By Melissa Butz
Movement and prayer combined: this is the idea of SoulCore, an exercise which nourishes body, mind and soul.
The company’s founder, Colleen Scariano, said she was inspired with the concept in a difficult moment after her mother, father and brother died within three months.
It was at this point that she had a deeper conversion and started praying the rosary
“So it really became this instrument of healing for me. Then I started to combine the rosary with running,” she explained. “The combination of the physical exercise and the prayer was just this beautiful time of prayer. Grief also takes a physical toll on your body. So it was really healing both, you know, body, mind, and spirit are all three. So that’s really the seeds of soulcore.”
“God has placed with me from a very early age, that desire to unite body and soul, and in prayer,” explained Deanne Miller, who leads classes. “Really, I would say, starting my twenties, after not caring for my body in a healthy way. Then Him revealing to me the gift of our bodies, the miracle of our bodies and how we are to nurture it.”
This nurturing of body and soul has not only gained momentum throughout the United States in its four years of existence, but is expanding worldwide. Colleen and Deanne are traveling and leading training courses for men, women and religious to participate in parishes around the world.
“It really helps us elevate the prayer a little bit and it engages the mind and allows us to reflect a little more deeply on the mysteries,” said Colleen, “particularly for SoulCore on the mysteries and the virtues of the rosary.”
“I wanted to share a key distinction between SoulCore and any other sort of fitness or exercise discipline is that it is Christ-centered,” added Deanna. “It’s about a filling up of oneself of God’s word of the Holy Spirit and always oriented to Christ and meditating on these mysteries. Really, again, prayer focused, so it is not yoga. There are no yoga positions. There’s no Sanskrit, you know, and it was never again intended to be compared.”
That’s why they say the practice cannot be carried out in any sort of yoga studio, so the focus remains prayer and the rosary. Yet, they assert non-Catholics and those unfamiliar with the rosary are free to attend. It’s a way for everyone to stretch the body’s core, while the roots of one’s faith are also growing to new depths.