RULE #11: DON’T SKIP YOGA!
I’m going to devote this whole post to this one rule, because I believe it’s that important.
I had never done any yoga before P90X. I had been warned by my brother that I would probably want to use an alternative to Yoga X, because that workout is 90 minutes, and who has time for that, right?
As an alternative, I got the “Fountain of Youth” DVD from Tony’s “One on One” series. The first few weeks of P90X, though, I did do the Yoga X workout, primarily because I like to make my own decisions about such things, and I like those decisions to be informed.
Yoga X is, indeed, pretty long and boring, but it was necessary to introduce me to the moves and terminology. Tony’s One on One workouts are much less formal than P90X, and he doesn’t often take time to explain things in them, assuming — usually accurately — that we should already know what he’s talking about and how to do the moves.
Let me say this here, because you may not know this about yoga … it’s hard! At least the way Tony does yoga, it’s hard, quite a workout. I remember the first time I tried floating my leg in the air from downward dog and then trying to swing it through. Not an easy task, and it got harder from there. That is one of the reasons I like it so much. I know it’s working my body and improving it.
Anyway, when I felt pretty comfortable with Yoga X, I moved to the “Fountain of Youth” workout from One on One. It’s a 45-minute routine that covers strength, stretching, and balance. And I was only finally able to do it all the way through without stopping … last week.
There is a part in the middle where we do a sidearm balance, three slow-motion pushups, a sidearm balance on the other side, then go right into an intense downward dog routine, and it has always made me take a break in the past. But I finally made it through last week, and to prove it’s not a fluke, I made it through today, too!
And this is about 18 months since I started P90X.
I was noticing today how smoothly I can swing my legs through from floating them during downward dog, a move I found so difficult — even wondered if it were really possible for me — when I first started. Now it’s routine.
Here’s the real point: This is not an overnight conversion. There are no magic elixirs to help you get fit. You have to work it, and yoga is a big part of not only helping you get into shape, but also helping you gauge the shape you are in.
So, when you decide to dive into P90X, don’t skip the yoga. It’s probably the most challenging part of P90X, possibly because it’s the least familiar, and you may be tempted to write it off as some throwaway stretching routine, but it’s not. You can build endurance, balance, strength, all that, with yoga.
In fact, I have considered creating a hybrid workout series based on yoga, and I may yet put that together, test it out for a few months. That sounds like it might be a good thing to do after P90X2.