the gospel of sweat



Are sweat sessions the new church? Read on as Erin from our Union Square store in New York talks about the growing movement we're calling the Gospel of Sweat. And if you're in NYC, join us at the Riverside Church September 7th to explore this topic more.

a connection to something bigger

It was six months into living in New York City during a Daft Punk themed spin class that my sweat turned spiritual. The instructor was an angel by the name of Clare Veronica Walsh, and it was at that moment that I tapped into a strength that I had never experienced. As athletes, yogis, and dancers we all have a moment when we realize that our practice is our connection to something bigger than ourselves. This greater idea of community also provides a connection to something that lives within us, and a new responsibility to honour it.

In today’s culture, more and more people are building metaphorical sanctuaries on their spin bikes, temples on their mats, and churches within the walls of their dance studio. Times that were once reserved for religious service attendance, are now reserved with equal dedication for yoga and fitness classes. This kind of spiritual practice is highly individual in that the power is not in the search for answers, but in the recognition that we already have them. Whether through chaturangas or sprints, grande jetes or push-ups, we are peeling something very physical and mental away to tap into the core of our spiritual being. We pray through our pores, period.

join us

On September 7th at the Riverside Church in NYC, we will host the first ">Gospel of Sweat, which is a night of inspiration and intellectual discussion around how what many view as a healthy lifestyle or fitness activity contributes to the spiritual wealth of our community and culture. Led by some of the most influential leaders in the yoga, dance, and fitness worlds, they will “preach to the choir” in a TED-style panel talk. Leave your mats and spin shoes at home and join us for a night of discovery, learning and fun next Friday night!

leaders
Jeff Krasno, founder of the Wanderlust Festival
Schuyler Grant, yoga teacher, founder of Kula Yoga
Alan Finger, yoga teacher, founder of ISHTA Yoga
Elena Brower, yoga teacher, founder of VIRA Yoga and the Art of Attention
Kerri Kelly, yoga teacher, Executive Director of Off the Mat Into the World
Melanie Griffith, spin instructor, SoulCycle
Kay Kay Clivio, yoga teacher, Pure Yoga
Suzanne Sterling, musician and yoga teacher, Off the Mat Into the World
Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Spirit Junkie

If you're in New York, come join the conversation on September 7th. You can RSVP to rsvp@aocnetwork.com and receive any updates on the Facebook event page. If you can't make it in person, we'll be sharing a recap here on the blog.

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12 Comments »


Although I do have a declared religion, when I hear people talk fervently about their faith (in God), I feel the same way about dancing. If I replace the word “God” with “dance” in anyone’s religious monologue, I nod enthusiastically along.

Comment by Kate — August 27, 2012 @ 7:01 pm


LOVE this! I would be there in a heartbeat if I lived in NYC. I used to teach yoga at a local church in Marin for the same reason: Yoga is prayer! Another great post as usual. Thanks Lulu!

Comment by Elle — August 28, 2012 @ 7:16 am


Been trying to find my way into some Yoga…

Great article, even better idea.

Comment by Blake W — August 28, 2012 @ 10:45 am


Beautiful idea and if I wasn’t in SF I would be there in a heartbeat. Sending the love from the “other coast”.

Comment by Alison Fyfe — August 28, 2012 @ 1:50 pm


Every Sunday morning, while many people are attending church, I get up early to practice yoga. That, is religion to me.

Comment by Valerie — August 28, 2012 @ 1:59 pm


This event looks AMAZING!
Way to go NYC team to bring the panel to the people!
I want to fly there!

Comment by Jacki Carr — August 29, 2012 @ 10:29 am


Teddy Roosevelt was famous for his ‘muscular Christianity’. This isn’t a new concept, but sweat away.

Comment by Jessica — August 29, 2012 @ 9:15 pm


Dance is a great way to connect to our inner truth. Like yoga, it’s a gateway through our body to the divine. Conscious dance events, 5 Rhythms and events like this are fantastic. All the best with your event!

Comment by Kiva — August 30, 2012 @ 8:54 pm


I would be there in a heart beat if not for a scheduled surgery on that day! After years of dancing and doing yoga, I’m just beginning to have a sense of the collective consciousness, and I look for every opportunity to explore this further.

Comment by Lyna — September 4, 2012 @ 8:37 am


I hope that you are able to plan more of these events all over the country, especially Boston! I think this concept rings true in any type of exercise that you do daily or at least to some type of schedule. The body does become your “temple” in a way. It would be nice to learn about this in an intellectual setting with a team of experts. Please post if more of these nights will be available, especially in other cities!

Comment by Robyn — September 10, 2012 @ 2:16 pm


any chance you will be doing this again?

Comment by Laura Kemper — November 25, 2012 @ 6:21 pm


Hi Laura,
I haven’t heard plans that our local stores will be hosting the same event again. Our local communities are always inspired to sweat in new ways with our guests so I encourage you to visit your local store to share what events you’d like to see. What was it about the Gospel of Sweat event that makes it super special? Thanks for the question!
~ Siya
Online Community

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — November 27, 2012 @ 8:58 am


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