P90X2 Review: X2 Yoga

P90X2 Yoga[This is the seventh P90X2 review in a planned series.  I will write additional reviews of the other routines as I do them.]  If you have any questions about this workout, contact me at connectwithJade@getresponse.com.

General Impressions

Let me start off this review by stating for the record that I have never gone through any formal yoga training.  No yoga instructor has ever laid hands on me.  My first exposure to yoga was through P90X.  For this reason, this review is difficult to write.  I have no prior experience in yoga to draw from, so I could be full of crap without even realizing it.  I will not even attempt to pretend to know what I’m talking about.  I will merely distill what I’ve learned through my limited exposure.

Joining Tony in this workout are Ted McDonald, a yoga instructor and co-creator of X2 Yoga, Missy Costello, Tony’s personal chef and regular yoga partner, and Shawna, a yoga novice who nevertheless is the most flexible of everyone in the group.  She is not the same super-Gumby Shawna from Yoga X and X Stretch, who I have not seen in any of the P90X2 workouts so far. Where are you Gumby Shawna?

If you are familiar with Yoga X, you will likely jump for joy to learn that X2 Yoga is only 67 minutes long.  As much as I like Yoga X, I didn’t enjoy doing it for over 90 minutes each time.  It can be a real chore, and this is a near universal complaint of the program.  X2 Yoga on the other hand, is much more compact.  For lack of a better description, it just flows better.  Even though it still lasts over an hour, it doesn’t feel like a drawn out routine.  It’s pacing is near perfect, and the way the exercises are organized makes more sense.

The program is broken into 5.5 segments.  The first is mostly warmups, and is comprised of light stretching, neck rolls, arm circles, forward bends, and sun salutations.  It lasts for over fourteen minutes, and does a good job of getting your body ready for more serious work.  It could be a wee bit shorter, but who’s going to complain about doing easy stretches?

The second segment consists of a series of repeated chair poses, vinyasas, and warrior 1 poses that flow together in one continuous succession.  The whole segment lasts for about twelve minutes, and you will be performing about twelve vinyasas and warrior 1 poses within that time.  As far as I can tell, its purpose is to get the muscles, joints, and ligaments really heated.  This is when you will begin to sweat. Although I did not find this segment that difficult, I can see how the nonstop movements can be challenging to other people.

The third segment forms the core of X2 Yoga.  This is where all the difficult balancing moves are performed.  You will do all the moves on the right side first, then the left.  The segment starts off with a crescent pose, then transitions to warrior 3, half moon, twisting half moon, standing splits, crunch raises (new exercise), squat prayer, then to crane (or handstand if you’re badass like Teddy).  You will work on one side of the body for at least eight minutes before switching to the other.  Except for the crunch raises, there’s nothing that you haven’t seen before if you’ve done Yoga X.  It’s just organized differently. More efficiently, I might add.

The fourth segment has a lot of deep stretching exercises. You will do a series of warrior 2 lunges (new exercise), triangle and reverse warrior poses.  There is also the familiar runner’s stretch, as well as the bound warrior (right angle with hands behind back).  Instead of simple hamstring stretches, Tony has everyone doing splits.  No one in the group can do a full split except for Shawna, but Tony demonstrates how do modify the splits using a yoga block. My goal is to eventually be able to do real splits.

The last segment has everything else that wasn’t previously covered.  There are a few thankfully short abdominal exercises.  Instead of over nine minutes of ab work as in Yoga X, there is only about three minutes.  Be warned, however, that shorter doesn’t mean easier.  You abs will burn no less from this workout (the split leg crunch is tortuous).   After the ab exercises, you will transition to bridge/wheel, happy baby, ½ happy baby, back rolls, frog, pigeon, plough, shoulder stand, and side twists.

Finally, there are the final relaxation poses at the end.  Tony completes the workout with a single “ohm.”

X2 Yoga Final Thoughts

I’ve been looking for a yoga program to replace Yoga X for almost two years.  I’ve tried other DVD yoga programs from very well known and respected yoga instructors, but always came back to yoga X.  Why?  Most other home yoga programs are too easy.  Yoga X is the only program that actually challenged me.  This is probably the limitation of a home yoga program.  My assumption is that if I went to a serious yoga studio, I might learn a lot more challenging poses and moves. However, this would defeat my goal of working out as much as possible at home.  I don’t believe in fitness studios or gyms, so if that means I will not receive a complete yoga education, so be it.

X2 Yoga is now my favorite yoga program.  It’s compact yet challenging.  Unlike other home yoga programs, it’s tough enough where I feel like I’m getting a workout instead of just a stretch.  It moves fluidly, so you don’t get the feeling that you’re doing two separate yoga workouts.  I’m not a yoga expert, so I don’t have much to complain about.  If you don’t like doing yoga at home, you can certainly go to a regular studio for your instruction.  The critical thing is that yoga should be a part of your fitness regimen.  Doing one day of yoga a week has helped me stay flexible and strong.  Even though I had a late start, I am a firm believer in the power of yoga.

Sign up for my free Fitness Success CourseDo you have any questions about this article or anything relating to health, fitness, and weight loss? Email me at connectwithJade@getresponse.com. I love to hear from my readers!

About Jade Nuyen

You know the people who tell you that life goes downhill after 40, or after you've had children? They're full of crap. I prove it to myself every single day that life begins after 40 and you don't have to accept being a frumpy out of shape mom as a lifestyle.
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