By Sheila Hall

There are three important rules I follow:
1. Love Jesus – In my training, this is where my intention is based, relying on His strength to be healthy and whole. If I can get through my workout with Him, I can get through the obstacles I come across during my day.
2. Remove the EGO – Ego for me means Edging God Out. If I workout in my own self, for my own satisfaction, I will never be satisfied with the results so it will never last. I workout to be healthy and whole so that I can help and love others. It is not to try and look like what I or others think I should look like but to be what God made me to be. I love the Bible verse, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
3. Love Others – Knowing that everyone has different limitations and abilities removes the lie of, “I can’t - I’m not” and the fear. These are replaced with truth in His strength and in His design, which gives freedom.
We can go overboard in our physical training when we let our EGO lead us. This is why class format is important to me. You don’t want to create an atmosphere of bondage. You should have an atmosphere that offers different levels of engagement so that the guidelines, techniques and routines can offer flexibility to move for change. This gives everyone in a group exercise class the freedom of knowing that, “I’m not perfect” and “this is the level where I should be for now”.
I guess freedom is the big word for me these days. Once we take that away, we are in danger of creating strongholds. We can start believing that both salvation and fitness goals can only be earned and developed by being legalistic. This makes us forget about God’s grace and mercy.
I rely on the principle of living with a purpose. God has called me to live by faith, not only in my mind and spirit but also in my body. I am to be healthy and whole in a wholly way. I’m not perfect therefore I don’t expect perfection. But I do stand on the expectancy of grace and mercy. I know that my walk has nothing to do with me but what God has for me. This is what keeps me strong, faithful and in truth. In this there is no compromise, no wavering and no turning back.
Some people in church complain about the order of church - the following of set rules and regulations and the call to discipline. They identify this as a form of legalism. I realized that they are actually opposed to grace! In the Bible, Paul warns us about legalism, “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” So, I think the danger of becoming legalistic in our faith happens by not living for God’s purpose and living in fear and judgment of others.
I make fitness fun by taking out the word “goal” and replacing it with the word “grace”. There is no pressure. Our definition of being perfect is unacceptable because of His mercy. This makes personal fitness fun, loving and free.
Sheila Hall is an ordained minister and holds a Masters’ degree in Healthcare Administration. She is the author of, “Spiritual Healing using Natural Health”. She is a certified Holy Yoga and Revelation Wellness Fitness Instructor and is the Director of Administration for Revelation Wellness. Currently she is the Holy Yoga instructor for Radio One’s “One Luv Gospel Cruise” and has lead a Gospel Zumba and Holy Yoga routine for the Yolanda Adams’ Health and Lifestyle Tour.

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