Why Psalms & Stretches?
Exercise and meditation are widely recognised for their physical and mental health benefits. We believe they are God-designed tools to help us thrive in life and grow in our relationship with Him, because wellbeing isn’t just about our physical and mental health but our spiritual health too. This is why prayer is an integral part of Psalms & Stretches. Our class is not just a mindful approach to exercise but an opportunity to draw closer to God; the true source of our wellbeing.
"I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears." Psalm 34 vs 4
As Christians we have a perfect example in Jesus, who regularly spent time by himself praying to his Father God and studying scripture. Yet amongst the distractions of modern life, it can be a challenge to set time aside to find the focus and connection we yearn for. Modern technology makes communication more accessible than ever, and yet it is not uncommon to feel disconnected. This discord can be continued in a similar way through our physical experience also; although were given bodies that were designed to move, many of us now lead sedentary lives and despite being made in the image of God, many of us struggle with our body image.
What we need most is deep connection, with God, with ourselves and with others.
Psalms & Stretches is a class where we actively pursue this connection using prayer, meditation on the Word of God and exercise. And we do this in real time, together.
"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him." Psalm 62 vs 5
Our vision is for our classes to be accessible for people from all walks of life, meeting together in different locations but united in their intention. It is an individual experience and an opportunity to worship as an ensemble; doing the same moving meditation, praying through the same Psalm and worshipping God with one body.
To find a class near you check our Class locator.
Interested in setting up your own Psalms & Stretches class? Check out our Instructor training.
What does a class look like?
Psalms & Stretches starts with prayer and reading through the chosen bible verse from the book of Psalms. We focus on one passage of verses for a series of classes so that we can learn the words by heart. Repetition is a key part of meditation and each time we return to a passage, we ask God to speak to us through it, afresh in that moment.
In a similar way, when we revisit movement we check-in with our bodies in real time, in the here and now. The main idea of mindfulness is to become aware of ourselves, our thoughts and our feelings in the present moment; in a Psalms & Stretches class we invite God into this, acknowledging Him as the higher power in our lives and looking to Him as our source of wellbeing.
Psalms & Stretches is done in bare feet or wearing socks with grip and using an exercise mat. During class we perform a variety of seated, lying and standing exercises. When our bodies are fully prepared, we return to our chosen passage and set it to actions - matching the movements to the words. This moving meditation, which we call a Psalm Sequence, is not only exercise but a way to pray through the Psalm, to meditate on the passage, and to connect with it in a visceral way. By committing the verse to our minds and our muscle memory, we aim to fully embody the words.
In each class the exercise content will change slightly with options for those who need variations. We end the session with intentional relaxation, prayer and reflection. We encourage our class members to bring a notebook to journal their experience if they find this useful, and to use the Psalm Sequence in their own devotional time or exercise regime, for both the physical and spiritual benefits.
Through this creative approach, we facilitate an environment where we can slow down, be still and encounter God.
A reallly unique experience. I felt like I had done my body good but also it was spiritual... What a great way to get the words of Psalms embedded in the mind by repetition of physical actions!