Wednesday, January 22, 2014

P90X3: X3 Yoga Review

Day three of P90X3, and it was time for some yoga. I will admit that I am both a yoga neophyte and practice a form of yoga avoidance. However, I loved today's workout! Thirty minutes of yoga was managable for yoga unfriendly me. The moves were kept at a reasonable level for me, and modifications were offered. Even Tony managed to tone it down an annoy me less. I finished the workout feeling nicely stretched and relaxed.

As added praise, I think that X3 Yoga will be a workout that I got back to on rest days even when I am done with the P90X3 workout program. I really do need to be better about stretching as I get older (I'll be 29 in March). After a stressful couple of days at work and a four mile tempo run at lunch today, yoga was just what the doctor ordered. I came home, got out a mat, and popped the DVD in the player.

The X3 Yoga workout had you move through Vinyasa mostly. Moves were fluid and often repeated. Below is a description of the moves with some explanatory text as needed. My comments, as always, are in brackets.
  • Child's Pose: (A great gentle way to start the exercise. My upper body remains sore from Monday's pull-ups and this felt wonderful!)
  • Downward Dog to Forward Hang
  • Sun Salutation (3 Times): This was done by a swan dive into plan with a transition into Upward Dog and Downward Dog.
  • Sun Salutation -- Crescent: Building on the Sun Salutations from before, this move had you lift your leg to the ceiling when in Downward Dog, pulling your leg through into Crescent. (We held this for a bit too long on the first side as Tony introduced people. My front leg got quite tired.)
  • Airplane Over Leg or Shoulder Stretch: From Crescent, open arms to the side and lean forward over the standing leg. Interlace your hands behind your back, lowering your head to the floor. (This exercise was done in progression, so if being in Airplane with arms outstretched was enough, you didn't have to clasp your hands behind your back. I tried to bring my hands back and suceeded, but my alignment felt off, so I went back into Airplane. Flexible I am not.)
  • Sun Salutation
  • Warrior One, Warrior Two, Reverse Warrior, Bound Side Angle Pose: (These moves were all done in sequence, so I've listed them together. We finished this Vinyasa with Chair.)
  • Sun Salutation B: Same moves as the first Sun Salutation but this time starting in Chair. From Chair, swan dive forward, go into plank and then transition into Upward Dog, pull up your hips and lean back into Downward Dog.
  • Warrior 3, Half Moon, Twisted Moon, Standing Splits, Crescent Pose: (These were pretty much all balance moves on one leg. I found Twisted Moon especially challenging. My Beachbody Coach and fitness instructor told me a great way to learn Half Moon is to do it against a wall. This helps with balance and getting the form correct. Now that I've done this workout and know when these moves are coming, I'm going to try that modification until I get better with my balance and flexibility while doing yoga.)
  • Wide Legs: Forward Fold, Bind Toes
  • Triangle, Twisted Triangle
  • Tree Pose: Stand on one leg and put the sole of your other foot on the inner thigh. (I did pretty well with this on one side and completely feel out of the move on the other.)
  • Extended Leg with Toe Bind: Stand on one leg, lifting the other. Grasp your toe with the opposing hand and straighten out towards the front. (My balance was good on this move. I was unable to get my leg completely straight like the people in the DVD, but I got a stretch that was good for me. I looks like Tony couldn't straighten his leg all the way either, which made me feel better.)
  • Ted's Chair: Cross one left over the other knee and bend down into Chair, stretching open the hip. (We do this stretch in the T25 Stretch workout. It's one of my favorites for opening the hips. Felt great here!)
  • Crow: With hands on the floor, walk your feel in bending both knees and put them on your triceps tilting forward to balance with both feet off the ground. (One of the people on the DVD did some crazy intense modification for this. Meanwhile, I was with the modifier trying to balance enough to get even one leg off the ground. This was definitely the hardest move of the workout.)
  • Vinyasa to Floor: Transition from Crow into Upward and Downward Dog.
  • Child's Pose
  • Cat Dog: Otherwise known as Cat Cow where on your hands and knees you tuck up bringing curling your back up and then arch your back towards the floor.
  • Bird Dog to Dog Dancer: From Cat Dog, with neutral spine, extend arm and opposite leg at hip level. Reach behind with your hand and grab the leg at the ankle. (It was a bit challenging for me to transition from Bird Dog to Dog Dancer, but when I did it felt great in my quad and back.)
  • Camel
  • Figure 4 Series: Standard seated hamstring stretch, intensified ham stretch, sitting pigeon, and twist (This was probably my favorite set of moves from the workout. My hamstrings and hip got well stretched. I only wished we held these moves for longer.)
  • Fish
  • Shavasana

I loved X3 Yoga. I especially appreciate it when I think about the yoga workout from the original P90X, which is infamous for it's 90 minute length. When I did Yoga X, I came away feeling abused. The yoga was way too advanced for me and limited modifications were offered. In contrast, X3 Yoga is a perfect amount of time, has simple moves, and can be done by anyone. This workout is a keeper. I will look forward to doing it weekly during the first block on the training calendar and can definitely see myself interspersing it into my other workout schedules when I finish P90X3.

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