Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why Spin Instructors are Like Rabbis

I think I've discovered why I like going to Spinning classes.

It's just like being at services, except I'm not in charge:

It lasts about an hour, just like services.
I can get into a rhythm, just like in a good prayer experience.
There's a rubric to follow. Sprints, climbs, flat roads....Sh'ma u'virchote-ha, Amidah, Torah service...
There's music, sometimes to sing along with....
There's a sense of shared purpose. We're all in this together.
There's a lot of stand-up, sit-down.*
The instructor uses her hands to indicate "stand up" and "sit down"... just like I do.*
She offers encouragement, similar to the way that a rabbi might offer explanations of the prayers.
She sometimes throws out questions for the group to answer, just as I might when leading services or giving a sermon.
People are often reticent to answer. Just like at services.

I can lose myself in the experience, and feel uplifted at the end.

Do I think that Spinning or exercise can replace a religious experience?

But they do strike me as quite similar....

*This was the part that got me thinking during Spin class. Like any good blogger, I actually considered getting off my bike and jotting down some notes. It seemed like a reasonable excuse to take a break...but I didn't. I remembered anyway! See, working out is good for you.


Five Places I've Been This Week

Mini Caramel Apples - think I'll have time to make these for Rosh HaShanah?

The Carbon Footprint of my Diet Coke (from

Planting Fall Bulbs (think I'm going to get to that?)

Project Forgiveness

Juggling Frog's Carnival of Overdue Thanks
(I'm trying to get to all the posts!)

from my delicious (Are you in my network?)
P.S. Anyone know when they changed from to just plain delicious?
Where have you been?


Robin said...

Services are an hour? I should have gone to your shul when I was growing up - ours were three!

Karen Maezen Miller said...

We call is "sangha" and wherever you find it, it sure does get the heart pumping. Good for you.

Jessica McFadden said...

Great post! I loved the title, featured on BlogHer Ads, and had to click to read the post. I often feel the same way about going to worship at my Catholic church as going to gym - sometimes I have to drag myself there, but I always feel so great afterwards.