The P90X Yoga Complete Guide and Review

The P90X exercise program is a 90 day at-home workout DVD set that has been around for years. There are 12 main workouts included, one of which is Yoga X. The P90X version of yoga has its pros and cons, but is commonly considered one of the most challenging parts of the entire program. The P90X yoga routine includes a large variety of different types of yoga – both fast and slow pace.

The Yoga X DVDP90X is widely used because of how effective the workouts are, if you follow the regimen religiously. There are approximately 3 million folks out there who own the DVD set. A quick online search can easily direct you to the countless of positive feedback and testimonials from people who used the program. This is an excellent combination of balance, proper breathing, coordination, strength, and flexibility.

You’re not just melting fat from your body; you’re also melting stress away from your mind.

What is the P90X workout?

The P90X workout is a rigorous 90-day program designed by Tony Horton that requires you to exercise six days per week. The program includes strength training, cardio, plyometrics, stretching, and of course, yoga. Aside from the series of DVDs, the set includes a fitness plan, a nutrition guide, a fitness test, and a calendar. The DVDs have different workouts that range from mild levels of intensity, to high levels of very insane and intense workouts.

You’ll need a yoga mat, yoga blocks, dumbbells, a pull-up or a chin-up bar, resistance bands, push-up handles, a heart rate monitor, and a body fat tester to fully complete P90X. You will also need a chair, a plastic plate, and a wall in your house where you can do the workouts.

Why P90X Yoga is so popular

Unlike DDP Yoga, P90X is meant for anyone (not just men). The reason is clear why this program is so effective. P90X workouts were designed to physically challenge you and test your limits.  It’s definitely not something for those who just want a mild workout. This program is for those who really want to do something life changing and be in the best shape of their lives. The workouts take around an hour to an hour and a half—so expect to really spend the time and effort to get in shape with P90X.

Although P90X is intense and time-consuming, it is also a lot of fun. For people who love yoga, there was a part of the original P90X that included it. The Beachbody workouts eventually spawned P90X Yoga (aka Yoga X) because of how much it made people sweat and helped them get lean. Here is an in-depth look at this latest mash-up between an intense and a calming workout, along with what you should expect should you ever decide to give it a go.

P90X Yoga Deep-Dive

Yoga PlankThere are 12 DVDs in the P90X workout series, with the 4th one being Yoga X. It’s a nice and refreshing break from the other sessions (which are obviously more intense). Nonetheless, it wasn’t even the easiest workout in the set.

There’s a high chance that you’re going to need a few sessions or more before you get the hang of Yoga X. It’s not for beginners and the moves might make you feel uncomfortable at first. There is a huge amount of stretching required, and one must concentrate/focus on core strength. Some yoga traditionalists might scoff at Tony’s moves, but you can’t deny that P90X Yoga is an excellent workout regardless of intensity.

What we noticed after trying the Yoga X DVD

This regime is a 90-minute DVD. At first glance, it’s quite astonishing how much Tony Horton (the man responsible for the original P90X workout) knows about the art of yoga. He even went as far as admitting that he’s able to do a lot of things at the ripe old age of 59 because he does yoga. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve watched and seen on the DVD set:

  • Introduction to the virtues of yoga – Tony did an excellent jon explaining how yoga works. He broke the common misconception that yoga is all about flexibility, when it fact, it’s actually about strength and breath work as well. Also, kudos to him for informing people that doing yoga is like giving your central nervous system a massage.
  • 90 minutes of P90X Yoga – Tony used a combo of ashtanga yoga, power yoga, and vinyasa yoga for the workout. All the movements are truly connected to your breathing. The combination of styles is excellent, which is quite innovative for him to do.
  • Descriptions of each posture in the fitness guide – This is excellent because it familiarizes brave beginners on how they can raise/lower the intensity of the postures, and it even includes a proper warning to avoid injury by not forcing your body beyond capacity.
  • The sun salutations – Although Tony says that they’re Ashtanga sun salutations, he doesn’t hold each down dog for five breaths and he doesn’t return to standing before starting on the next one.
  • Breathing reminders – Although Tony did offer helpful breathing reminders, Tony could have gone more in-depth. Further elaborating on the connection between the movements and your breath would be helpful for beginners
  • Upwardfacing dog – Although this may be nit-picking, Tony did forget to mention that to decrease risking tension in the lower back, you need to put your hips forward in up dog.
  • Relaxation reminders – Tony reminds people to keep their faces calm. This is excellent for those who think that their faces can’t show that they’re having difficulties.
  • Techniques on modifying postures – His advice to straighten the front leg to come out of reverse warrior 2 was great.
  • Savasana – Tony was considerate enough to remind people that in yoga, you can’t just end it in a snap of a finger. You need to do the corpse pose (aka savasana) before ending it.
  • Om/Aum – Tony recites his “om” three times and even encourages P90Xers to vocalize their oms.

What moves will I do in P90X Yoga?

P90X Yoga is structured after the OG P90X workout. It starts with, as per usual, some warm-up exercises, an hour and a half of actual working out, and then a period for cooling down.

Listed below are just some of the postures (more on these later on) that you’ll be doing with the P90X Yoga:

  • Runner’s Pose
  • Crescent Pose
  • Triangle Pose
  • Twisting Triangle
  • Right-Angle Pose to Extended Right-Angle Pose and Grab
  • Prayer Twist from Runner’s Pose to Side Arm Balance

This is an excellent combination of balance, proper breathing, coordination, strength, and flexibility. You’re not just melting fat from your body; you’re also melting stress away from your mind.

Why should I try P90X Yoga?

yoga pose on beachThere are countless benefits to doing yoga, and P90X Yoga is no exception. Regardless of how intense P90X may seem (especially for those who gave up too early on it) it’s actually something that can give your mind and body an awesome workout with Yoga X. For 90 minutes you get to do cardio, strength training, stress relief, and even meditate. If you’re one of those who just despises stepping on a cardio machine, then you can kiss those days goodbye with P90X Yoga.

Always keep in mind that Yoga X can be modified if necessary. If you are not ready for it, try something else and come back to it when ready. One of the advantages with this is that you get to become more aware of your body’s movements and how your mind and your body connect with each other. It’s not just a passing fad if so many people can attest to its effects. Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones who’ll just think it’s insanely hard but not as intense as others.

P90X Yoga is definitely one of the most effective workouts from the series, but it’s also the most skipped. People tend to not like it as much because they think that it’s either too slow or that the poses are difficult to do. Also, at 90 minutes, it’s too long for some people who just want their workout regimes to be over with quickly. Even if you’re tempted, you shouldn’t skip it. Here are the reasons why.

Get your flex on for an hour and a half

People tend to overlook flexibility so much because they would rather focus on strength and cardio during workouts. They forget that flexibility is what lessens everyone’s risk of injury and it also allows everyone to not feel “stiff” while staying stagnant for extended periods of time. Proper range of motion leads to good posture and alignment. This allows you to get into correct positions to perform other exercises and workouts.

Flexibility is commonly ignored, since the results don’t directly show in your body. Even if stretching gets done during warm-up, it only happens for a minute or two (sometimes never).

And no—there’s no excuse to forego flexibility in being fit and healthy. Everyday life won’t adjust to how stiff your muscles are, especially if you have a nine to five office job that required you to sit all day. Your range of motion suddenly becomes limited and you find yourself getting hurt or winded just by leaning down to pick up a pen.

Although strength and cardio will keep your heart and your body in tiptop shape, flexibility will make trivial activities easier for you to do.

P90X does have a separate Stretch DVD for those who want to be flexible. However. P90X Yoga provides much more well-rounded results. As a bonus, your balance and coordination will be improved.

For the skeptics and haters out there, you have to try this out. You’ll end up realizing that your breath and your movements with P90X Yoga will significantly improve after a session or two, provided that you do end up soldiering through the initial body pain you get after trying a new workout.

On the other hand, while P90X is indeed fun to do once you get the hang of it, there are still some flaws with it.

The bad about P90X Yoga

While Tony Horton is a good “trainer”, he’s still not a yogi. He got his terms and cues on lock, but his instructions may get a bit confusing.

man yoga poseFor those who are trying yoga for the first time, Tony’s words might leave you completely clueless. It takes years of practice and dedication to properly instruct newbies in yoga. Obviously, having live and in-person sessions are ideal. This way, you can get real-time feedback and make modifications as necessary. More guidance from Tony would be better.

Also, Tony seems to contradict some of his advice. On the main P90X DVD, there’s a 15-minute Ab Ripper workout that you have to do three times a week. He mentions there that since the abdominals are just another muscle group, training it shouldn’t be more than three times a week. However, on P90X Yoga, there’s a section for “Yoga Belly 7” in which the advice about not working the abs out more than three times per week is suddenly thrown out of the window.

There are also some discrepancies with the P90X Yoga scheduling. Plyometrics is following by Yoga X, which both include comprehensive leg work. Yoga X is then following by regular P90X for legs/back, followed by Kenpo X (includes kickboxing). Clearly, this back-to-back leg work is not ideal.

P90X Yoga from start to finish

P90X Yoga workout will take you an hour and a half to finish, and is structured around Hatha Yoga. Although regular studio classes are about the same length, this can feel longer because of the difficulty of the routine. Tony will let you do a brief warm-up before he dives into Moving Asanas, Balance Postures, Floor Work, and The Yoga Belly 7. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll be doing and some comments on them:

Moving Asanas

Each of the Asanas begin with the typical Chaturanga, Upward Dog and Downward Dog. However, this 12 pose routine repeats for 45 minutes (which is already half the entire workout).

  1. Runner’s Pose
  2. Crescent Pose
  3. Warrior One
  4. Warrior Two
  5. Reverse Warrior
  6. Triangle Pose
  7. Twisting Triangle
  8. Chair to Twisting Chair (Prayer Twist)
  9. Right-Angle Pose to Extended Right-Angle Pose & Grab
  10. Prayer twist from Runner’s Pose to Side Arm Balance
  11. Warrior Three to Standing Splits
  12. Half Moon to Twisting Half Moon

Balance Postures

There are only a total of three balance postures, done for 30 seconds for each side of the body.

  1. Tree
  2. Royal Dancer
  3. Standing Leg Extension

Floor Work

Floor work is the least physically exhausting part of P90X. The following are the main yoga poses done on the floor.

  1. Crane (Pre-Handstand) – This is a more intermediate floor pose.
  2. Seated Spinal Stretch
  3. Cat Stretch
  4. Frog
  5. Bridge or Wheel
  6. Plough into Shoulder Stand with Leg Variations into Plough
  7. Table
  8. Cobbler Pose
  9. One-Legged Hamstring Stretch into Two-Legged Hamstring Stretch

The Yoga Belly 7

This was not something that I enjoyed because the Yoga Belly 7 mainly focused on the lower abs instead of developing the upper abs and the obliques along with it. Additionally, Tony forgets about the calmness and peace of a yoga class and ends up reverting back to his normal way of yelling at folks to push them harder. The whole meditative ambiance of yoga disappeared during this section.

  1. Touch the Sky
  2. Boat
  3. Half Boat
  4. Scissor
  5. Torso Twist Hold
  6. Deep Torso Twist Hold
  7. Touch the Sky (again)

The class finishes with some light stretches, child’s pose, shavasana, and the fetal pose. Tony ends the workout with three “Oms.”

In-depth explanation of poses

Since we’ve already discussed how Tony can be quite vague, I’ve gone ahead and created a breakdown of the poses you’ll be encountering during P90X Yoga. I’ll provide more information on the poses where it seemed like Tony’s instruction were unclear. If you don’t see a specific pose listed down, it means Tony was clear with his instructions for it. For your equipment, have a yoga block (or at least a hardbound book) ready.

If you start feeling like your lower back is being strained, just go into Child’s Pose and don’t leave that position until you feel better. It’s a great pose to relieve back strain. Feel free to go into this pose at any time during the practice.

The Dynamic Poses

The first half of Yoga X consists of moving asanas, which are a series of dynamic, flowing, high energy poses. Tony will begin with some light stretching and three sun salutations. After these, he moves onto more challenging poses that begin with the Warrior series. To make it easier for you, here are some tips that I came up with while doing P90X Yoga:

Warrior One – The secret to doing all variations of the Warrior pose is to keep your weight in the center instead of leaning forward. Make sure you also have your rear leg engaged.

Warrior Two – Aside from having an engaged rear leg, you should always be aware of maintaining your hips and your shoulders aligned with each other. This helps in keeping your weight centered and allow you to distribute it equally between your front and rear.

Reverse Warrior – This variation of the warrior pose is quite tricky. The key to this is avoiding planting your hand on the rear leg. Lean about 10 to 20 percent of your weight on the hand you’re using to have a better backbend, using core and leg muscles to support the rest of your body.

Triangle Pose – Don’t fret too much about reaching the floor with your hands. Focus more on having your chest and shoulders in a straight and open manner. You can use your lower hand to open up your chest and shoulders better.

Twisting Triangle Pose – While Tony’s generally vague; his advice about shuffling your rear foot to do this pose better is helpful.

Chair Pose – While doing this pose, focus on imagining yourself drawing everything to a center line in the middle of your body. Squeeze everything together towards that line. Don’t worry about your legs because your whole body should work to do this pose.

Right Angle Pose – This is especially challenging if you have to do the version with the clasped hands. The key to doing this is strengthening your rear leg to keep yourself sturdy.

Prayer Twist (in a lunge) – This one will require you to be balanced and have enough flexibility in your body to reach the floor with just one hand. Do the same technique as the one used in the Chair Pose. If you really can’t do it properly, then try leaving your hands in the prayer position.

Warrior Three – For those with weak backs, the Warrior Three pose will be hard to do. Again, your rear leg is the key here.

Standing Splits – This pose is all about tightening and stiffening up all muscles involved, in order to keep a straight and aligned body.

Twisting Half Moon – If you can’t raise your rear toe, then just keep it on the floor. You’ll only end up hurting yourself if you force it.

After the dynamic part of the P90X Yoga, you can opt to do the latter part of it after a short break or so. Spend some time relaxing for a bit before getting your butt kicked once again.

The Balance and Static Poses

Tree – Remember the imaginary line in the middle of your body we talked about earlier? This is how you’ll do it: pull your knee back and your butt towards that line.

Standing Leg Extensions – This pose is something that I’ve only encountered with P90X yoga. You’re going to need flexibility with this one. If you really can’t do it, just pull your knees to your chest and cradle them instead.

Seated Spinal Stretch – If you have a bad back, don’t force yourself too much into doing this pose.

Cat/Cow – For cow pose, focus on pulling your shoulder blades together. For cat pose, focus on rounding the shoulders forward.

Frog – This is excellent for stretching out your hips and inner thighs. Pay close attention to your knees so you do not over-strain them. Also, always have a 90-degree angle on your shins, knees, and hips.

Bridge or Wheel – The full wheel isn’t recommended for those who have bad backs, because this pose will strain your spine. Also, this is not recommended for people with wrist issues. You can instead start with bridge pose; it’s almost the same but helps avoid you from suffering from back pain.

Plow to Shoulder Stand – Careful not to straight your neck during this pose too much.

Besides all of these poses, the rest are pretty standard and straightforward. The ab exercises are something that you can skip if you’re really exhausted from P90X yoga. You can just opt for the Ab Ripper DVD instead of P90X Yoga’s Yoga Belly 7.

You most likely won’t see instant results with P90X Yoga, but you can definitely feel something changing even after your 1st session.

yoga plankWhile people tend to scoff at how “easy” yoga is, P90X may be a more challenging option. It’s intense, but more manageable than the other ones in the P90X series. You will have to take your sweet time in getting comfortable with the moves. However, once you’ve complete Yoga X a few times you’ll gain enough confidence to do everything without great difficulty.

One may be surprised that yoga is included in P90X, since the program is more known for being a straightforward, military-style workout boot camp regimen. It would have been better if Tony incorporated more breathing cues and better explanations of the postures. If you’re an experienced yogi, you might have to shake your head from time to time because there will be things coming out of Tony’s mouth that you might disagree with. Also, incorporating more progressions for those who cannot get into certain poses would be very helpful.

However, we should thank Tony for P90X since he effectively exposes many new people to yoga through this program. It would be more ideal if someone would have his or her very first yoga experience in a yoga studio instead of in front of the TV at home. However, this exposure to yoga is better than nothing. If you do end up loving P90X Yoga, then go ahead and find a studio nearby and practice more yoga.

However, nothing beats real instruction by a certified yoga professional – incorporating proper adjustments and custom progressions at a local yoga studio.

Did you benefit from this article? Did I miss anything? Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated – please post in the comments and I will personally respond!

Marcus Stone

Marcus Stone

Soon after graduating college with a degree in Journalism, Marcus decided to pursue his love for yoga and traveled to Rishikesh, India to complete his RYS 500 yoga teacher training. Marcus wants people to know that yoga is for everyone – no matter your race, gender, age, or physical ability. >> Read More
Marcus Stone

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2017-09-28T06:33:20-08:00

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