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What Kind of Yoga Is P90X Yoga?

by
author image Shawnee Randolph
Shawnee Randolph is a yoga teacher and writer in Salem, Ore. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English: journalism from Corban University, and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at Heartsong Yoga in Beaverton, Ore.
What Kind of Yoga Is P90X Yoga?
A woman is practicing yoga at home. Photo Credit dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images

Tony Horton, celebrity personal trainer and creator of P90X, claims his physical success isn’t just from lifting weights, but that yoga has played an important role in keeping him young and active. Yoga X combines a strong, flowing yoga with holding poses for several breaths. Horton mentions both Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, but he also combines holding poses, which is indicative of what you may find in a Hatha yoga class.

Yoga X is Extreme

After several days of heart-pumping videos working the arms and legs, and aerobic exercises such as plyometrics, Yoga X is a welcoming sigh of relief for many. But be prepared to work. This yoga routine is designed to both stretch and strengthen your muscles. In Yoga X, you start with some breathing and a gentle warm up, which includes a few rounds of Cat/Cow. After your body is warmed up, Horton puts you through a few rounds of Sun Salutations with variations taking you into standing poses such as Warrior and Triangle poses. Your workout continues with holding several balancing poses, a cool down and, finally, corpse pose.

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Hatha, the Sixth Branch

Traditionally, there are six branches of yoga, which include meditation, breathing and other philosophical disciplines. One of those branches is Hatha yoga, which is the physical practice of yoga. All the yoga postures practiced today stem from Hatha yoga. In Yoga X Horton states the style is Ahstanga and Vinyasa, but it is important to note both styles stem from Hatha yoga. Similarly, the later portion of the DVD, Horton has participants hold balancing postures, which is traditional to many Hatha yoga classes.

Ashtanga, Not Power Yoga

Ashtanga yoga was developed by Sri. K. Pattabi Jois, yoga guru of the 20th century. Ashtanga yoga is considered a flowing yoga practice. Teachers guide students through a series of postures, which connect movement with the breath – almost in rhythm to the inhale and exhale. Each movement is guided by counting in Sanskirt – ancient Indian language. Ashtanga yoga is methodical and follows a strict formula. Ashtanga yoga is often confused with power yoga, being a stronger form of Vinyasa yoga. Horton calls his yoga Ashtanga, but based off of the traditions of Ashtanga yoga, Horton’s yoga is more closely related to Vinyasa.

Creative Vinyasa Flow

In Ashtanga yoga each flowing sequence, which link a series of poses together, is called a vinyasa. Vinyasa yoga developed as an off-shoot of Ashtanga yoga. Teachers of Vinyasa yoga are not limited to the same methodology and rules as in Ashtanga. Teachers can bring creativity and variety to their yoga classes. In Yoga X, Horton explores the creative traditions of Vinyasa yoga, rather than following the Ashtanga yoga system. Horton provides a strong and sweaty vinyasa for participants of P90X.

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