Tony Horton Answers the Question — Why Do Yoga?
We are now creeping up on two years since I really started to invest in consistent yoga practice. The returns on that investment have been substantial, which is why I’ve been a strong advocate of yoga—in particular Yoga X from the P90X program. Why do yoga? Well, hopefully after reading this post—and watching the interview of Tony Horton—you’ll understand exactly why.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is about flexibility and strength. In addition to physical strength, the practice of yoga also builds mental strength.
Yoga requires complete focus and complete dedication to the moment. Our society has evolved into a nation of “multi-taskers.” Many eat on the run, listen to music while we work, and watch TV while we exercise. Taking an hour and a half out of our busy lives to breath and hold difficult postures for several minutes is not something that comes naturally to most Americans.
The mental payoff of yoga is learning how to be still and gaining a sense of clarity and calm that other “traditional” forms of exercise simply cannot provide. The physical payoff is increased flexibility and strength.
To put it succinctly, implementing a bi-weekly yoga practice has improved my entire life—and I really want you to experience the same positive changes.
My first exposure to yoga was with the Power 90 Series. There is a brief yoga session designed to warm up your body up before the Sweat 1-2 and Sweat 3-4 sessions. When I started P90X, I was amazed at how difficult Yoga X was, but more on that later. For now, I’ll just admit that I didn’t like it at first. I found it long, exhausting, and frustrating.
Yes, it’s long—approximately 90 minutes, in fact. And, it’s pretty exhausting. However, I no longer find it frustrating. Not because I’ve mastered each move, but simply because I’ve gained an understanding of what yoga is all about and what Tony is trying to accomplish with the Yoga X workout. Now, it’s one of my favorite exercises.
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 might sound exaggerated, but I assure you, it’s not.
Tony Horton on Yoga
It might surprise you that Tony, the creator of the P90X workouts, was the inspiration for my increased focus on yoga.
Tony has been talking about the importance of yoga for a long time. He refers to yoga as the “Fountain of Youth.” In fact, this is the title of Disc 6 of his One on One series series. In this DVD, Tony describes some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice, so it’s a great place to start. (Update: One-on-One is no longer available on DVD through Team Beachbody, but is included in the Beachbody on Demand Library. If you have BOD, you can find it here—One-on-One with Tony Horton )
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 presented the question “Why do yoga?” to Tony and recorded his thoughts so you could hear the answer straight from the source’s mouth.
Here’s an extra little Tony treat—he was interviewed for a yoga-based program called “Posers”. Check it out:
P90X Yoga X
As I mentioned above, P90X Yoga X is long and hard, but it is important. Honestly, if you’re doing P90X and you’re not doing Yoga X, you’re not really doing P90X. Don’t shoot the messenger—just ask Tony!
To learn more about P90X Yoga X, and watch demo some of me doing some Yoga X moves, check out this post—You Think Yoga is Easy? Try P90X Yoga X
One on One Yoga
When people expressed that P90X Yoga X was lengthy and difficult, Tony responded with the Fountain of Youth DVD that I mentioned above. Why? Because he believes that yoga is the single most beneficial exercise a person can do.
Here’s a video of Tony drinking from the fountain of youth:
If you struggle with Yoga X, definitely check out the Fountain of Youth DVD.
Free Yoga Coaching
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 it has tremendous physical and mental benefits and really should be the cornerstone of any good fitness program—especially endurance and triathlon training.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on yoga and what it’s done for you—or, if you’d like some free guidance, click on the button below to check out our coaching program.