Envision monks doing burpees, only instead of a jumping clap, the hands come together in prayer at the forehead. Monks have been known to do them for hours on end, to the point of exhaustion, which only increases the level of devotion and spiritual lessons as you transcend the body and the physical realm.
Note: Prostrations are more about embodying prayer, being a living prayer, which also translates into what you are attracting at any given time with your thoughts, feelings, and vision.
If you ask me, prostrations are an ancient form of meditative fitness, and the spirit of prostrations can be applied in any workout.
Anyone that has done burpees knows how challenging they can be, and a lot of us may not have the best attitude while going through them. Applying the spirit of prostrations in your burpees will change them as you recruit your heart and soul.
Ask yourself, what are you prostrating yourself for? Will you let go of ego? Will you allow yourself to be humble and vulnerable? Will you surrender your smaller, negative, or resistant self to something greater? What do you need to surrender? What do you need to let go of? To what are you devoted? To what will you dedicate your prostrations?
Prostrations are also known as a preparation for meditation. Part of what makes that so is the repetition, the presence, the focus, and the noticeable vibration and flow of energy. These help put us in a higher state and prepare us for deeper meditation, and the same characteristics can be found in any workout or set of repetitions.
There is something special about repetition in the spiritual sense. In many spiritual practices or processes that illicit personal or inner growth, repetition plays a role in that you repeat something, whether a question or an activity or exercise until you have a light bulb moment, a new realization, or what I like to call an inner victory. All of a sudden, you realize some profound spiritual lesson in the simple act of repeating something – a prostration, a process, a question, a mantra, a chant, a breath, or a repetition in the workout. How can you make this happen? By being prepared and ready for it to happen, by opening yourself up to the possibility. By declaring that fitness is part of your spiritual practice.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into this spiritual approach to fitness and creating meditative workouts, then you’re going to want to pick up your copy of Meditative Fitness: The Art and Practice of the Workout, available in paperback, kindle, and on audio. Wait ’til you see all that’s in there, it’ll blow your spiritual fitness socks off.