Why Do Yoga? An Interview with Tony Horton
For those of you that follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or regularly read this blog, it probably appears as if I’m on a yoga crusade. I’ve been a strong advocate of yoga, in particular the Yoga X program in the P90X series. So, why do Yoga? What is it about this series of time consuming and uncomfortable poses that is so important?
Hopefully after reading this post—and watching the interview with Tony Horton—you’ll understand why.
To put it succinctly, implementing a bi-weekly yoga practice has improved my entire life. Since I started doing yoga twice a week (Yoga X plus a 75 minute guided “flow” yoga class), I’ve become stronger and faster at swimming, biking and running, and my recovery times are much shorter. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, I have a degree of calm and clarity that I’ve never experienced before. I know this sounds exaggerated, but I assure you, it’s not.
My inspiration for this increased focus on yoga was, of course, Tony. Tony has been talking about the importance of yoga for a long time. After hearing him talk about it in Hawaii last year, both Monica and I really changed our approach to P90X. Gone were the days of treating Yoga X as a rest/recovery day and skipping the difficult poses that still cause us to struggle (like twisting half moon, for instance). Instead, we’ve made it the focal point of our workout schedules.
I do yoga every Tuesday night. It is a time that I have no conflicts and I don’t miss my 75 minute yoga flow class. Sunday is my time to recharge my batteries with Yoga X.
Yes, Yoga X is long and hard, but it is important. When people expressed concerns about its length and difficulty, Tony responded with the Fountain of Youth DVD in the One-on-One series. Why? Because he believes that yoga is the single most beneficial exercise a person can do. If you struggle with Yoga X, check out the Fountain of Youth DVD.
In February 2009, Monica and I had the good fortune to attend Tony’s Yoga Retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We did morning and evening yoga sessions, which bookended epic bluebird days skiing and snowboarding. We asked Tony to take a moment and reflect the online conversation about the benefits of yoga and whether Yoga X was worth the time and effort that it demands. We recorded Tony’s thoughts on yoga, so you could hear it straight from the source’s mouth.
To be honest, I am on a yoga crusade. I want everyone to include yoga in their exercise routine. If you have reviewed my 14-week Olympic distance triathlon training program, you’ll note there is one constant and it is Yoga X every week. I can tell you how good yoga is until I’m blue in the face [and, frankly, I will), but I’m not Tony Horton. I’m just a guy who decided to push play. So, please take a moment to watch this video. When you’re done, go grab your Yoga X DVD, put it in your player, and do the ENTIRE routine. When you’ve finished, please write me a note and let me know how much better you feel. Then, keep it up for at least three months to give yoga an honest chance. My guess is that you’ll fall in love with it like I did.
I like to think of yoga as a flowing river. If you give a river enough time, it will wear down even the hardest rocks. Yoga takes time and dedication, but if you give it the time it deserves, it will create something beautiful just like a river.
Why do yoga? Because our bodies and minds need it.