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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

the oh-no! DVD of the week: ‘Heaven’s Gym – Inspiration’

Jesus loves you, but he thinks you’re kinda flabby, and not very limber:

Welcome to Heaven’s Gym! Each of us needs some INSPIRATION to kick start some new healthy lifestyle practices. The Word of God is going to be our INSPIRATION for this workout, and it will provide all we need to take it to the limit physically and spiritually. In this program you’ll be physically challenged, mentally stimulated and spiritually motivated. This beginner’s stretch workout will nourish your spirit in God’s word while helping you: Increase flexibility Reduce stress Improve your circulation Heaven’s Gym is here to help you grow physically, mentally and spiritually. Enjoy the journey!

There’s a whole series of these “Christian-inspired workouts”! There’s also Power, Reflection, Outlook, Hope, Focus, and Courage. I didn’t know you could exercise to improve your “courage” or “reflection,” but these are the things I’m missing out on as an atheist.

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  • obviously, the type of Christian soldiers these dvds are trying to create don’t need to know the rules of grammar and punctuation! perhaps those are the devil’s tools — only used by them readers.

  • I bet this is yoga for “christians” who believe doing actual yoga poses will turn them into Hindus.

  • Gia

    …the blonde woman on the right is terrifyingly reminiscent of the creepy reverend’s wife on True Blood.

  • Godslittlesoldier

    I don’t know why you people have to pick on something that God has given us to help ourselves! Clearly you are jealous of the divine spirit that these angels of His word are trying to do. Jesus taught us to keep our body as a temple and these two ladies have helped me loose 23 pounds, through their love and words of praise for our Lord. I am happy again and almost to a size 18 dress because of these videos. I feel healthy and praise His pointing me in the direction of their help. As a Christian I only hope that you people can find the Lord so you stop your hatred and spread the love that He has to offer.

  • Accounting Ninja

    Well, this atheist lost 20+ pounds on her entirely godless regimen…assisted by the tools on Sparkpeople.com. /shamelessplug

    So I highly doubt we fatty atheists or non-christians are jealous of this super-effective, totally new method of exercising and eating right to lose weight.

    What I’m more disturbed about is that there are only women on this cover, and they look thin, coiffed, and non-threatening. Not powerful and radiating athletic health. Because ladies, you’re fat. And Jesus wants you to stay skinny for your Republican husband.

  • Paul

    Well, they have to consider the market, and the ad does remind me of typical yoga advertising, just reworded for a Christian market. If Republican men are going to exercise, it’s probably weight lifting, basketball, football . . . assuming they take the time. I’m a liberal guy and I was pretty skeptical of yoga until a friend found a good school. And guess what; I was the only guy in most of the classes in a very liberal city, so yeah, this is going to be marketed towards women.

    Some Left Coast yoga teachers I’ve met avoid the Hindu basis and promote yoga as a non-religious specific away of raising spiritual and physical health. After all, meditation/prayer is one of the universals of religious practice, even if it’s not universally practiced by believers. So maybe the market for this is women who wish they could take yoga but don’t want to worry about Hinduism. Which I can understand, since I sometimes think I could be a Buddhist, once I stripped out the Hinduism. Which would obviously be difficult.

    If these exercises are disguised yoga exercises, then I guess it is only “hope” and “courage” I found puzzling. The other virtues are not unlike what regular yoga teachers might promise.

  • Accounting Ninja

    The reason it’s marketed mostly to women is because in our culture, women are expected to maintain a certain body ideal, even though fitness is important to all bodies, male or female. Most workout videos (aerobics or yoga, anyways) have women on the covers, but this particular one creeped me out a bit because it’s …Stepford-y. They’d never put a woman like, say, Susan Powter on the cover of this, because she doesn’t fit the thin (not-muscular), white, pretty, right-wing ideal. They even have same-looking faces and hair. Brrr.
    One reason I liked Tae-Bo some years ago. It was lead by a man, and he had people of different shapes, genders and ages in his crew.

  • Paul

    I will grant that women are expected to fit a particular body type, but men are expected to fit into two particular body types, either wiry or that cobra shaped upper body: either the New York fashion magazine meterosexual or the Sears catalog traditional man. Women will cut a man more slack in appearance if she’s looking for a husband, but that’s if he’s successful.

    Now we could go back and forth on this, and probably have before, but the point of advertising is to sell things, which means they have to get you to want it, which means they have to get you thinking that you are lacking something . . . advertising therefore has to undermine your satisfaction, either with what you have or what you are.

    About ten minutes from my apartment there is a huge electronic billboard that continuously reruns commercials. The latest is this rich, handsome Chinese man with a fancy watch and fancy car, I’m not sure which the ad is for, and two rich, good looking westerners pass him, giving him looks of respect from the man and, ahem, appraisal from the woman. That’s how you sell over priced status symbols in China.

  • brad

    I did my research on who these girls are and found the blonde’s website…I’d venture to say she was a little more “powerful” than we are giving her credit for.

  • Accounting Ninja

    That’s fine and good, but I was talking only about the very specific way the cover is marketed. If she really is more powerful, then that’s a shame, and this doesn’t really do her justice. The very first impression I get from that cover is: Pretty. Homogenous. Non Threatening. That was even before I read the little blurb about it.

    And Paul, we’re going to have to agree to disagree that men in America are subjected to as much cultural pressure to be successful as women are to be young and beautiful. I don’t buy it for a second. China may be a different story, I don’t pretend to know anything about the culture there.

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