“So what does a Selah workout look like?”

Our workout begins with a fun 5 to 20 minutes of Cardio work in the form of Dancercise to upbeat and uplifting Christian worship music with gradually increasing intensity.  We then ease into a sublime 25 minutes of full body stretching and strengthening of all muscle groups. A wonderfully relaxing 20 minutes is then spent in intentional breathing and muscular relaxation, followed by scriptural meditation and prayer.

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“Why Dancercise?”

Scientific research has shown dance to provide great benefits when it comes to cardio-respiratory exercise and brain function. (1)  It has also been associated with lower risks of dementia  (2) , as well as providing a great means to develop coordination, balance, agility and endurance.

(1) Sharp Brains, Judith Hanna PhD. “What Parents and Educators Should Know about Neuroplasticity, Learning and Dance“,  January 2016.

(2) The New England Journal of Medecine reports these findings from a 21 year study of seniors by the Albert Einstein College of Medecine:

% lower risk of Dementia                       

Diverse womens zumba class.

0%    Cycling, Swimming, Golf

35%  Reading

47%  Crosswords 4X per week

76%  Dancing frequently

Dance…  

  • creates new neural paths
  • reduces stress
  • increases serotonin levels
  • challenges cognitive processes

               

 

 

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 How does “Selah” meditation differ from other forms of meditation?

Selah is consistently centered on the Word of God: it is scripturally based. Its thrust comes from the Bible’s constant reminder that we should meditate on what we read in Scripture. The goal is to be so familiar with the promises God has made regarding our relationship with Him that our soul finds peace and purpose. Biblical meditation dates back over four thousand years. Genesis 24:63 tells us that Isaac, the son of Abraham, went out to the field by night to meditate. Joshua 1:8 says “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night…”. David, as well as other writers of the Psalms, remind us 14 times of our need to meditate (1) and says over 70 times, “Selah”, ponder. (2)
Mystical meditation seeks to guide one towards emptying the mind and becoming one with the universe.  Selah, on the other hand, is a filling of one’s mind with the Word of God so as to know the Living God and Creator of the universe. (3) Ultimately, the goal is having God dwell in us and we in God, through the love of Christ, guided by His Spirit. (4)   Some great theologians have had this to share on the matter:

  • Martin Luther referred to Selah as a sign that we are to think more deeply and at greater length what the words to which it is attached mean to say. He called Selah “a punctuation mark of the Holy Spirit. Whenever we find it in the Psalter, the Holy Spirit wants us to pause and ponder; there he wants to touch and enkindle our heart for particularly deep meditation” (Luther, 1956:37) (5)
  • Tozer preached “Read it much, read it often, brood over it, think over it, meditate over it—meditate on the Word of God day and night. When you are awake at night, think of a helpful verse. When you get up in the morning, no matter how you feel, think of a verse and make the Word of God the important element in your day.” (6)
  • John Piper tells us: “Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the New Testament….”. (7)

The Selah Movement has combined scriptural meditation with a New Wellness or Fitness Model. This meditation need not necessarily be linked with such a program and can be the stand alone discipline it has always been. Its inclusion here is affirmation that we are not whole in our beings if the wellbeing of our souls has not been addressed.  This fitness program would be incomplete without it.

REFERENCES

(1) Logos. New American Standard Updated Edition Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (2) Logos. New American Standard Updated Edition Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (3) Foster, R. (1983). Meditative prayer. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. West, M. (Ed.). (1987). The psychology of meditation. New York: Oxford University Press (4) “…be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love…and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16…19 ESV Bible (5) Logos. Believers Church Bible Commentary – Psalms (6) “The Tozer Pulpit Set” (1994), Volume 1, Book 2, page 117. (7). “Desiring God” Revised Edition, John Piper, Multnomah Publishers, 2011.