I am going to be using this blog spot as ani informal, daily journal of my experience with The Ultimate Yogi program, as I do not feel a short review on OnMilwaukee.com will cover this experience. I'll tweet daily links and post on The Ultimate Yogi Facebook page as much as possible.
If you are doing this program with me - please follow this blog spot and comment.
I received The Ultimate Yogi* DVD package today and immediately dove in to the 108 day yoga program touted as the P90x for yogis.
Even though I am a seasoned yogi, my personal practice has almost disappeared since the passing of my brother on September 20, 2010. I am looking to the structure and discipline of the program to return me to my mat.
And I think I've come to the right place. Created by Santa Monica, CA Yoga Teacher Travis Eliot, this comprehensive, intense program requires a daily commitment for up to 90 minutes.
The beautifully packaged set comes with a dozen DVD's, a calendar and a short movie/introduction to get you started. The companion website and Facebook page provides additionally info and support, including a nutritional plan.
I watched the beautifully shot short film and intro with a dear friend of mine before I got my set and I must admit, we did chorkle a bit a the seriousness of it all. Warning to non-yogis - do not be turned off by this film or the more advanced elements of yoga discussed in a very cinematic way. This program is very ambitiously taking the whole picture of yoga - not just the physical practice of asana (poses) and making it accessible to the masses as a home program. This is a very West Coast style yoga program - which I am very drawn to. Travis reminds me of my first yoga teacher, Bryan Kest ... who came to me via his classic Power Yoga VHS series. (This is a total complement - I love me some Bryan Kest.)
So ... Day One. The schedule calls for doing three sections - Cross Train, Hard Core and 10 minutes of Meditation.
The CrossTrain class is a flow class of about 45 minutes or so. Beautifully sequenced and progressed, it's heavy on warriors and standing poses, but includes shoulder openers, hip openers, a short pranayama (breath) sequence and a nice finishing. Slower paced than my usual Ashtanga practice, but refreshing because of the depth and detail I found from Travis' instruction. The students in the video are of varying ages, but all have admirable physiques and practices that will inspire. If you are a beginner, be patient - this will be a very challenging practice for you. Be sure to watch the DVD at least once before attempting to DO it. More advanced practitioners will enjoy finding the newness in familiar poses. I WILL be sore from this and so will YOU!
The HardCORE class is about 15 minutes of yogic ab work. Travis suggests different rep ranges depending on where you are in the program. Not being able to moderate, I of course, did them all and HOLY WOW ... fABtastic exercises! You will burn, burn, burn. I must admit though, it was difficult for me to do this AFTER the Cross Train class. I just wasn't motivate to work again after a savasana. I will be doing this before the extended practice next time to fire up my core.
Finally, I was a bit confused on how to do the meditation. Although I have a personal meditation practice, I wanted to use the video. The video has pranayama/meditation combined. I just started that section and set a timer for ten minutes which had me doing the pranayama for ten minutes. I got through breath of fire and three cycles of the alternate nostril breathing. I am going to try to watch this video in full before I do my next meditation to see what's up with this section.
Ok - after watching the video ... the meditation series starts after the pranayama, but there is no menu item to choose this, so you will have to fast forward past the breathing exercises to the meditation - which Travis explains is four parts: the gratitude meditation (about ten minutes,) the dedication meditation (about 3 minutes,) the affirmation meditation (3 minutes) and finally japa meditation for a total of twenty minutes.) So, I guess you just do as much of it as prescribed each session. Looks like you will have to extend it ten minutes as you get to the third part of the program.
All in all ... I feel great ... I'll let you know tomorrow where and how bad the soreness is.
I'll also try to include some of what I'm eating in this. I already feel inspired to get my food more in check. I feel like I've been on an eating holiday since Thanksgiving which has not stopped due to travel throughout December up until today. So, time to get back on the wagon. The Ultimate Yogi program seems to advocate a vegan lifestyle. I'm definitely willing to add more meatless meals back into this former vegan's life.
I'm not trying to lose weight - but, if that's a side effect - cool. I weighed myself this morning and I am 125 lbs and a very high 24% body fat for me - even though I still fit into all my clothing.
All that holiday fun caught up to me!
So far today ... I've had a vitamixed smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, spinach, banana, berries, flax and hemp protein. Not usual for me - but, I'm just not that hungry today. Lots of unpacking and paperwork to catch up on ...
I will also post if I do other forms of exercise as well. This happens because I am constantly trying new programs for review on OnMilwaukee.com and have a big Boxer who needs to get outside!
Anyhoo ... this has become longer than I intended ... most posts will be more brief - I promise!
*I was provided a complimentary copy of The Ultimate Yogi at my request for review on OnMilwaukee.com.