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Yoga – Fountain of Youth?

January 15, 2011 –

This is always an interesting topic to discuss with P90xers. It seems to be completely binary. People either love it or hate it. Tony Horton has been very vocal about his passion for Yoga and has said that if there were only one exercise he could do, it would be Yoga.

So let’s take a look at why people dislike it?

1)     People dislike holding an isometric, and sometimes uncomfortable, position for a long period of time.

2)     Yoga X is 90 minutes long, the longest of any P90x workout.

3)     By its very definition, Yoga is at a slower pace than a typical resistance or cardio routine.

4)     And to those of you who hate it, I am sure you could keep adding to the list. Such as seeing people who are flexible like Gumby while you struggle looking like the Tin Man.

Well, I happen to be someone who loves it. I had never done Yoga before starting P90x, but it was one of the things that attracted me to it. I struggled at the beginning, but I just kept pressing play. I look forward to it every week now. So, what does Yoga do for me?

1)     P90x was (and still is) as much of a mental and spiritual transformation as it was a physical one. Yoga allows me to meditate and be in a state of calm. As Tony says, “Forget all the garbage before and after, and focus on the present moment.”

2)     One of the biggest surprises to me in my 1st 90 Days was my increase in flexibility. I attribute a major part of this to Yoga.

3)     I enjoyed the improvement I saw in so many of the workouts, but Yoga was where I saw my most significant improvement. I remember making it through the Warrior 3, Half Moon, Twisting Half Moon Sequence for the first time. Or being able to hold Crane for the entire allotted time. Or being able to remove the Yoga Block and put my flat hand on the ground for Triangle. Or needing to use a Yoga Block to stretch beyond my feet for my hamstring stretches. It isn’t as glorious as cranking out pull-ups, but it is just as important.

4)     I feel so good afterward. My body is limber.  My mind is clear. My spirit is calm.

5)     Breathing – Yoga teaches you how to breathe through any discomfort. These learnings are absolutely transferrable to other routines, especially resistance-based workouts. If you want to learn how to breathe correctly when exercising, Yoga is the place to start.

I removed Yoga in my 90-Day Upper Body Hybrid and only did it in my recovery weeks. This was a big mistake on my part and I won’t do that again. Now that I am doing my Hybrid II, I have integrated Yoga back in and am so glad that I did.

If you cannot do the entire 90-minute Yoga X routine, chop it up. Just go until the last Vinyasa, which is around 47 minutes in. Or start with the Balanced Postures right after the last Vinyasa.

Another option is to look at Tony’s other Yoga routines. However, I don’t recommend doing these until you have a firm grasp of the moves in the original P90x.

1)     One on One, Volume 1 – “Fountain of Youth”. This is a 48-minute routine. There are some new moves, but overall it is truncated version of the original P90x. Specifically, the balanced moves and general stretching is considerably reduced, and for many exercises, eliminated. You can see a full review HERE.

2)     One on One, Volume 2 – Patience “Hummingbird”. An even shorter routine than Fountain of Youth. Clocking in at 36 minutes Patience is Yoga in slow motion! For a full review click HERE.

3)     P90x One on One, Volume 3 – “Yoga: MC2”. This is a 60-minute routine that I am really digging in my new Hybrid II. It does have some great new moves and really gets you sweating. I highly recommend this if you are looking to expand your Yoga repertoire. For a full review, click HERE

One of the statistics Tony uses in his “Bring It!” book is that people lose 1% of their flexibility every year after 35. So that means my body started this trend last year. That is unless I work on it and actually improve it!

Flexibility is so critical to your fitness. This is one of my biggest learnings since I started back in December 2009. Increased flexibility makes you more durable and less prone to injury. I have not hurt myself or pulled any muscles through all of my P90x, Insanity, or Hybrid routines. Why? Flexibility.

In conclusion, Yoga is exercise for the body, mind, and spirit. If you struggle with it, my best advice is to hang in there. Just like you cannot crank out pull-ups and push-ups when you start, you cannot expect your flexibility to be top-notch either.


4 Responses to “Yoga – Fountain of Youth?”

  1. Coach Mike Coach Mike says:


    At the beginning, it is quite frustrating, especially if you have never done it. I’m really glad you have found it to be enjoyable and pushed over the initial hump! Congratulations!!

    – Mike

  2. […] I with hold the 5th start because there are really no new moves. But this does give me the a 4th Yoga option (Yoga X, Volume 1 – Fountain of Youth, and Volume 3 – Yoga:MC2) I also recommend you see my post that discusses the great benefits of Yoga HERE. […]

  3. […] I with hold the 5th start because there are really no new moves. But this does give me the a 4th Yoga option (Yoga X, Volume 1 – Fountain of Youth, and Volume 3 – Yoga:MC2) I also recommend you see my post that discusses the great benefits of Yoga HERE. […]

  4. […] One day is dedicated to Yoga. Gotta have it! You know I am a big fan. Read my post HERE for more of my […]

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