Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Taking a walk to combine spirituality and physical activity is a rising trend among young adults.
One such group of young adults at Shandon United Methodist Church walk as the sun comes up on Wednesday mornings.
"It's a nice break from everything," said Amanda Rosinski who says the group is doing good on attendance despite the early hours.
Rosinski brings her dog to what is now the mid-week morning routine.
The group, ranging from 4 to 12 members depending on the week, uses a devotional book to guide their time and pray before hitting the pavement.
"A lot of the book and scripture we read deal with nature," said Rosinski. "You have a reflection time and it's nice to get your thoughts gathered from the beginning of the week towards the end of the week."
The group started seven months ago and is marketed to young adults, both men and women, in the church.
"Started off as a way for us to spend a little more time together in a very different setting," said Julie Songer Belman, a minister at Shandon United Methodist Church. "Instead of getting up and thinking about all the things I have to do today and all of the stresses and worries ... Just take a walk."
It turns out taking a walk is gaining popularity among a younger generation looking for something less traditional and structured.
Columbia International University professor David Cashin says the popularity comes from those looking to investigate spirituality while staying active.
"The purpose of a labyrinth is simply to walk a pathway and in that process focus your thoughts on some kind of meditative activity. "It could be applied to any spiritual system," said Cashin, who notes a labyrinth is a popular walking venue.
A simple Google search revels labyrinths throughout the Midlands that offer designated paths circling around a central point.
Labyrinths were found in greek mythology and used to cage mythical creatures according to Cashin.
"I would say this experience is beneficial if it leads increasingly to a personal devotional life," said Cashin. "I think this is incredibly appealing to a culture that is freaked out, stressed, and over busy and too active in too many things and rarely has an opportunity to slow down and to stop and think."
If you'd like more information about joining the Wednesday morning walking group, contact Shandon United Methodist Church at (803) 256-8383.
Or, you can visit one of the Midlands' labyrinths below:
The Montessori School of Camden
2 Montessori Way
Camden, SC 29020
Maxcy Gregg Park
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
4201 N. Main St.
Brockman Elementary School
2245 Montclair Dr.
Christus Victor Lutheran Church
400 Harbison Blvd.
Christ Unity Church of Columbia
1801 LeGrand Rd.
Lexington United Methodist Church
309 E. Main St.