and to transcend the thinking completely. Stretching is the perfect time to set deep intentions for what you want to visualize and see manifesting in your life as your blood and breath are pumping hard.
It may be foolish to ignore listing the pages of benefits that daily exercise has on our minds, bodies, and lives, yet one of the most valuable reasons I’ve found to workout is that we start to feel unstoppable in anything that we set our mind out to do. It really doesn’t matter, whatever we desire in our relationships, finances, job, health and love life we can achieve. Anything we focus on can become ours, and with access to an extra supply of energy we can find that extra power we need to break through our limitations and reach any goal.
The more consistent we exercise, the more we’ll feel the increase in energy and expansion of consciousness. I find it’s most effective to exercise first thing in the morning if possible. At this time the spiritual doors are easiest to access, and the earlier we pump up our energy the more we can benefit from it throughout the remainder of our day.
After you get over the first initial hump to getting on your new workout outfit and walking out the door, you’ll see that it becomes something you look forward to each day. The more consistent we are with the timing of when we workout, we may find we are missing out on our sweaty routine even if we should be a few minutes late. Soon we will stop having to motivate ourselves to workout, and our body will naturally want to motivate you! This self driven naturally motivated energy is one of the greatest benefits to raising our energy and awakening that sleeping manifesting power within!
“Matter is Energy. Energy is Light. We are all Light Beings.”~ Albert Einstein
I like to compare a life with exercise is like sailing the ocean on a larger sailboat, and a life without exercise is setting sail on a smaller boat. The bigger boat has more power, many more luxuries, taller sails, a bigger rudder, stronger mast, more work to be done on deck, a deeper keel to keep you on track, and an all around sturdier boat for the big journey to reach the land of enlightenment. The smaller boat will most likely get sucked back into the harbor and nestle in the sand if the waves are too big.
To step onto the deck of this bigger boat we simply need to choose a bigger life. We won’t really need a massive boat if we plan to sail across the local pond, yet we will need a warrior-like ship that is flexible, resilient, and strong if we want to do a world tour around the ocean of consciousness and see the peak of Mt. Everest. We cannot expect to have a good time on some petty little sailboat that cannot make it halfway across the Pacific. As we realize the amazing purpose of our lives, we become even more devoted to the ship that will carry us there. Then we are easily willing to do the hard work that makes each minute of the journey worth it along the way.
My last special secret for you on your journey through life this week is this. Learn how to use your mind to dive deeper into your spiritual journey. The best advice I can give you is to exercise until you cannot stand up, then sit very still for as long as you can in one position. Resting deeply after you’ve done your workout is the best way to practice relieving the mind from all the clutter its caught in. To truly empty out all the mind’s chaos takes too much effort. It’s much easier to feel the natural purity of thought through a need for deep stillness. In your deepest still point a sudden surge of energy will pour through your being on every level. When this occurs, bathe in this energy, know that it is infinite and allow it to guide you spiritually to the next level.
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“There are no accidents or coincidences in this world. Nothing is by chance. Everything you’re experiencing is a direct manifestation of where you’re focusing your energy, attention and consciousness.” ~ Jafree Ozwald
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