In my free time, I prefer to read other healthy living blogs instead of being normal and watching TV, mostly because sometimes I come across some really interesting articles.
Like this one from Lululemon's blog.
I find that I almost always have some sort of self-realization, inner-peace-finding moment during my 90 minutes in the Bikram room, and more often than not during longer runs. I think that in our over-stimulated world, these times that you set aside for yourself to be away from technology and others and to just be inside your own head are really hard to come by. Of course you're going to find some sort of deeper meaning, because that time is time that you are allowing yourself to focus on your thoughts, your breath, your life.
There's something inherently spiritual about yoga; I think it's the fact that it forces you to be in the moment, to focus on the now. Being forced to listen to your breath and your heartbeat is some sort of reminder that this is your life, and you're living it. Right now, no do-overs.
More than that, I've found that exercise has made me more grateful for the little things -- the cool towel at the end of a hot yoga session, the breeze during a long run, water after a tough workout.
Obviously the "church of sweat" isn't a replacement for a real church experience, but they serve different, yet similiar, purposes. It's like one of my geography professors used to talk about -- if you want to find God, you can go to a church or you can go to the top of a mountain and watch the sun rise. Both make you appreciate life more fully, find a deeper connection, and believe in something bigger than yourself, and honestly, isn't that the whole point?