When SoulCycle Is Your Religion

Caught this from a shocking New York profile of the SoulCycle phenomenon, the exercise company know for “spinning” and for religious devotion to its customers. Don’t believe me? Read the article and sections like this:

“I would do anything that I could to afford these rides,” says 27-year-old Jaime, who often takes thirteen classes a week (estimated cost: $21,632 per year). She’s arranged her schedule to have Mondays off work so that she can always be at her computer the moment classes are released. She counts her instructors among her closest friends. Her social life revolves around people she’s met at SoulCycle. On the anniversary of her father’s death, her instructor had the class ride to “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, one of Jaime’s father’s favorite operas. “I’m seven years sober. You don’t really get love and acceptance and encouragement and self-gratification from a cocktail,” Jaime says. “I mean, I … this is what I need in my life, and it just so happened it’s an exercise class.”

We’re religious creatures, we human beings. We’re made to adore and celebrate and worship. If we do not repent of our sin, we’ll inevitably worship something that is not God. One of the prime candidates, now and for many years: the human body. Interesting to see in the article how obsession over the body is linked to Eastern religion. This is haute Buddhism.

We know this as believers, but redemption is needed everywhere. That includes seemingly-unreligious Manhattan cycling classes, which seem to double for many as a church or temple.


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