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Minus The Gym: Primal Instinct Yoga For Beginners

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Ryan Sadilek & Beginners Animal Yoga

Discover Primal Instinct (Animal) Yoga!


In our modern sedentary lifestyles, it’s easy to lose touch with our bodies and the natural movements that were once essential for survival. Luckily, there’s a fitness trend that taps into our primal instincts and reconnects us with our innate ability to move fluidly and gracefully. Welcome to the world of animal yoga, a practice that combines the wisdom of yoga principles with the instinctual movements of the animal kingdom.

What is Animal Yoga?

Animal yoga, also known as primal instinct yoga, takes inspiration from the animal kingdom to create a unique and dynamic practice. It combines the ancient wisdom of yoga with modern sports science to provide a holistic experience of mindful movement. In animal yoga, practitioners flow through a series of poses and movements that mimic the grace and strength of various animals.

Rather than focusing on rigid and static poses, animal yoga encourages fluidity and exploration. It’s like a synchronized bodyweight dance, where you create your own choreography and move to your own rhythm. Animal yoga lacks a strict pattern but follows a structure that allows you to tap into your primal instincts and unleash your inner animal.

The Origins of Animal Yoga

Animal yoga draws inspiration from various movement disciplines, including yoga, martial arts, and gymnastics. The practice was popularized by fitness experts like Mike Fitch, the creator of Animal Flow, and Ido Portal, known for the Ido Portal Method. These pioneers recognized the power of incorporating animal-inspired movements into fitness routines to improve strength, stability, and overall body control.

Exploring Animal Flow

Animal Flow is a specific style of animal yoga that has gained significant popularity in recent years. It’s a ground-based movement program that combines crawling patterns, primal movements, and yoga-inspired poses to enhance strength, endurance, and cognitive function. Animal Flow utilizes three primary animal-like exercises known as “animal traveling forms”: Beast, Bear Crawl, and Crab.

Beast is a prone crawling pattern that strengthens the core and improves coordination. Bear Crawl mimics the powerful and agile movements of a bear, targeting the upper body and core muscles. Crab challenges the body’s stability and mobility, engaging the posterior chain and promoting flexibility.

The Benefits of Animal Yoga

Animal yoga offers a wide range of benefits for both the body and mind. Here are some key advantages of incorporating animal yoga into your fitness routine:

1. Increased Strength and Stability

Animal yoga requires engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, leading to improved strength and stability. The dynamic movements and weight-bearing exercises challenge your body in unique ways, helping to build functional strength that translates into everyday activities.

2. Enhanced Flexibility and Range of Motion

The fluid nature of animal yoga encourages full-body movements and stretches, promoting flexibility and increased range of motion. By mimicking the movements of animals, you can unlock tight muscles and joints, improving overall flexibility and mobility.

3. Improved Body Awareness and Coordination

Animal yoga emphasizes body awareness and coordination, as you must focus on proper alignment and control to flow smoothly from one pose to another. The practice enhances your proprioception, the awareness of your body in space, and helps you develop better coordination and balance.

4. Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

Like traditional yoga, animal yoga places a strong emphasis on breath control and mindfulness. By connecting your breath with movement, you can cultivate a sense of presence and calm. Animal yoga can serve as a moving meditation, allowing you to release stress and find inner peace.

5. Fun and Playful Fitness

Animal yoga brings an element of playfulness and creativity to your fitness routine. Unlike repetitive gym workouts, animal yoga encourages you to explore different movements and create your own sequences. This sense of freedom and joy can make your fitness journey more enjoyable and sustainable.

How to Practice Animal Yoga

Animal yoga can be practiced by individuals of all fitness levels and backgrounds. Here’s how you can incorporate animal yoga into your routine:

1. Start with the Basics

If you’re new to animal yoga, begin by learning the foundational animal movements such as Beast, Bear Crawl, and Crab. Practice these movements with proper form and gradually increase the duration and intensity as you feel more comfortable.

2. Explore Animal Transitions

Once you’ve mastered the basic animal movements, you can start exploring animal transitions. These are fluid movements that allow you to flow seamlessly from one pose to another. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to create your own unique sequences.

3. Incorporate Animal Yoga into Workouts

Animal yoga can be integrated into your existing fitness routine or used as a standalone workout. You can incorporate animal movements as a warm-up before strength training or cardio sessions. Alternatively, you can dedicate an entire session to animal yoga, focusing on flowing through different poses and transitions.

4. Seek Guidance and Inspiration

If you’re unsure where to start, consider attending animal yoga classes or seeking guidance from certified animal yoga instructors. They can provide expert guidance and help you progress safely while offering modifications and variations tailored to your individual needs.

5. Embrace Your Inner Animal

Remember, animal yoga is about embracing your primal instincts and connecting with your body. Allow yourself to move freely, listen to your body, and honor its capabilities. Embrace the joy and playfulness of the practice, and don’t be afraid to explore movements that feel natural to you.


Animal yoga, with its roots in primal instinct and the wisdom of yoga, offers a unique and dynamic approach to fitness. By incorporating animal-inspired movements into your routine, you can improve strength, flexibility, coordination, and mindfulness. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a beginner looking to explore mindful movement, animal yoga provides a fun and playful way to reconnect with your body and unleash your inner animal.

So, why not tap into your primal instincts and embark on an animal yoga journey? Embrace the freedom, fluidity, and joy of moving like the creatures that share our planet, and experience the transformative power of animal yoga for yourself. Get ready to discover a whole new level of fitness and connection with your body through the practice of animal yoga.

Disclaimer: Before starting any new fitness program, consult with a qualified instructor or healthcare professional to determine if it’s suitable for your individual needs and abilities.

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