The reason why so many people hate yoga and P90X Yoga X in particular is because it’s hard. Guess what people, the reason why you’re doing P90X is to get into shape. If you’re already flexible and in shape then you don’t need yoga! If Yoga X doesn’t make you uncomfortable then guess what–you’re already a ripped, flexible beast and you don’t need to do P90X.
Sure, you can skip Yoga X and decide to do Cardio X, Kenpo X, or run on the treadmill instead. But none of these things come even close to doing what Yoga X can do for your body. Yoga X has attributes that you won’t find in any of the other P90X workouts. On the flip side, you’ll notice that many of the exercises in other workouts are based on yoga. Is this a coincidence? The beauty of it is that when you get better at yoga you’ll be able to do all the other workouts so much better. Do you think you get better at Plyo or Core by doing the workouts over and over and over again? No. That’s not how P90X works. You get better because you challenge your body with things its not quite used to doing.
You can certainly leave yoga out of the equation but all you’re going to do is sell yourself short and flush the money you spent on P90X down the toilet. Most people are more than willing to fork over their hard-earned cash because they need help getting in shape. Otherwise they would already be healthy and fit. But even fewer still actually follow through with the hard part of actually doing it! Especially when things start to get a little uncomfortable.
Without Yoga X you might as well keep working out at the gym and spinning your wheels on the treadmill if you’re not going to follow the program. You signed up for P90X, not step class! You either do it or you don’t. Start thinking like Yoda.
Do I know how to turn myself into a lean, mean muscle machine? Nope. That’s why I need P90X. If I take out Yoga X and substitute it with something else, guess what–it’s not P90X anymore. That’s all there is to it. Seriously–NO ONE CAN DO YOGA FOR THE FIRST TIME! Trust me, I’ve been there. I put in Yoga X for the first time, saw it was 90 minutes long and wanted to cry. I couldn’t do half the stuff they were doing . . . I felt wholly inadequate and wanted to quit. But I figured it’s gotta be here for a reason. Guess what. Now I look forward to that 90 minutes because I know it’s going to be productive time. Not a single minute is wasted sitting in front of the TV or computer! And it’s way better than being at work!
Now, the mind wandering and relaxation and OOOMMMS and whatever I’m not a huge fan of. But–the strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination you get from Yoga X is amazing. Besides increasing your strength and flexibility, the other main benefit of Yoga X is that it helps minimize the potential for injury and soreness from doing your other workouts. Yoga X is a complete muscle conditioning workout. If you think about it, Yoga X is probably the most important workout of the program no matter what your ultimate goal is at the end of 90 days.
The first few times you do Yoga X IT WILL BE HARD. But like Tony always says, “It’s supposed to be.” Just do what you can. DON’T LOOK AT HOW MUCH TIME IS LEFT. Just live in the moment and concentrate on whatever exercise you’re doing. With every move think about how your body is changing and improving. A yoga block helps A TON and will improve your confidence. Instead of looking at the time bar and thinking to yourself, “I can’t wait to get this over with” live in the moment and concentrate on getting your form right for every move. After the third or fourth time you start to notice that it gets a little easier and you might even start liking it a bit. I’m at the end of Week 4 and now I look forward to doing Yoga X. I never thought I’d be saying that four weeks ago! I’m so glad I decided to stick with it.
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If you currently hate Yoga X then you definitely need to do X Stretch on your rest day. You can even do X Stretch a couple days during the week in the morning (if you do your main workout in the evening) or the evening (if you do your main workout in the morning). X Stretch has helped me out a lot. The hardest part of Yoga X is the first 45 minutes. The rest is balance postures and more stretching. However, it does finish off with some nice ab exercises called the Yoga Belly 7 which will help you with Ab Ripper X.
To make your Yoga X experience as pleasant as possible, invest in a good quality yoga mat. The Beachbody folks recommend the Manduka Mat, which is high-quality, shock-absorbing and pretty expensive. But I’ve been pretty happy with my extra-thick Gaiam yoga mat so far. If you don’t have a good yoga mat and find yourself getting rug burn or slipping all over the place . . . you’ll hate Yoga X even more. A yoga block will also make life a little easier.
Just keep in mind–if a workout or exercise is difficult for you, there’s a reason. If Yoga X was easy, we wouldn’t need P90X! So please, stop whining and JUST DO IT. You’ll hate me now but thank me later. 🙂
If you’re still tempted to replace yoga with something else, you might want to watch the video below. And if 90 minutes of Yoga X is still too much, you might want to check out Tony Horton’s One on One Yoga DVD: Fountain of Youth or Gillian Clark’s Pure and Simple Yoga. Neither workout will give you the same benefits that Yoga X provides, but it’s better than doing no yoga at all! The Fountain of Youth DVD is Tony Horton’s recommended Yoga X substitute.
Do you have more questions about P90X? Check out my archived list of P90X Articles as well as P90X Questions. If your question isn’t answered there, please submit it using the comments form below or use my contact page.