P90X Review Day 4, Yoga X
OK, for all of you people who think that yoga is for wimps, I challenge you to try the P90X® version – Yoga X! Not only is it incredibly challenging, but rather than just perverting yoga into some mindlessly intense workout, Yoga X actually flows in a manner that is both extremely effective, as well as executed in a manner that is true to the yoga lifestyle and philosophies.
Yoga X is based on Hatha Yoga, and as Tony Horton talks about in the video, the benefits of yoga apply to average people who simply want to be more healthy and more flexible, and they also apply to professional level athletes and sports participants – and, of course, everyone in between.
The level of muscular control, mental focus, and overall body coordination that yoga requires are enough to make even the most in-shape person question their level of overall fitness. Believe me, I have been doing weight training and cardiovascular training for more than 20 years, and there were some yoga poses that pushed my muscles to the extreme, and also produced a massive amount of body-cleansing sweat.
Yoga may look easy, but when done in the Yoga X manner, it is both challenging, and extremely rewarding as well, not to mention the strength, core stabilization, mental focus, and flexibility benefits that come from doing it on a regular basis.
There are far too many individual movements in the Yoga X program to give a review of each pose, so I will instead just touch on the major sections that this workout is divided into: Moving Asanas, Balance Postures, Floor Work, Yoga Belly, More Floor Work/Cool-down.
NOTE: Give yourself plenty of room to do this workout. You’ll need a length on the floor as long as your body is with your arms extended fully overhead and your toes pointed out, and you’ll need that same vertical distance in order to stand up on your toes and reach for the sky. You’ll need the width around you equal to the width of your body with both arms extended out fully to your sides.
This is the most physically challenging part of Yoga X from a strength and endurance perspective. Keep a towel close by because after 10 minutes or so (or less!) you will be sweating profusely. Perspiration is great for cleansing toxins out of the body, so don’t combat it by making it cooler in your house. In fact, if you keep it warm, it will increase the physical benefits of sweating, plus the overall feeling of being cleansed by the end of the workout.
The Moving Asanas part of Yoga X includes plenty of repeat movements, which is great because – especially if you’re a beginner – the repetition really helps you to get the hang of the movements, and to increase your ability to do them effectively.
Some of the movements in this section include the Runner’s Pose, Warrior One, Two, and Three, Reverse Warrior, Twisting Triangle, Prayer Twist, and the Half Moon. As with all yoga movements, concentrate on your breathing, and Tony will remind you of that several times during the DVD.
The Moving Asanas part of this workout lasts for quite awhile, and constitutes a large portion of the “extreme (X)” part of Yoga X. After this part of the workout, several parts of your body will be very fatigued, making the movements for the rest of the workout challenging, even though they are not as physically hard from a muscular strength standpoint as some of the earlier poses.
This portion of Yoga X is not very long, but it is still challenging, and it makes for a perfect transition from the intensity of the Moving Asanas to the less intense Floor Work that follows.
One of the challenges in this portion of the workout is that you are standing on either one leg or the other during the poses, and your legs are very tired at this point from the earlier movements. One thing to consider when you are standing on one leg is whether or not to lock your knee in place. If you do, then it is harder to balance, but the strain is taken off of the front of your thighs. If you don’t lock your knees, then your quadriceps (front of your thigh) are strained because they are already tired, but it is easier to balance that way.
Movements in this section include Tree, Royal Dancer, and Standing Leg Extension, and they are all challenging in their own right.
The intensity is not nearly as high by this portion of Yoga X, but that is not to say that it isn’t still very challenging. As with most yoga movements, the length of the stretches can be modified in various ways in order to make it more intense or to increase your flexibility as you become more flexible and build up your strength levels.
Movements in this section such as the Cat Stretch and the Frog will be welcome opportunities to really stretch out and be grateful, while movements like the Bridge, the Wheel, and the Table can really challenge muscle groups that have already gotten plenty of work during the session.
For anyone in the beginning of their P90X journey, you will at first be appalled by more abdominal exercises after having just done Ab Ripper X on Day 1 and Day 3, but the addition of these yoga ab movements will increase the speed of your progress in the abdominal area, as well as give your body new challenges that are not covered in Ab Ripper X.
Also, unlike other abdominal exercises, the Yoga Belly movements are static movements for the most part. You get into a pose, and then hold it there. This allows you to really make that “mind-muscle” connection (neuromuscular coordination) while at the same time strengthening your front and side abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles in your lower back.
Exercises in this section include Touch The Sky, Boat, Half Boat, Scissor, and Torso Twist & Hold.
More Floor Work/Cool-down
By this point in the workout over an hour has transpired, and you are pretty well spent. Even the people that Tony Horton has in the video with him – all of whom are in incredible condition – have been really challenged by Yoga X. The stretching and cool-down exercises in this portion are a welcome wrap up to a very challenging exercise session.
Movements such as Happy Baby, and Child’s Pose are relaxation and stretching that are more than just welcome at this point, and Corpse Pose and Fetal Pose are aptly named yoga exercises, because that’s about how you feel by the end of Yoga X!
Tony wraps it all up with the Meditation Pose including some surprisingly relaxing heart-felt “ohms” that he encourages you to do as well. Although I’ll admit to not actually vocalizing the ohms myself, I did get a real sense of peace and accomplishment listening to Tony’s all-encompassing audio finale’, and that was a great way to gratefully close out an incredible workout session.
Overall, I have to admit to being impressed with the Yoga X workout. In my years as a personal trainer and just overall exercise enthusiast, I never got around to peeking behind the curtain to see what yoga was all about, and I see now that – done properly – it has a lot to offer.
I would definitely recommend Yoga X for anyone who thinks that yoga is not an intense and effective workout, and I would certainly recommend it to any present yoga enthusiast as a way for them to fine-tune their techniques, and to really take their yoga workouts to the next level.
See other related P90X Review posts:
- P90X Review Day 1 – Chest, Back, and Ab Ripper X
- P90X Review Day 2 – Plyometrics
- P90X Review Day 3 – Shoulders and Arms
- P90X Review Day 5 – Legs and Back
- P90X Review Day 6 – Kenpo X
- P90X Review Day 7 – X Stretch
- P90X Review Day 8 – Core Synergistics
- P90X Review Day 9 – Cardio X
- P90X Review Day 10 – Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
- P90X Review Day 11 – Back and Biceps