jonathan angelilli, american ninja warrior, primal shred program,

“Primal Strength” creator Jonathan Angelilli has been coaching movement for over 20 years.

Integrative Strength Through Developmental Movement

Primal Strength is a low force health practice that uses primal movement and energy medicine (Qigong) to unify the body-mind-spirit.

Gentle movements based on Tai Chi are used to  relax the nervous system and create an physiological environment that supports receptivity to new experiences. Then, primal movements re-connect every part of your body into a single, unified whole.

Primal Energy Workshop Feedback -

Honest feedback from some of our students.

Rocking, rolling, and crawling on the floor was the original way every single human first developed “integrated strength”. When your entire body is unified through “integrated sensation”,  it works in harmony  and is strong and balanced. Disconnection to the body leads to certain parts of the body fighting with other parts of the body; there is no way to win that battle! Therefore, the ability to feel the body is the foundation for ALL other health and fitness goals: to lose weight, get strong, feel great, have better posture, be more athletic, etc.

That foundation has been systematically eroded due to our sedentary culture, from sitting at school, at work, and in car for years. Sadly, most people then go to the gym and try to build a second floor on top of a dysfunctional foundation. This leads to pain, over training, and injury – and there is a better way! And it actually requires LESS effort, not more 🙂



— To feel more connected to and comfortable in your body.

— A process for developing self-respect and awe for your body, and becoming a student of it.

— Learn how to avoid self-sabotage and the “no pain no gain” trap.

— To spend a bunch of time moving in ways you haven’t since you were a toddler, especially rocking, rolling, and crawling on the ground.

— This is a workshop, not a fitness class. So we’ll be alternating between talking, moving, exploration, and explanation throughout the 2 hours.

— To have an embodied experience of “less is more”.

— You’ll be given a custom 5 minute primal practice for you to do daily, so you can keep exploring, learning, and healing on your own, along with an online handout to help support your continued learning.


–Anyone that feels stuck and unable to heal a muscular imbalance in their body.

— Anyone who goes through bursts of working out hard and then periods of doing nothing due to fatigue, injury, and over-training.

— Anyone who doesn’t have a “low tension” movement practice – i.e. you only workout hard (and you’re “recovery” work consists of pushing super hard on painful spots in your body!)

— Anyone that wants to feel more comfortable and confident in their body.

— Everyday people, dancers, trainers, yoga students and teachers, anyone that want to move better i.e. more efficiently, comfortably, skillfully, powerfully.

I’ve taught this practice to teenagers, senior citizens, and all have benefited remarkably, because the system can be precisely adapted to every level of mover. (Testimonials at the bottom of the page).


—  Possibly, but it’s important to note that this is not a movement therapy session nor physical therapy, it’s a low tension movement practice that will help you connect and integrate all aspects of your body. In many cases, this has led people to experience pain relief and less stiffness in less than 15 minutes of movement. I am not a Physical Therapist nor doctor.

Primal Energy Workshop Feedback -


–BOTH. Strength and flexibility/mobility are really one and the same thing! This will make you stronger yet more relaxed in new ranges of motion, but this is actually just a byproduct of something much more powerful and interesting (to become present to the sensations within your own body) and not the end goal!


— Learn how to heal your joint pain (and trauma).

— Learn how to ENJOY movement! Eureka, what an idea 🙂

— Learn a principle based process for becoming a student of the body.

— Learn how to relax yourself and release stress consciously and recover quicker from high intensity workouts.

— Prevent injuries

— PLUS, you’ll get a custom 5 minute daily “Primal Energy” practice to help you retain and continue to explore everything you learned in class.

Primal Energy Workshop Students


  • “At first, it felt like I wasn’t really doing anything, like I wasn’t exerting enough energy to get results. That attitude has totally shifted, and I’ve come to value the Primal Energy practice so much. It’s the key to many positive things, physically, mentally, emotionally, that have been coming together in my life over the last year. It has a calming effect on me, helps me focus, and somehow, it helps me run faster than ever.” – Joe Salvatore – Professor – NYU
  • “I was surprised at how much my body released and opened up without the typical hands on forceful style of stretching. Very low impact, very mindful with great results after just 1 session! I experienced immediate pain relief in my lower back. The next morning I was not as stiff as usual and felt much more in tune with my body.” Ray Dente – Personal Trainer
  • “After one Primal Movement session, the exercises and approach stimulated smoother and slower breathing, better balance, and a calmer, more focused mind. Clearly this practice guides one to seeing that less effort produces more efficient results, both physically and mentally. My energy throughout the day has improved as has my ability to deal with frustration. I was amazed at how immediately this simple practice made a difference. Definitely eager to see its impact after several months!” Heidi Castleman – Violist and Teacher
  • “I experienced some immediate pain relief and felt taller and more unwound after just one session of Primal Energy. The focus on moving with pleasure and wringing out cross body tension were both surprisingly powerful. It felt like I was releasing some deeply ingrained nervous system tension, and that felt very satisfying.” Bill Mehleisen – Entrepreneur
  • “The Primal Energy practice is easy to learn yet very powerful. After just one session, my whole body felt more relaxed and at the same time energized for the rest of the day. I think they are fundamental and beneficial exercises for everyone, and have helped me recognize that some parts of my body need more attention to thrive.” Naiying Chien – Mother
  • “I wanted to tell you how positively the Primal Energy practice has affected my whole being. I feel more centered and present in my own body and mind, and more prepared and ready to take on any physical activity presented to me. To be honest, these primal exercises really help me focus on the right things. It has even changed my outlook on dance and the way I see myself sometimes! I see things more clearly and have an open mind to what could happen every time I move.” Natalia Nieves – Dance Student – Pace Univ.
  • “I liked the Primal Movement practice because it began with Qigong, which always helps me quiet and center myself. I felt some of the tight muscle groups loosen up, which felt great. And the different variations of each movement give you goals to progress towards, without being too hard too fast. From the practice, my left shoulder has begun to open up, and I can move more easily, plus my outlook is more upbeat and at peace than it has been for a while.” Frank Stettner – Musician
  • “Sunday’s Primal Energy practice was unlike any workouts I’ve ever done before. I came away from it feeling energized and happy. Jonathan is full of movement knowledge and an absolute joy to learn from. I’ve incorporated the movements into my morning routine and practice 5 minutes before breakfast, today is day #8. During the first few days, the lower part of my spine was making crackling sounds that I compared to a rusty bicycle chain. Gradually, I noticed the cracklings went away and I’m now feeling light on my feet. These exercises are definitely unique and incredibly beneficial to the body. I really admire Jonathan’s professionalism and integrity, thank you for teaching us!” Ester Lee – Registered Nurse
  • “I have benefited dramatically from the Primal Energy practice. It helps me experience more enjoyment and pleasure dancing and in daily life, and explore new ways to be present and aware about my body and the space around me. The practice has challenged me to focus on the softer aspects as opposed to the harder aspects. I like to work hard and feel like I’m working hard so it’s challenging for me to find work in calmness and feel productive. I wasn’t educated on how important it is to move with as little tension as possible, respect what my body is saying, and to be curious but not let negativity take over. The Primal Energy practice has changed my perspective on negativity. I use to have to constantly tell myself not to have negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. After I do this practice I don’t think in terms of negative or positive I just focus on my body and what it’s telling me and explore different comfortable ways to move with pleasure. The practice helps me find my center and go into a calm state rather than feeling very tense.” Alexia Belrose – Dance Student – Pace University
  • “The longer I practice, the more I seem to feel less tension in my body and my mind seems to be a little clearer. I almost experience a kind of high, I just feel like I’m floating. I feel looser, less physical tension, calmer, and I feel a greater connection between my mind and body, and experience a sort of calming euphoria.” Renee Stacho – Yoga Teacher & Rock Climber

Primal Energy Workshop Feedback -


  • If possible, bring a yoga mat or blanket, and a notebook. Please wear comfortable clothes, sweat pants and tights are great to help provide a little cushion on the knees, and a light long sleeve shirt is ideal.


  • Sky Health, a super beautiful gym floating in the sky (on the 7th floor) at 5th ave & 28th Street.

Sky Health


“This workshop was amazing. I left feeling light and energized. I’ve been to many kinds of workshops but I think this one is by far the best yet! Thank you so much!” Alexandra B.

“Jonathan! Thanks for sharing so much knowledge and insight with us – I had such a wonderful experience!! I love that all of the exercises you taught us can be done practically anywhere.” Karina O.

“I want to thank you for leading such an amazing workshop last week. I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first, but tried to keep an open mind. I’m glad I did because my entire attitude has shifted. I’ve done it all and no technique or practice has ever had such an impact.” Lia P.

You can see the classes being offered here.