Tony likes to call Plyometrics the “Mother of all P90X Workouts.” I like to call Yoga X the “Evil (yet necessary) Step-Sister of all P90X Workouts.” And from speaking with others who have also endured the 1.5 hour mental and physical battle, most agree with me.
My Yoga Background
Although I’ve been working out for years and have been taking group fitness classes for at least three, I only ventured into my first yoga class a little over a year ago. I took a few classes at 24 Hour Fitness and found that I loved and hated the workouts simultaneously. I’m a pretty impatient person and I like to move fast, so I typically like high intensity classes (spin and turbo kickboxing). Yoga, however, is sometimes painstakingly slow. It is methodical, regimented, and at times, extremely challenging. Usually I’m sore in places I never knew I even had muscles!
I liked the pose portion of yoga (ie bending yourself into a pretzel or balancing on one leg) the most because I am quite competitive and I like to see how I can do compared to the rest of the class. Another part of me gets annoyed because attending a yoga class once or twice a month is not going to get me to be as flexible as the super yogi girls in my class who can bend sit with their legs out and bend forward press their chest and face flat to the ground. I’ve always wanted to be consistent with Yoga, but it never fits into my running schedule quite right.
P90X Yoga – Yoga to the X Degree
I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that the P90X Yoga is quite difficult and actually a really good workout. In previous experience, yoga (without some cardio before) can’t really get me sweating and my heart pumping, but Yoga X did! Yoga X is performed weekly during weeks 1-3, 5-7, and 9-12 and performed twice a week during recovery weeks, 4, 8 and 13. The video is 1 hour 32 minutes and is split into 5 sections: Moving Asanas, Balance Postures, Floor Work, Yoga Belly, and Cool-Down.
The video begins with the typical “vinyasa flow” which includes plank, chaturanga (a pushup with elbows at your sides) upward dog and downward dog. The flow is repeated over and over, with the addition of more difficult moves at the end of the flow each time. Some of the moves include Runners Pose, Warriors One, Two and Three, Reverse Warrior, Prayer Twist, Twisting Triangle and Half Moon. I felt that this section of the video drug on forever the first time we did the workout. The second time, however, I was expecting it, and it wasn’t so bad. The third time, I was surprised when this section was already over! This is the part of the workout that gets your heart rate up and will even make you break a sweat. The point of these movements is not only to strengthen, but also to warm up your muscles for the balance postures and stretches to come.
The balance postures are my favorite part of yoga. Ironically, this is Mike’s least favorite part. I think it’s the competitive spirit in me. I like to see if I can improve on these week to week by holding the poses longer (or even just being able to get into the poses!). The postures start out with the simple Tree pose, which involves standing straight up and folding one leg and placing your foot the inside of the other leg’s knee. Then stand there for as long as you can, balancing on one foot like a flamingo. Another favorite pose that is featured is Crane. Crane is one that I am always too afraid to try in class, for fear of falling on my face (I’m not going to even try to explain this move –I instead, take a look at the picture above!). However, Tony recommends grabbing a pillow and putting in front of you. The second time we did the video, I actually got up off my feet for a few seconds! I’d love to work my way up to holding the pose for the entire allotted time.
Another difficult pose for the both of us is the standing pose where you lift your leg straight forward as high as possible and grab on to your big toe (keeping the leg straight) with your hand. I did well in the sit and reach portion of the Fit Test but this is a little too far of a reach for me. I can grab on and hold on for a little while, but it’s very difficult to actually straighten my leg and stay.
Time to get on the ground! This portion of the workout, it seems, is the start of the cool down. Floor work involves holding stretching poses for various length of time, some of which involve contorting into very uncomfortable positions and suffering through the pain! These aren’t all easy stretches. One of the moves that Tony warns is particularly advanced is the Wheel, which I’m happy to report that I could already do. Wheel is basically a gymnastics back bend . Now, holding the pose for longer than fifteen seconds is another challenge and raising one leg, like the show-offs in the video, is quite a whole new challenge all together. Another fun one for Mike is the Plow pose which requires a lot of flexibility in the back.
Wait, don’t we already work our abs 3 days a week during Ab Ripper X? Didn’t we JUST do Ab Ripper yesterday? Yes, but it doesn’t matter because Tony wants us to work them again. My arch nemesis – the scissor makes yet another appearance in Yoga X, except it is a static pose, as all the Yoga Belly poses are.
It’s almost over! Fun moves from this section include Happy Baby (laying on your back spread eagle with your legs bend, grabbing toes and forcing legs apart) and the always comforting Child’s Pose.
Just after the Corpse pose and a warning that no, this isn’t a cult, Tony sits in the Meditation Pose and lets out some inhumanely drawn out “ohms.” Mike and I surmise that he has some sort of monk voice-over.
My Final Thoughts
Although Yoga X seems unnecessarily long, I actually kind of enjoy it and am very sore after this workout. Every time we’ve done this workout, my glutes have been sore for days!
Thanks to http://www.fitnessdestinations.com/p90x-review-day-4-yoga-x/ and www.yogajournal.com for a lot of the info provided here! I’m by no means a Yoga expert but wanted to describe the moves and also provide my thoughts on them!
And no, the move featured in the picture at the top of my blog is NOT part of P90X yoga!