Being Catholic is not a prerequisite for participating in Pietra Fitness classes. In fact, many of the people who practice Pietra Fitness are not Catholic—they simply love the unique workouts! Yes, the classes do incorporate some of the beautiful elements of Christian spirituality, but feel free to just observe. The entire class is led by the instructor, so there are no prayers to learn or memorize, nor are there any prayers to say as a group.
Regardless of your profession of faith, you can experience the whole-person benefits of Pietra Fitness. To help you feel more comfortable in a class, here is what you can expect in every workout.
What You Can Expect
- Exercises and postures that stretch, tone, and strengthen your body
- Stretches that help you release stress and tension
- Deep breathing to calm your mind and nervous system, allowing you to focus on Christ and the class
- Flowing movements that get your heart rate up or relax your body, depending on the class level
- A theme to focus on, such as healing, joy, gratitude, peace, trust, and living in the present moment
- Short meditations—often including quotes from saints—to help you reflect on the theme and contemplate ways to bring that theme to life in your day-to-day
- Verbal cues regarding the muscles that are stretched and strengthened with each exercise or posture, allowing you to assimilate all that your body is doing—and move safely
- Christian prayer
- It is customary for Catholics to begin prayer with the Sign of the Cross. The instructor will begin and end class in this way, making the entire class a prayer. You may begin and end class in a way that is most comfortable for you.
- At the beginning of class, the instructor will offer a few prayer intentions and invite participants to share any intentions they may have, too. This is completely voluntary.
- Praying together and for each other is very powerful. Just as you would ask a friend to pray for you, the instructor will ask a few saints (including Mary) who are already in heaven for their intercession. For example, “Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.”
- A short Scripture verse read at the beginning and end of class to emphasize the class theme
- Bodily prayer, a more prayerful position that allows a person to engage their entire self—body, mind, and soul—in reverence, love, and devotion to God when the Scripture verse is read
- An icon (painting) of Jesus on the cross as a reminder that He loves us and is present in everything around us
- Sacred music, such as Gregorian chant, to enhance the quiet time of prayer and reflection near the end of class
We hope that some of these beautiful elements resonate with you and enhance your experience of every Pietra Fitness class—no matter your faith background. May our kindness and mutual respect for one another be a sign of our love for Christ.
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