Intro: Wellness as spiritual practice

PraXis might be a strange concept to some Christians. We combine ideas of spiritual growth with a conversation about how fitness, food, and your thoughts and emotions lead to health and peace of heart. The word praxis is just Greek for practice. The idea of spiritual practice, distinct from liturgical worship, was foundational to the early Christian Church. These practices included worship and Scripture, but also things like fasts (abstaining from meat, cheese, wine, etc.), vigils (staying up all night), pilgrimages, and other physical actions that deepened one’s relationship with God outside of Sunday service.


Today there is a hunger for spiritual practice—something that many Christians have lost touch with. Research has shown that only 52% of Christians in the United States are making efforts—exerting discipline—to grow spiritually. Meanwhile, other forms of spirituality like Buddhism, yoga and other practical spiritual traditions that offer concrete spiritual practices are gaining popularity.

In order to address the current health crisis among Christians today, we look back to ancient history to find a uniquely Christian approach to mind, body, and spirit practices. There will be no pleasing some people, for sure. But this system of exercise, diet, and mindfulness is flexible enough to meet most denominational needs. Christians are unique in our view that the body and soul are ONE—we do not see a division between our bodies and our souls. Ours is an incarnate (in the flesh) God, who meets us in our bodies. Ours is a God who understands the trails and joys of our own embodied lives, because he has been with us, in a human body. Christ is with us in psyche (soul or mind), soma (body), and joined with the pneuma (spirit). Our spiritual wellness praxis (practice) is no different.  

Published by Cornelius Swart

Master in Public and Pastoral Leadership Fitness and Wellness Coach in Training 200 RYT Yoga Instructor (former journalist)

4 thoughts on “Intro: Wellness as spiritual practice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: