Your Mama’s Yoga Review!

Poses

Scorpion, one-legged bound Down Dog, Twisted Wrap & Burn, some seated spine thing….

 

Before DDP Yoga, I was a pathetic weakling. In particular, I had zero upper body strength. I tried a laundry list of programs, both yoga and non-yoga, to no avail. The major problem was that I never got any stronger. These workout systems certainly showed me what I could do one I gained some upper body strength, but didn’t offer a pathway to acquiring the strength to do it. The issues that arose were a high injury rate, a lack of modifications (or a huge gap between the modified and unmodified versions), or a complete lack of any real-strength building.

Now that I have done DDP Yoga, and achieved all manner of goals and feats, I wanted to revisit a few workouts and see how my experience compared.

1. Brian Kest’s Power YogaBryanKestsPowerYoga

I tried the first workout on this disk a few months before I started DDP Yoga and made it all the way to the first Down Dog pose. He held it  for – what at that time I thought was – such a long that I couldn’t take it. So back on the shelf it went. DDP speaks pretty highly of Brian Kest, so I decided to revisit the workout now that I have some killer upper body strength (thanks to DDP Yoga). This time I did the third and hardest of the 3 workouts, and this time, I made it from start to finish, opting for the most difficult of version each pose. I didn’t burn as many calories as I would have in a DDP Yoga workout, but I enjoyed it, and the instruction was almost straightforward. I’ll definitely be doing this one on rest days or after a run!

2. Baron Baptiste’s Power Yoga51MAS29KBXL._SY300_

I did this when I was in grad school. I remember cursing, sweating, falling over and not being able keep up. This time around it was a snore. In contrast to Brian Kest’s reasonably accessible instructions, this was the kind of nonsense that triggered my #HCS4L and I to make a parody of the stuff yoga teachers come out with. It is one of my great regrets in life that we didn’t consult Baron Baptiste’s library of yoga DVDs while coming up with the dialogue:

3. The Firm Power Yoga16113_THE_FIRM_Power_Yoga

This was the first yoga I ever tried. I dreaded the Plank to Chaturanga to Cobra flow in this workout, I just couldn’t do it. I tried it last week, and flowed through the entire thing with all the advanced options, and didn’t even get into my fat-burning zone. This is a nice, easy workout, and would be a good way to cool down after DDP Yoga if you’re working out at night (the heart rate blast of DBD can make it hard to get to sleep.

4. P90X Yoga-X tumblr_m95rke858U1qhl3z1

The original Yoga-X isn’t a bad program. I certainly have a lot of problems with P90X, but this isn’t one of them. It’s a nicely laid out workout, with a wide-variety of moves, and pretty good instruction. The issue I had with this workout (and the other yoga workouts in this review) is that no matter how many times I did it, I couldn’t lower to Chaturanga off my knees, do the push-ups, or any other advanced moves. In other words, it showcases your strength nicely, but does little to build it. I also found that some of the transitions into harder moves aren’t as fluid and accessible as they could be. For instance, getting to Warrior III, Tony Horton goes straight from Crescent Post to Warrior III, with very little instruction from how one makes it to the other. Consequently, in my early days of following this workout, I never made it to Warrior III. Revisiting it, I was able to take the instructions I learned in DDP Yoga, and apply them to this workout, and in doing so, got more out of it. Also, because of all the strength I built doing DDP Yoga, I was able to do the entire thing from start to finish, all advanced poses, and barely break a sweat. I will do this workout from time-to-time when I have little energy but lots of free time (it’s over ah hour-and-a-half long).

Bonus: P90x-3: Yoga and Isometrix

I’ve already ripped Yoga 3-X apart here, so I will limit this discussion to Isomterix. This workout is the complete opposite of the fluid Vinyasa style found in the original Yoga-X. In Isometrix, there are a dozen or so poses, and you get into one  at a time, hold them for 45 seconds and get out of them. More so that any of the other workouts, this is great for showcasing your new-found strength and flexibility, but does ZERO to improve it. I did get into my zone more so in this workout that the other non-DDP Yoga workouts, but I will also never do this again, because doing nothing but hold a selection of poses for 45 seconds at a time is tedious to say the least. Nonetheless, it was fun finding out that I could do One-legged Bound Down Dog and Side Plank with bound leg!

 

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Why would waste your time with those silly, non-DDP Yoga workouts?

Pain-free Physical Therapy.

On Friday, I was on the V-Down Podcast discussing my background with chronic knee pain.

In a nutshell, I spent over a decade with chronic knee pain. It got so bad that for the two years in the run up to starting DDP Yoga, I couldn’t walk up a flight of 3 steps without feeling like hunting knives were being driven through my kneecaps.

Right before discovering DDP Yoga, I went to a physical therapist for a month. After doing an assessment of my knees, she told me that it would take at least a year-and-a-half of biweekly therapy sessions before I could even consider running a mile. ONE MILE! And she wasn’t 100% sure that was a realistic goal. I stuck with it for about a month, but I couldn’t take it. Each session involved the PT digging into my IT bands for 30 minutes or so, which left me with dark bruises down my outer thigh. Then, the next session involved the therapist digging into my painful bruises for 30 minutes! For all my suffering, I saw ZERO improvement. So I quit!

In contrast, DDP Yoga was fun, sustainable and effective. In under 3 months, I ran a Warrior Dash. In under 9 months, I ran a Half-Marathon, and in just over a year I ran a Full Marathon. All with zero leg pain.

Yesterday, I went for a casual run. I wasn’t running any set distance; I was just planning to run as long as I felt like it. After getting turned around a couple of times, and spending about 3 miles completely lost in a weirdly laid-out neighborhood, I realized I had run 10 miles. I figured I had enough light to go for 13.1, so I did. Even better, I set a personal record for that distance!

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Coincidentally, we have just reached the date on which my physical therapist said I could possibly consider running ONE mile. And I am running 13.1. For fun. I have 2 upcoming half-marathons this year (I may sign up for more). My new goal is to get one done in under 2 hours. But for now, I am happy in the knowledge that I have gone from being lazy and injured to being the kind of person who runs 13.1 for fun!

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I see why the song “Fix You” was chosen for Arthur Boorman’s transformation video: