How & Why To Change Your Name, Why You Should Meditate Right After You Get Out Of Bed, Principles Of Healthy Flourishing & More With Joseph Anew (Formerly Known As Joe DiStefano) and Emilía Rún.

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Joseph Anew and Emilía Rún
Biohacking, Lifestyle, Podcast

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My friend Joseph Anew is the mastermind behind one of my all-time favorite immersive VIP wellness experiences on the face of the planet: RUNGA, happening again this year, October 13th-15th (click here to join me and my family there in Austin Texas for it!). 

But he's much more than that.

Not only has Joseph joined me in the past for episodes including:

But I've also appeared on his Intuitive Warrior podcast (previously called the Stacked podcast) on the episodes:

Joseph Anew is an international speaker, fitness expert, entrepreneur, and lifestyle coach. During his eight years as Head of Sport and Training at Spartan Race, Joseph worked full-time with professional endurance athletes and taught seminars worldwide. From there, Joseph went on to found RUNGA, an experiential lifestyle brand empowering individuals through highly effective and sustainable practices that fuel health, wellness, and performance.

As a coach of 18 years, his teachings focus on ingraining profound mindset shifts, giving guests the courage and the tools to align their actions with their objectives throughout daily life. After a traumatic brain injury, Joseph dedicated his life to finding health again, stopping at nothing to regain his full potential. Today, this experience shapes him as a coach and educator, and fuels his purpose for creating transformational experiences through RUNGA. Joseph believes that vibrant health is possible for everyone, and he embodies that truth in his own story of overcoming significant adversity. He shares his teachings and interviews inspiring guests on his podcast Intuitive Warrior.

Emilía Rún is a plant-based chef, Kundalini yoga teacher, and mindfulness meditation teacher. After law school, Emilía moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of working in food, the seeds for which were planted while working at a health food restaurant during her teenage years. Emilía quickly found herself making cakes for various raw food establishments, teaching cooking classes, and consulting with coffee shops and restaurants. In 2018, Emilía started her own private chef and cake business, quickly becoming known for her beautiful organic spreads and delicious raw desserts.

With nutrition as her primary focus, Emilía also credits yoga and meditation as pivotal to her healing from lifelong painful autoimmune disease. Since stumbling into a class at 18 years old, the teachings of Kundalini yoga, and later mindfulness, have allowed her to cultivate an unbroken connection to the heart, which serves as a compass in her daily life. Eventually becoming a teacher in both herself, Emilía has trained under Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Tej Kaur Khalsa, Krishna Kaur, and Siri Bahadur Khalsa.

At RUNGA, Joseph Anew leads workouts, kettlebell instruction, and mobility drills. But RUNGA goes far beyond fitness. If you join me at RUNGA in Austin, Texas, this October 13th-15th, you can spend three life-changing days treating your mind and body to organic chef-prepared meals, daily movement, and meditation, plus full access to the latest anti-aging biohacks and health-optimizing therapies, with a lively community of like-minded health-seekers.

With just fifty guests, the secluded property is the ideal setting for an intimate gathering with human connection at its core. Engineered to uplift and rejuvenate, enhance cellular health, and empower the mind-body connection, RUNGA is designed to provide equal parts support and empowerment to carry you on a brand new chapter of your wellness journey. It's the one event I make sure to attend every year. Click here to learn more or to apply today.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Joseph Anew’s morning routine and why it’s the cornerstone of a healthy day…5:13

  • Healthy user bias – often, it's just looking for that health anchor
  • A morning routine that's realistic and fits your lifestyle
  • Core elements of morning routine:
    1. Powering up
      • How can I start my day with the maximal amount of personal power?
      • Hiding from all tech that can detract from your energy
      • How does my morning routine not take away any of my willpower?
      • How do I connect with my purpose?
      • Glass of water
      • Meditating in a red light sauna (30 mins until I find my present moment)
      • Breathwork in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber every other day
      • 30 mins on the fan bike every day (MAF cardio) with peak nasal breathing while exposed to sunlight
      • Stretching
      • Vibration platform
      • 100 swings with a kettlebell every other day (use code GREENFIELD to save 15%)
    2. Double dipping
      • Combining 2-3 protocols and alternating daily routines
      • Breathwork in the hyperbaric chamber
      • Meditating in the sauna
      • Nasal breathing and sunlight exposure while on the fan bike
    3. Bucketing
      • Having kindness days where you quit work earlier, bring the family out to dinner
      • Training more casually but not skipping anything
      • Having a flex day; could skip some activities

-Who is Joseph Anew and his wife Emilía?…28:23

-Why Joe DiStefano changed his name to Joseph Anew…30:35

  • This is the first interview after the name change
  • The idea of personal power
  • Joe attended Tony Robbins‘ program and asked: 
    • What blocks our power, and how do we sustain that feeling?
    • How do we walk and talk in our highest truth in our strength and just have as many limiting beliefs and as much fear as absolutely possible?
  • Rollercoaster of emotions for Joe due to his father’s death and his son’s birth
  • Coach JoeDi
  • Arnold Patent, 90+-year-old coach, told Joe – “You have no idea how much power you're losing in that name”
  • For many, last names could carry strength, pride, heritage, tradition, roots
  • For others, it could just be passed down with no real story behind it
  • So many common last names were taken and assumed based on what that family or person was doing in the world
  • Implicit egotism – phenomenon where we identify with certain elements like our name

-Last names can define career paths and identify your path in life…42:23

  • Joseph spent a lot of time sitting in meditation on name change
  • Questions create more brain activity and usher in more ideas than answers
  • How could I use my name to reinforce my purpose for myself? To give my son a name that will know that he can always start again, he can always start at zero, there's never a bad time to begin something new
  • He even underwent a sanity check
  • Joe had a horrific head injury when he was young; a fractured skull, and had brain surgery
  • Power vs Force by David Hawkins

-What does Anew mean and why Joe to Joseph?…48:01

  • Spent almost a decade in obstacle racing
  • Joseph's wife Emilía and RUNGA
  • Anew – it's my higher self speaking to my human ego
  • Arnold Patent – his books boil down to “You are born abundant, You are born joyful, You are born free and happy”
    • Universal Principles
    • You Can Have It All by Arnold Patent 
    • The human experience creates wounds, and it's our job throughout our lifetime to first accumulate those wounds and then heal them and get back to that abundant, joyful self that we were born as
    • We all have this amazing life force within us; the only thing blocking us are limits on our power
  • Joseph has symphony, power, strength, and a biblical tie
  • Joe, cut down from Joseph, symbolized what was limiting him in his life

-What does Emilía think about the name change and Joseph's journey?…53:22 

  • She fully supported Joseph as she saw it was really in his heart
  • The improvements Emilía observed when Joseph changed his name
  • Rom Das/Richard Alpert’s biography and what led him to change his name
  • Being Ram Dass by Ram Dass
  • As Ram Dass's career prospered, his purpose became clear, and his mission became larger, his name likely kept him anchored during challenging times

-Did Joseph go through a legal status change, and is there more to it than just announcing a new name?…59:25

  • Credit cards and licenses needed to be changed
  • Got a lot easier post-Covid
  • The process just means time and money, going to the clerk to sign a few documents, and waiting for the signed letters from the judge
  • Emilía recalls her kundalini practice and the assigning of a new spiritual name
  • 3HO organization in Espanola in New Mexico

-The reason behind the podcast name change from Stacked to Intuitive Warrior…1:08:38 

  • Podcast name change was also intentional, to Intuitive Warrior
  • Trying to create all the tentacles for the mission to align
  • Stacked was Joe's fitness identity
  • Intuitive Warrior is about intuition, strength, and transformation
  • In kundalini, to transform any part of your life, you need to employ the power of a thunderbolt – sound and vibration
  • The roof of the mouth has 82 or 83 acupuncture points; stimulating the mouth via mantras 

-The benefits of meditating first thing in the morning…1:11:15

-RUNGA – The Gathering…1:15:00

  • RUNGA – The Gathering will be on October 13th-15th in Austin, Texas
  • The intention has always been to empower
  • Changes have been designed so that the events have more impact
  • “We think of the human as a plant, and the mission is to create the conditions for the human to really flourish, to really thrive”
  • Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy
  • Aristotle’s teachings inspired Emilía to see humans as plant
  • Eric Heinze
  • Aristotle’s Ethics
    • His model of justice is concerned with happiness and fulfillment
    • With Just Human, with all these virtues, the ultimate good is for humans to fulfill their potential
  • Eudaimonia – The human becoming the most human
  • The conditions most conducive to becoming the most human are also what RUNGA is all about; health is our birthright
  • What Ben learned at RUNGA is whatever the practices, the same principles are applied over and over:
    • Nourishing the spirit early in the day
    • Subjecting the body to some hormetic stress

-With the idea of eudaimonia, why is it that more people do not incorporate these practices into their everyday routines?…1:22:40

  • It's not enough to have a checklist of things to do that you know are healthy for you
  • A large part of why the RUNGA experience is so impactful is the aligning of people's hearts with their objectives
  • The recipe to creating that impact is in the state of flourishing
  • Looking at the human as the plant, the community aspect is seen as the fertile soil
  • The programming, teachings, and therapies are the nutrients, sunlight, and the water
  • Healing modalities at RUNGA
  • The human need for connection and belonging is also provided
  • The nourishing space is what differentiates RUNGA from other events

-What can people expect in a typical day at RUNGA?…1:25:47

  • Why just a small group of people? (RUNGA is not a conference)
  • The application process:
    • What are your intentions?
    • What makes you excited about the experience?
    • What do you think the experience will provide for you?
    • What are your stories?
  • Not only are all aspects of the experience curated, but also the people
  • Hosting 50 people for 3 days is the ideal scenario for people to feel at ease and get to know each other well
  • One feedback from previous events was that people could just be themselves
  • The daily activities blend ancient traditions (gongs, meditation) with the latest tools (hyperbaric oxygen and Neubie)
  • People go through individual activities, then small groups

-Do people get their own hotel and show up each day?…1:31:35

  • There is a hotel nearby
  • The venue is a 7-acre property, and people are shuttled to and from the venue to 2 hotels nearby

-How to register for RUNGA…1:33:01

Upcoming events:

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Joseph Anew and Emilía Rún:

– Podcast:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Joseph Anew, Emilía Rún, or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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Ask Ben a Podcast Question

One thought on “How & Why To Change Your Name, Why You Should Meditate Right After You Get Out Of Bed, Principles Of Healthy Flourishing & More With Joseph Anew (Formerly Known As Joe DiStefano) and Emilía Rún.

  1. Bill Montgomery says:

    I changed my last name 30 plus years ago. I wonder if my original name has caused me to be attracted to certain things.

    I did it the fire, ready, aim method. If Inhad it to do over I would not do it.

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