Fans of the FitFeat Facebook page have seen me posting occasionally about a yoga program I’m doing and I’d promised a little further explanation in a blog post.
My friend posted a meme on her FB page a while back that was tagged to a program called The Ultimate Yogi. In the past I’ve purchased two separate Groupons for a month of unlimited yoga at a local studio only to end up going just 3 times in each of those months. It caused me to wonder if my commitment to yoga (or lack thereof) had to do with needing to find a class at the studio that worked with my schedule or if I just wasn’t as interested as I had thought I was. After reading a lot of reviews of the program and watching a lot of the class clips, I decided to give the program a shot so that I could see how well I did sticking with it at home.
I can’t give it a full and fair review at this point because (1) I haven’t yet completed the 108 days yet and (2) I’m not really following it as it’s written. I didn’t go into it wanting to lose weight or use it for “transformation”. But there is a LOT about it that really impresses me so far so I wanted to share my early thoughts in case any of you have been looking for a solid yoga program to do at home.
It comes with a calendar showing which DVD you should do each day. I followed it as written the first 9 days (minus the additional ab work) but have decided to select the style of DVD (or ‘class’) based on what my schedule will allow or what I have planned for that day. And this is working better for me. I started out thinking I would do 108 days straight but found that I was just adding more stress because if I hike one day, I may not also have time for 70 minutes of yoga AND a long dog walk. So I’m doing what feels right for me and am really enjoying it this way.
What I Love:
• The classes are well rounded. You have 12 DVDs with the program, included yoga sessions that cover days for Balance, Strength, Cardio, Crosstrain, Flexbility, Vitality, Gentle, etc. I really like the variety. For example, in Yin Yoga you hold poses/stretches for up to five minutes. I’ve found it tough to still my mind and body for that long in a pose and love that I have identified an area to improve upon. On CrossTrain day you hit a little bit of all of the elements: cardio, balance, flexibilty, twists for detox. The UY website offers previews of each of the DVDs here.
• Some reviews I read didn’t care for the instructors voice. I disagree – I find his voice to be soothing and his cues are spot on. I never need to look at the TV screen to see what they are doing – he tells me what I should be doing so well that I could listen to just the audio if needed to do it. I also like a lot of the yogi-isms he shares in the classes that help keep you focused and give you something to think about.
• The meditation on gratitude is wonderful. I love spending a few minutes every day being reminded that I am blessed with a wonderfully abundant life and putting a few things in perspective.
• After 14 sessions, I notice an increase in the tightness of my arms and abs. You get a lot of arm work in the form of planks/chaturanga moves.
What You Should Know if Considering the Program:
• It is time consuming if you follow it as written. In addition to each yoga session which lasts a little over an hour, you are also asked to do daily meditation (provided) and three days a week you are supposed to do a core workout which can add another 20+ minutes.
• They market it as if they include a lot of documentation for their “Common Sense Diet”. There’s not really much to it. You can go to their blog for a few recipe ideas so far, but don’t look to this for nutrition ideas. They tell you in general what to avoid (sugars, refined foods, bad fats, etc.). Well not everyone knows what “bad fats” are – it’s really vague. Fortunately I didn’t go into it looking for a food plan since I was just interested in the yoga. But if someone were looking for a well-rounded program that includes that, she would be disappointed.
• You might need a few yoga sessions under your belt prior to this program. It seems it would be hard to follow at first for beginners if not familiar with the names of different poses, especially in some of the faster paced flows. While I don’t consider myself advanced in yoga by any means, I feel I would be a little lost if I hadn’t already been doing yoga off and on for a few years. He does provide good instruction and modifications but sometimes it’s in a DVD later in the program schedule or after you’ve already completed the move on one side of the body.
I am happy that I purchased the program and feel it was money well spent. Shop around as I found it a little cheaper through Amazon. (Speaking of, I have no affiliation with this company/program and was not asked to write this review. As with all of the reviews on FitFeat, it just happens to be something that I purchased on my own and love enough to want to tell others.)
It may take me all year to get to 108 days but I am thoroughly enjoying the journey! As I get deeper into it, I’ll expand on the review.
Anyone out there heard of Travis Eliot, The Ultimate Yogi program? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I have some stuff coming up over the next week that will keep me away from the computer so it might be a little quiet on the blog during that time! Have a GREAT week everyone!
– Shari B. =)