SoulCycle Instructor Kamelle Mills Reveals Why 'Working In' Is Just As Important As Working Out

For SoulCycle instructor Kamelle Mills, exercising is about so much more than just working out. Mills has a philosophy that he calls "working in," which refers to the inner work we all need to do to grow and thrive. "Working in" includes things like practicing self-acceptance and self-love, moving past the aesthetics of the body he inhabits, and focusing on taking care of himself before he pours all of his energy into taking care of others.

He also believes that when we move our bodies, we can see how strong and capable we are, which enables us to see the impact that we can have in the world. Instead of moving his body to achieve physical goals, Mills moves his body to achieve mental and spiritual goals.

In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Mills explained his "working in" philosophy, how he applies it to each of his workouts, and how he brings it into his work as a SoulCycle instructor.

Moving beyond aesthetics

Mills hasn't always been focused on "working in" as well as working out. He's struggled with body image and eating issues throughout his life, and when he began working out, his goals were mostly aesthetic. Mills revealed that a conversation with his personal trainer really changed his perspective.

"I was like, 'I want to look like this,'" Mills said of his first meeting with his trainer. But his trainer encouraged him to instead think about how he wanted to feel and what longterm impact he hoped to gain. This not only prompted him to think about how he could maintain his strength and fitness for himself, but also how he could use his body to be of service in his community.

Taking it one step further, Mills visualizes connections between his fitness and deeper concepts that resonate with him. He explains, "Like my arms need to be strong for the people I hold. My legs need to be strong because I need to stand up for what I believe in." In doing so, he feels far more motivated and limitless in his capabilities.

Mind, body, and spirit as one

Mills revealed how deeply and spiritually connected he feels toward working out, stating "I think our soul is a reflection of this thing that we are held in called a body." He believes that it's through physical movement that we experience soul and mind alignment — they're all in interconnected. And when we move our bodies and tap into that mind-body-spirit connection, that's when we start to achieve our true potential. He stressed that working out solely to change your body is missing the point by sharing his profound mantra: "I always say 'What good is a hot body with a lukewarm spirit?'"

Beyond reaching spiritual connectedness, Mills is also dedicated to living authentically and credits SoulCycle for pushing him outside his boundaries and encouraging him to become an instructor. In an environment and company culture that promotes inclusion, SoulCycle's team is made up of a vast array of body types, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities. And eventually, he felt he had the courage to find his place on the podium too.

Catch Kamelle at SoulCycle Miami! Book a bike here.