Last week, I led a very simple but invigorating full-body, mind, and spirit workout in the park at the annual Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas.
Afterwards, several people approached me and asked me if the workout was written down anywhere, what the method behind the madness was, and why I chose the specific moves, exercises, breathwork and visualizations that I chose for the routine. So without further ado, in all it's easy-to-understand glory, here's the exact workout we performed, along with the reasoning behind the workout. This is very, very similar to the exact routine I perform each morning, although I often sprinkle in a few changes here and there. But the core 5 step structure always remains present…
A Simple 5-Step Body Weight Workout That Incorporates Mind, Body & Spirit
I do this type of routine every single morning, followed up by a harder workout later in the afternoon or early evening, when the body is more primed for “fight and flight” sympathetic nervous system activity. The calisthenics, movement, breathwork and visualization, sprinkled in with just enough body weight strength training to jump start my body, is perfect for beginning the day with a big win. Should you care to see what it looks like live, below is the Facebook video of the actual workout:
Step 1: Gratitude
Begin the workout with your feet planted into the ground and your eyes closed. Take a series of six deep belly breaths in through your nose, then out through your mouth. Keeping your eyes closed, when you finish the final breath, imagine one person, thing, experience, place or anything else that you are grateful for that day (here's how I “prime the pump” for that in bed earlier in the day). Breathe the gratefulness into your heart with three additional deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Step 2: Breathwork
I am a huge, huge fan of Kundalini breathwork for turning on the body, mind and spirit, warming the muscles, and charging the body with Ki. Listen to this podcast to learn more about how I discovered Kundalini and even had a custom routine created for me. The following series was inspired by my Kundalini lessons, and the way I arrange this portion of the workout is as follows:
-Another round Yoga Sun Salutation
-One minute overhead Sweeps (kinda hard to explain, but watch the video above – you raise your arms overhead then sweep them down behind you, almost like you are on skis and sweeping yourself forward with poles)
-Another round Yoga Sun Salutation
-One minute Kundalini “Punches” (another one that is hard to explain, so watch video – but it is as simple as alternating forward punches with exhales rapidly for the full minute)
-Final round Yoga Sun Salutation
Move with no rest into Step 3.
Step 3: Calisthenics
Now comes the time to get the body slightly anaerobic. For this, perform one minute of each of the following, following each with (you guessed it) a round of sun salutations:
-Alternating lunge jumps
-Sitting down and standing up as fast as possible (deceptively difficult)
If time, and this is optional, throw in a third round of calisthenics, this time with burpees. Move to Step 4 with minimal rest.
Step 4: Strength
Inspired by Jon Bruney's “Neuromass” exercises, the strength routine is as follows:
-10 super slow squats + 1 minute squat hold + 10 squat jumps
-10 super slow pushups + 1 minute pushup hold + 10 fast pushups
If time, and this is optional, throw in a third round of strength, this time with any pulling exercise, such as band pulls, pull-ups, etc. Move to Step 5 with minimal rest.
Step 5: Visualization
Finish with one round of fire breathing (rapid sharp, deep inhales followed by short, shallow exhales, preferably all through the nose), then 30 seconds deep nasal breathing, then one final round of fire breathing before performing your “power animal” visualization exercise…
…your body now charged with energy, close your eyes imagine and fully bring to life your “power animal” coming at you from the forest, and across a meadow towards you. It can be a grey wolf, a bald eagle, a charging stallion, a flying dragon, a lumbering brown bear…you choose! Bring your power animal to life and animate it with color, vibrancy, breath, texture and anything else that makes it intense and real for you. Breathe it in and make it a part of you. It is you. Rely upon it for strength and energy the remainder of the day, even when you're tired and stressed.
Finally, think of what you were grateful for at the beginning of the workout. Remember it, smile and open your eyes.
That's it! Now go forth and conquer the day, preferably after an ice cold shower or cold water immersion.
Want more ideas for your daily routine? Here are some of my best articles on creating a morning, afternoon and evening routine, and creating your perfect day:
–My Exact Morning Routine Unveiled Step-By-Step (feel free to copy, modify or comment)
–My Exact Daily Routine Unveiled Step-By-Step (feel free to copy, modify or comment)
–My Exact Evening Routine Unveiled Step-By-Step (feel free to copy, modify or comment)
Finally, should you want a bit more flavor of the workout in the park that morning, here's a little snippet from my Instagram page (where admittedly, I've been posting more and more photos and videos these days). Leave your own morning routine and body weight workout ideas, thoughts, questions and comments below, and I'll reply!