• Warrior Monk

Warrior Monk Conversations 008: Movement as Medicine with Travis Brewer and Leah Russell

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Travis Brewer is a fitness ninja and entrepreneur on a mission to spread positive energy through movement. His dedication to movement has led him to become a finalist on the hit TV Show American Ninja Warrior on NBC.

Leah Russell is a movement enthusiast and a certified acro yoga instructor. She has taught at some of the world's largest workshops such as AcroLove in San Diego and Miami, and in Divine Plain Jamaica and Perth, Australia.

I interview Travis Brewer and Leah Russell and we talk about their secret to a youthful mind and body, their personal and spiritual journeys, and the pivotal moments in their lives which led them to be passionate about movement, acroyoga, and spirituality.

Travis and Leah also share how to get into a flow state and divine play, their vision and mission for the world in the time of the coronavirus, and the incredible resilience story of a friend named Charles Ryan or CR.

Connect with Travis @travisbrewer.ninja and Leah @little_beastmode on Instagram Read more about Travis Brewer here: www.travisbrewer.ninja

Intro and Outro Music: Hearts on Fire by Immersive Music

Connect with me for inspiring and educational content on Instagram @warriormonk and Facebook: facebook.com/thewarriormonk

Read more about the Warrior Monk mission here: www.thewarriormonk.com

The repository of Warrior Monk Conversations podcast episodes are found here: www.thewarriormonk.me

#movement #medicine #poonachamachaiah #personalgrowth #wellness #wellbeing #resilience #acroyoga #ninjawarrior #travisbrewer #leahrussell


Warrior Monk Conversations 008: Movement as Medicine with Travis Brewer and Leah Russell

Welcome to Warrior Monk Conversations, a treasure trove of inspirational discussions in personal and professional development.

I am Poonacha Machaiah. Join me on this journey where I have immersive conversations with the most thought-provoking leaders and everyday heroes from our communities to inspire, educate, and empower you to build resilience and reach your highest potential. Join me on this mission to create a positive societal shift to the compassionate transformation of humankind.

Travis Brewer is a fitness ninja and entrepreneur on a mission to spread positive energy through movement. His dedication to movement has led him to become a finalist on the hit TV show American Ninja Warrior, performed on Shark Tank, as well as on the Battle of the Bars competition. He is certified as an instructor in Animal Flow and AcroYoga Fitness. He's also the founder of Positive Impact Movement and his own motivational lifestyle brand Pi Movement Ninja which helps raise money and awareness for fitness parks and playgrounds around the world.

Leah Russell is a native of Los Angeles. Leah is passionate about AcroYoga and standing acrobatics. Leah has taught workshops at some of the world's largest AcroYoga festivals, such as Divine Play in Portland, AcroLove in San Diego and Miami. She's also taught internationally at Divine Play Jamaica, as well as in Perth, Australia. She is currently working and integrating a lifelong passion for movement, art, and design.

Poonacha: Okay! I'm here with my dear friends, Travis and Leah. This is always a pleasure to see you, guys.

Leah: So nice to see you and connect.

Poonacha: And one of the things which the reason I'm excited about the podcast today is, every time I meet you all, I feel young. Right? And I just turned 50. And I believe that you're both the embodiment of a youthful mind and a youthful body. So how do you do this? What is your secret? Leah, let's start with you.

Leah: I feel that there's a few different components. So one is, staying young is moving, moving the body, allowing energy to flow through, staying open minded, and just all around, living a healthy lifestyle. It's the choices you make, whether they're physical choices or your nutrition and what you surround yourself with, the energies you surround yourself with. So, yeah! Just, you know, moving, staying active keeps you young.

Poonacha: And what's your idea or a secret you want to share, which is your protocol?

Leah: My protocol, well,

Poonacha: The beastmode protocol.

Leah: The beastmode (chuckles). Well, I feel like everyone has this opportunity where the seed gets planted, and, you know, it might not be the same thing for everyone, and for me, it was yoga and something called AcroYoga, which is a blend of acrobatics and yoga. So that was this fun-fuel that got the beast, the little beast going, but it did open my mind and my body into other movements, other energies, other people and communities, and yeah, that was my little gateway into movement, into a healthy lifestyle and a healthy community.

Poonacha: Awesome. Travis, what about you? What's your, what's your secret?

Travis: To follow up on Leah's great assessment, movement is medicine, and so, to be able to move within our body but our mind and our soul as well. It's not just the physical practice that really, like exercising our mind, how we think, how we act, but also that spiritual connection connecting to, you know, your higher self, your spirit or your internal path of who you are. So, all of those are movement. You know, we are moving towards down that path of a spiritual journey, as well as a mental journey of 'never stop learning'. Always learn that you are going to make mistakes, but learn how to learn from those. And also, same thing with the physical, we have to move continuously, our bodies, and learn from not only the mistakes but also like strengthening our bodies, so.

Poonacha: So maybe, maybe you can take me back in time, I guess you grew up in Texas, right? If I'm not mistaken.

Travis: Yeah, born in Houston, Texas.

Poonacha: Houston, Texas. And I understand that you wanted to be an athlete, and you actually, you're a business major, right? So tell me a little bit about your journey and how, and American Ninja Warrior, and then, and now, with you as an entrepreneur. Tell me a little bit about your personal journey.

Travis; Yeah. So growing up in Houston, Texas, my parents said, as soon as I could start crawling, I was, I crawled onto the roof of the house, and so they said, well, "we should probably put this kid in gymnastics so he can learn how to flip, dive and roll, and all the things." So I started in gymnastics, and I'm so glad they put me in gymnastics as a kid. There was a competitive team at the gym, and I naturally gravitated to that and was on a competitive team, ranked in the state, competing nationally. And going up through elementary and middle school, that's all I did. But in middle school, you kind of, again, you hit a pivot, and you're like, you know, 'is it', you know, 'is this what you want to be doing?' You know, you're kind of making more, you're having more awareness, and gymnastics was not the calling as much as, you know, wanting to be kind of more social, you know, be able to interact with my peers.

And so, you know, growing up in Texas, you know, playing football and dating the cheerleader was the thing to do. And so I ended up playing football, I played soccer, I ran track, I did lacrosse. I had such a---more time to do sports after doing gymnastics. So I was competing, you know, every day after school, and every weekend, I was traveling. So I ended up on a state champion soccer team and was captain of a team there, and, but I blew my knee out, my senior year, and I tore my ACL, LCL, PCL, and all the nerves in my knee. And that was a huge, huge blow, literally, because I didn't know if I'd be able to walk again. They said, "You probably will never play sports again." And I was like, 'oh, man, that's all I wanted to do.' And so, going into college, I was like, 'I'm going to prove them wrong.' And so, I tried to rehab and come back, and I tore my knee two more times-

Poonacha: I didn't know that.

Travis: ---the next two years. And that just devastated me because I was like, 'Man, I thought my---

Poonacha: You don't look it.

Travis: Yeah!

Poonacha: The things you do.

Travis: Oh, thank you.

Poonacha: I don't know who the surgeon was, maybe we should talk to him.

Travis: Great surgeon, by the way.

Poonacha: 'Cause today, if I have two ACL imported, I'm messed up.

Travis: Oh, well, yeah. My ACL is still, you know, reattached with screws. My LCL and PCL are permanently torn. But, it was crazy. Like I lived in a fear state for so long that my knee is going to tear again. "I can't do what I do. I need to just retire." And so, I got a job in commercial real estate, and I worked in real estate in the mid-2000s, and I did that. And in 2008, the market crashed, and I lost my job. And it was, at the time, terrible, but the best thing that happened to me at the same time because it forced me to, you know, ask the question, 'is this what I really want to be doing with my life?" And the answer was 'no'. Like, I was just following, I think, society's plan: 'If you have, if you make a lot of money, you have a lot of friends, you'll be happy.' And that was not the answer at all. And so I decided to go back to school. I went and got my MBA, Pepperdine, but I focused on social entrepreneurship.

And that also led me to studying and reading. I read Steve Jobs, his autobiography when he passed away, and his takeaway was this one book that helped change his life Autobiography of a Yogi. And reading that book led me to the lake shrine and the meditation garden through Yogananda, and I did a three-year year study of the lesson plans that he wrote, and that completely led me to a life of self-realization and actualization of 'Who I am,' and 'What is my spiritual journey?', and 'What is my purpose?', and 'What are my God-given gifts?' And for me, it was fitness and movement, design, entertainment are all the things that I've had a passion for, but also spirituality. So, to distill that, it was meditation and movement, and how can I share that to the world. So if I started an apparel company that gives back to building parks and playgrounds, that is movement apparel, that also is a sacred movement, like, playground that we're working towards. And then, I can build community around that, so.

Poonacha: Beautiful. Beautiful. Leah, what's a, I've known you as a designer. The first time we met, I think I actually knew you as a designer, you were designing parks, and, I think, playgrounds and initially you and I were talking. I know you're like the top of the game when it comes to AcroYoga. How did---what's your journey?

Leah: So my story's very similar to Travis. I actually grew up in Alabama. And there was this kind of idea that it was like 'right after high school, go to college, get the job, get the house, and this is where you stay, and you don't venture out.' And I just knew that there was just something greater for me. And something that was a big calling to me is, I've always loved art, movement and art. I was very active as a kid growing up. I cheered. I did soccer. And then later, I realized that I was not moving as much, but I was really pushing towards art, so I decided to move from Alabama and move to California to pursue going to an art school where I fell in love with interior design.

And upon graduating, similar to Travis, it was just the economy was just not doing well, especially for the industry of interior design. Luckily, I had a job at the time, and I continued just to get in this routine of just this kind of idea of Monday through Friday working, sometimes going out but feeling like there was something missing. After this job that I had had, again, the economy wasn't doing well, and so a lot of people were getting laid off. I just first discovered my gift in doing production design. It was another form of art for me to create, and I went on this journey; I worked on a featured film, and we traveled cross country, and, and it just kind of let, just let me up. And they made me realize of other opportunities, and then, I was just seeking, I didn't know what I was seeking, but what I was actually seeking was movement in my body. I felt like I was getting creative flow in the mind, and then, I discovered, one day, being reconnected with a very long distant friend, with Original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica. Just beautiful community that has all kinds of different movers, and I just started playing. And that's it.

Poonacha: Playing.

Leah: That's what keeps us young, is playing.

Poonacha: Right.

Leah: You have all these people from all different backgrounds, all different movement modalities, and just showing up at the beach to play with one another and share practice. And so, it became what I thought was this "hobby", but it turned more into this lifestyle, and I started to, actually, at that time, designing less and teaching and performing more because I realized what this did for me mentally, physically, and I wanted to share that, so I started traveling, and teaching, performing and discovered the movement art and the performance. And then, to bring me to today, which as we talked about, design, that designer inside of me still exists.

Poonacha: Sure.

Leah: But it was a different way for me to use that creativity and it being blended with my passion for movement and health and wellness. And so, now, I currently design parks for Pi Movement and as well as designing fitness gyms and fitness apparel for Pi Movement. So I get to bring my design and my passion for art and movement.

Poonacha: Combining both.

Leah: Combining both. And lately, what we joke about me, they called me the MAD Lady, which stands for movement, art and design.

Poonacha: Love it!

Leah: And then, I built myself what we call a MAD Lab, my little space.

Poonacha: I'm looking forward to it.

Leah: I can't wait to show it to you.

Poonacha: I got to look at it now.

Leah: Where I get to just go and get creative.

Poonacha: If you have a picture of its inside, that will be the picture, the album cover for the podcast.

Leah: I would love---Yes! I would love it! And then, I realized, this is what I call it for me, right?

Poonacha: Right.

Leah: My MAD Lab. It is something that I realized when I'm finding a balance of flow between movement, art and design. And again, meditation was something I discovered and the spirituality and bringing that all into my work. It is something that keeps me alive and young and flowing and happy. And discovering that those things that are mad, I can turn that mad into a positive, right? And realized this is how I can move through the difficulty in life, and sometimes, that may be.

Poonacha: Sure.

Leah: This is how I feel. A lot of people can move through trauma and move through anything as finding a format outlet, movement being one. Mine just so happened to be art and design, but anyone can find their own. And I'm so excited to share my space with you and realize that I could create these spaces for others.

Poonacha: Absolutely. I think, do you have a website where you actually share this work?

Leah: I'm in the works of creating it.

Poonacha: It should definitely be shared in the show notes.

Leah: Yeah, absolutely.

Poonacha: You know, one of the things which I love about, a lot of people talk about flow. I know you guys work with Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal.

Leah: Yeah.

Poonacha: And he talks about, I think, it's his STER principle—selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness, and richness of experience. But what I love about what you all do, you are both, are flow, right? When I watched what you all do on Instagram, and I can never do it, but I, one day, will. I've always told Travis, "One day, I want to learn how to do the heads, handstand." You know?

Leah: Okay.

Poonacha: Eventually. But, you know, talk about flow, right? What are your thoughts on flow? I mean, how do you get into that flow state? You make things look so easy, right? What is the, is there any tips or things you want to share about flow? In general?

Travis: Yeah, really grateful that we just, actually, just taught with the Flow Genome Project again last month, and in getting people into flow. Leah touched on a couple of the spots, that play is really like a really strong element, but another one is really like, one of the lessons that they teach people how to get into flow, you can do it through many different ways. It can be, it can be movement or meditation. It can be a runner's high. It can be kind of, people can get it in too many different ways, but one of the quickest ways that people get into flow is, you know, they often use, like, snowboarding, for example, because you're kind of, you're floating, you know, you're like, you're getting off the ground, you know, and that's what's so great about AcroYoga, is, you are like literally lifting people up. So if you're, if you're moving, and you're off axis or you're jumping or you're in a state where you're constantly having to not think about anything else but what you're doing. It's being super present.

Poonacha: And then, trust.

Travis: Yeah.

Poonacha: When I look at AcroYoga, it's trust.

Travis: Yeah.

Leah: Absolutely.

Poonacha: I think and somebody goes, 'I got you,' right?

Travis: Yeah.

Poonacha: It's really having that state.

Travis: So anything that can get you into a very present moment, I think is a flow state, where you, like, there's a risk reward or there's like a, there's some sort of like a consequence if you're not fully present. AcroYoga is really great because you are literally holding someone else's body and, you know, life, in their hands or vice versa. So there's a level of not only presence for you to be the best that you can be, but also upholding someone else. So that's why I think AcroYoga is a really great one. But also, the element of just like, the joy of play is really great because you are again, you're not thinking anything else but like, how do you have fun? You know, how do you interact? How do you become---

Poonacha: Are you guys running a book called The Joy of Play? You should. (Leah chuckles)

Travis: Yeah.

Poonacha: You should.

Travis: Yeah. And so that's another thing that we're working---that is super great in how to get into flow. And I think an important thing about flow also is, people always, always talk about how to get into flow, and it's super important to stay in that flow state, but also know that you will come down from it, but learning how to recover and come back and---

Poonacha: Homeostasis. Getting back to the normal.

Travis: Exactly. It's super important as well. So.

Poonacha: The question I want to also ask you, guys, is, you know, with this whole thing going on right now, with coronavirus, and the whole world is kind of going through its own challenges, maybe, as this becomes a test of our human condition, how we are as a society, what I love what you all do and especially here in Venice, you all have a tribe. Right? In Eastern philosophy, we call it Sangha.

Leah: Yes.

Poonacha: And, you know, there's body, mind, spirit. I believe in this body-mind society. And I think we need to bring in the stronger element of, you know, people taking care of each other, watching each other, watching each other's backs. What's your message? How do you, what is it that works? I look at, when I look at your, when I hang out with you, guys, I see that you have a very strong tribe. How do you, how do you replicate that? Do you guys have a formula?

Leah: Wow. Formula? Well, I feel that-

Poonacha: People like formula, so (Poonacha and Leah chuckle) make one up!

Leah: Well, I believe it just comes, and I come back to this word, present, as Travis mentioned, just the connection of making eye contact and bringing your energy and your joy to a complete stranger, and I feel that our friends, as we get together, there is this presence that we have with one another.

Poonacha: Absolutely.

Leah: And a beautiful communication in a safe space. And we always feel that we're creating a safe container that allows us to just fully be able to express ourselves.

Poonacha: I think when you're present, there's presence.

Leah: Right.

Poonacha: I think everybody that collects through presence, and I think there is something to be said about that because I believe if somebody is not feeling well or low, I think the collective vibration, the collective consciousness will uplift them. And I really believe, and the reason I'm really doubling up on my effort to talk to people like you all is that I think it's time for us to share these stories and really surface there's so much goodness, and there are also things we can do together. Because, today, I think we've gotten into the habit of rewarding the individual not the collective, right? Somebody wins the Super Bowl, who is the MVP? Like, no, the team won the Super Bowl, right?

Travis: Yeah.

Leah: Absolutely.

Poonacha: And today, as a group, as a collective, we have a chance. Right? And I think there's something which your message with creating these communities of movement is really powerful. And we stopped doing that, you know.

Leah: Absolutely. And, you know, you hear the, I believe the expression is, you know, 'It takes a village to raise a child,' and that child represents so many different things, projects and actual, you know, children. But it is that we all have, our gift. We all have something to share with one another. And why feel like we have to, as an individual, have to carry the weight of all these other things. Well, together, we have so much abundance, we have so much resource, and why not share that with each other? We're not against each other. We're working together. How can we continue to support each other, releasing, well, right now, what's going on in the world, fear. Fear is something that just holds us back from so many possibilities and, actually, I believe, causes illness.

Poonacha: Yeah. Fear is false evidence appearing real.

Leah: Exactly

Poonacha: Right? And I think we can transcend, you're absolutely right. We literally can drop our immune system out of fear. Right? Either we can have the place of playfulness and joy and really become strong, or we can go into a fetal position with fear and then be overcome with everything which comes along the way. I want to ask you, both of you, a question. In life, obviously, you've had your---we talked about adversity and how adversity in 2007, 2008 took you down this path. You know, for people listening, what are the moments in your life when you had to pivot or when you were like at a crossroad and you just made, you had to make the radical choice? Do you want to share any radical choices you had to make? And today, we look back, you know, in 2020, you're like, 'Wow, that was the right choice.'

Leah: Such a great question. I feel like we all have those pivotal moments; when we share them, it helps us to even see our own journey. I feel that---I've actually had two, and one, I had mentioned, when I made the choice at, I think I was 21, I decided to leave Alabama, leaving friends, leaving family, just completely putting myself into the unknown.

Poonacha: Your support structure.

Leah: Yeah, exactly. My complete support structure. And just taking a chance of a completely new world, and seeing what that represents to me, and fighting through all the insecurities of not having that support system, financially struggling, just having faith. So that was at such a young age. And then, many years heading down what I thought was, back to this structure of like, 'okay', getting back into this idea of like, 'Okay, this is what I went to school for, this is what I have to do,' and I go to work Monday through Friday, and then, I do this, and it's---then I realized, I could release that idea, that expectation of the structure that I needed.

And I think it was like at the age of 30, it's actually when I lost my job, and then, took that project where I travel cross country, worked on that featured film with a bunch of new people in my life, and just trusted that this was going to lead me into a new direction, which later led me into the community that I'm in today. Realizing that this "hobby" of teaching AcroYoga and performing became this beautiful practice and beautiful gift that I get to share with the world, and it was. It was a leap of faith of just, once again, what felt too comfortable, like riding on cruise control, and just really being the driver and really shifting the gears in my life.

Poonacha: Yeah, I think that's, this is what I think people need to hear, right? People always listen to so and so, but there are everyday heroes and what you all have done, and transformed adversity, or, at that time, was a very difficult decision, now, looking back at those choices, but I personally, I mean, I don't talk much, I observe and listen. And I saw that how you all as a community, this person, I forgot his name, who was hurt, lost his leg, was a gymnast,

Leah: Our friend, CR.

Poonacha: Yeah.

Leah: Yeah.

Poonacha: And how he came back, and how you've embraced him. And then, I've seen how he's doing the slackline, and I'm like, 'Poonacha, don't ever complain. Don't ever say you can't do something.' That is an amazing story. You want to share that? Like, you know?

Leah: He's so inspiring.

Poonacha: Yeah.

Leah: We have had the pleasure of connecting with him over the past few years, and, but, incredible energy and positivity that he brings---

Poonacha: What's his name?

Leah: Charles Ryan, but he goes by CR. And the story of him losing his leg, and the way that he remains so positive, and he got to step into this whole other world, and inspiring and supporting other people that have been in similar situations, is been-

Poonacha: That's a story of resilience. The grit of bouncing back.

Leah: Oh. Resilience to a tee, this man is incredible. He inspires all of us in so many ways.

Travis: So backstory, what's up, CR! We love you. (Poonacha chuckles)

Leah: We love you.

Travis: So, CR, Charles Ryan. Christmas Day, not a couple months ago, but a year and a couple months ago, he was driving home on Christmas Day, and a drunk driver was speeding down the road, racing another car, they spun out of control and hit him, and he ended up having life-flighted, you know, didn't know he was about to bleed out, didn't know if he would make it, if he was able to save his life. And then, you know, he had the choice to try to keep his leg or not, and, you know, be, maybe a year or longer of, maybe the leg will not, and he's like, "you know what, if it's gonna slow me down anyways, it's not fully hundred percent, let's just cut it. I'm ready to rock."

Poonacha: Wow.

Travis: And, that was, I remember talking to him before, he even, he was, like, I was like, "Wow."

Poonacha: Talk about a choice.

Travis: He was like, it was inscrutable, and it's so inspiring. He's just like, "yeah, I'm just ready to come back, man. I don't like, like, you know, losing my leg's not going to stop me." And I was like, "Wow." And so we talked to him, you know, as much as we could, you know, through the hospital, through the process. And this is what's so beautiful, every day, his motivation was to get back to the beach, to get back to Muscle Beach and swing on the rings and to walk the slackline, and he's like, "Movement is medicine, and I just want to get back to my community." Talk about tribe and movement really being-

Poonacha: 'For the mind and community, go back.' That's what it is, right?

Travis: Yeah.

Leah: Absolutely.

Travis: That is literally what kept this guy alive. You know. I can't wait for you to meet him, and you ask him the same thing, but he's like, "what kept me alive is the, hoow I understood it, is that it's like "the community and movement." He's like, "That's all I want." And, and so, you know, he, every day, we talked to him, we're like, "you know what," you know, "we have a community space in Venice called the Oasis," and we're like, " as soon as you get back, we're throwing a party for you, and we're going to--- as soon as you get back to the beach, I'm going to film your first time swinging on the rings," and we filmed that, and we, like, got him some Ninja pants and apparel and, like, everything he needed. And we're like, "we're ready for you, brother."

Poonacha: Now, seeing someone like him on the slackline, like, "whoa."

Travis: Yeah.

Leah: It was so, gosh, it was so inspiring.

Travis: He even stayed with us for a while. Yeah.

Leah: He stayed with us through his beginning, the beginning part of his healing journey, and just, literally, to see his eyes look at the world in a new way but in a positive way. And so, we, him and I, have this kind of ongoing joke about, like, me being excited to experience his first.

Poonacha: Right.

Leah: And so, everything, whether it was, you mentioned, slackline, getting on the slackline for the first time or carrying a glass of water, it was like everything, he looked at it like this new challenge, this game.

Poonacha: The beginner's mind.

Travis and Leah: Yes.

Poonacha: The beginner's mind, being like a child.

Leah: A child again. Because, 'ooh,' it was like a challenge, like, 'ooh, how do I get to approach this?' And just see the way that he, through his beginning healing journey, staying with us, and me wanting to support him if, like, "let me carry that," he's like, "no, I'm going to challenge myself. Let's see how this goes." I just was so blown away by his positivity and his outlook on life and just seeing the world in a new beautiful way.

Poonacha: So, before we end, I want to ask you, Leah and Travis, both, what is your vision for the world? What's your dream for the world? And what is the one message you want to kind of share with people considering the times we're in today?

Leah: Ooh! That's a powerful question. What instantly came to mind is something so simple, and, just making the world a little kinder.

Poonacha: Yeah.

Leah: Just making it a little kinder, and as we've been talking about community and tribe, that we do come together, and we do work with one another and realize our differences, and use those as tools to just continue to lift each other and making this world a little kinder, healthier, happier.

Poonacha: Yeah. The world doesn't need Tinder. I think the world needs kinder.

Travis: Yeah, yeah.

Leah: Kinder, yeah. (all three chuckle)

Poonacha: Kinder is the new app.

Travis: Yeah. And to reiterate that, like, I think Dalai Lama said, like, kindness is, you know, is my religion or love is my religion, and, like, I think that that's true. It's like leading with kindness and, but to further develop that, I think, you know, going back to presence, play, flow, all those are great ways to lead towards that and to awareness. And so, one of my big missions with Pi Movement is to make a positive impact to movement and to get people outdoors, moving through community, because I think that that's the easiest way we can unlock consciousness.

Poonacha: It's a conscious communities project, right?

Travis: Exactly. And so, we just, we're finalizing a deal with Conscious City Guide, so be on the lookout for a Conscious City Guide. The next month or two, we're going to launch a partnership with the Temple of Movement Tour, and so the Temple of Pi Movement is going to go on tour, and we're going to go teach the art of play, and movement, and, as well as, you know, work with consciousness, and, you know, work with breathing, and meditation, and yoga, and bring that all together, and just create tribes. So, if you're looking for this type of movement or community in your life or in your city, come to our next event and meet another like-minded human that's on the same vibration, and you guys can hopefully, eventually, bring a temple like that to your city because the goal is, we're going to raise money and gift these or sell these to communities all around the world. So we have a like-minded outdoor temple that we can meet at, whatever we want to play, move, and create.

Poonacha: Love that. Love the fact that it's portable and can be transported everywhere. So this is my last---please answer for me. Somebody like me, there are many people like me out there in the world, and all they want to do in life is to do a handstand. So what are the five exercises? What is the---okay, forget the five, what are the one or two things they can do every day, which they can get to a handstand?

Leah: It first starts with warming up and stretching of the wrist.

Poonacha: Okay.

Leah: Sometimes, what---people will be too tight in the wrist to even find that fraction.

Poonacha: Yeah, it makes sense.

Leah: So that's a good way to start. Another thing is understanding alignment.

Poonacha: Posture alignment. Yep.

Leah: There's some simple things that you can do. Lying on the floor and having a partner is very helpful, that can actually be your second pair of eyes to see your alignment, help you.

Poonacha: By the way, do you have this online? Do you guys have an online course? I forget. I know you always wanted to do one.

Leah and Travis: It's in the works.

Travis: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Poonacha: Okay. I'm like, yeah, I see all this layout coming out.

Travis: Well, I'll be, also, stay tuned, and shout out to one Commune there.

Poonacha: I love them. Jeff Krasno. I love them.

Travis: Yeah, so I'll be filming something with them later this year, which will cover functional movement in general.

Poonacha: Okay, so, wrist, posture.

Leah: Wrist, alignment, and then, there's some really effective drills that you can do just up against a wall.

Poonacha: Okay.

Leah: That helps you with the balance and helps you focus on that alignment. I think that's to start, and then, the rest, I'll---

Poonacha: I'll put up on my website once I figure this out.

Leah: Yeah, we're going to have to show you more. It's more of a visual in creating that.

Poonacha: You know what, sometimes, the small things go a long way. And I think, for me, you guys have been an inspiration. I know for my boys, and my youngest son, Jayan who you guys met, he's like, that was his biggest thing. He says, "Somebody that has been on American Ninja Warrior, I want to meet them." (Poonacha and Leah laugh) And when he was actually able to play, and I found so much joy he got out of it. And I think, at a time when school funding is being cut for movement, I really believe this is really a call to action for organizations, corporations to support the amazing work you all are doing. And I definitely am your biggest champion and supporter. So thank you again for today.

Leah: Thank you.

Poonacha: And as usual, every time I hang out with you guys, I feel younger. So thank you for that.

Travis: And you know, we might even have to make a special handstand tutorial video just for you in your next podcast.

Poonacha: Oh, I love that. I love that! I want to put that up, and I'm going to show the world.

Leah: Absolutely.

Poonacha: And I think Deepak is now kicking my butt when it comes to yoga, so I'm going to do the handstand now.

Travis: Yeah.

Leah: We may be doing AcroYoga together, too.

Poonacha: Thank you.

Travis: Thank you so much.

Leah: Thank you.

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Warrior Monk Conversations 008: Movement as Medicine with Travis Brewer and Leah Russell

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