Today we have a little treat for you guys – to start off our “Why Yoga?” series we have a guest blog by The Accidental Mrs.  I have personally been doing Yoga, as part of the P90X regiments, for a little over a year now and can honestly say I think it is one of the most important contributing factors to changing both my state of mind and body composition.  The Accidental Mrs. , on the other hand, has been doing Yoga for only a few months and is already seeing results in both mind and body…not to mention strength.  In just a few weeks time The Accidental Mrs. has been able to do some Yoga strength moves I have spent over a year trying to accomplish and still can not achieve.  To be honest, I asked The Accidental Mrs.  to write this guest post because of how impressed I was, and still am, with both her commitment, improvements, and accomplishments in such a short period of time.

 So, without further ado, “Why Yoga? Part 1”

Yoga is more than a fad or the “cool thing to do.” For people wanting to combine relaxation with exercise, breathing techniques and strengthening exercises, yoga is all you need. Especially for women, yoga is a wonderful way to workout, calm and relax your body and mind, and feel good about yourself.

Yoga has quickly worked its way into my life, and there are so many reasons why I love it and will continue to do it over any other workout. First of all, I’ve never been much of a work-out buff. I get tired easily and lack motivation to wake up in the mornings and work out. But since I’ve started yoga, I wake up craving it. My husband has called me an addict on several occasions. When you work out, you wake up with that can’t-move way-too-sore feeling that some people may enjoy, but really makes it hard for me to hit the gym again the next day. This is why I’ve turned my back on many workouts before, but won’t be breaking up with yoga anytime soon. Instead, when I wake up after a good yoga workout, I feel stretched out, elongated, sore (but in a good way) and ready to take on another yoga practice.

Don’t get me wrong- yoga is no sissy workout. You think people can stand on their heads or hold their entire bodies up using only their arms because it’s easy? Heck no! Yoga will build the core of your dreams. A strong core, mixed with a balanced mind and body, will help you perform moves you never thought you could!

For me, yoga is also a nice way to wake up. I don’t really enjoy waking up and going straight into a full-on workout, so incorporating the breathing exercises and calming core workouts of yoga is much more enjoyable in the mornings, or as relaxation before bed.

Depending on what type of yoga you do, you’ll probably still work up a sweat, but it won’t be the high-speed, head-pounding, sweat-dripping, can’t-catch-my-breath type of workout you might get elsewhere. Instead, you’ll feel strong, long, limber, and clear-headed.

Finally, I love yoga because the end result is very different from hard aerobic exercises and strength training. Yoga helps to tone and define your muscles, while other exercises may have an end result of looking buff and strong, with big muscles. For some people, that’s what they crave. But, because I am not overweight or don’t have a lot to lose fast, I enjoy yoga and am looking forward to the overall goal of looking slimmer and more toned, without trying to get 6-pack abs.

And now, a P90X2 Yoga review:

I recently had the chance to review P90X2’s yoga practice, and wow- was it harder than I was expecting! P90X2 does a good job of staying true to the practice of yoga and many of the key vinyasas we’re used to, while simultaneously adding in aerobic exercises to up the ante. For instance, someone who practices yoga wouldn’t necessarily expect to do push-ups or crunches during a yoga practice, as yoga is about strengthening your body and core, but not necessarily doing exercises like these. But in P90X, these exercises are definitely fair game!

P90X also throws in a push-up between Upward Facing Dog and the move into Downward Facing Dog, which threw me off at first, but I quickly realized was an added feature that could really help in strengthening my arms! Also, the P90X2 Yoga workout is a more aerobic yoga practice than I am used to, with a lot of repetition, which makes it more cardio-burning than usual. If you are going to commit to this P90X2 yoga (which you definitely should!) be prepared for a tough yoga workout!

I would definitely recommend P90X2’s yoga practice for anyone who loves yoga and wants a kick in the booty!  The workout is appropriate for all levels, as one of the instructors performs modifications the entire way through, so beginners can easily stick to the program. Make sure your stamina is up for it though! At over an hour run-time, it’s a bit longer than most other yoga videos.

Do you practice yoga? What types or practices are your favorites?