Yoga Cross TrainingTravis Eliot
Year Released: 2012
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This workout is similar to – but NOT the same – as Travis Eliot’s Yoga Cross Training from his Ultimate Yogi series. The practice begins with slow, controlled moves, then the pace picks up and new poses are added. We begin in child’s pose (held for about 90 seconds, allowing you to prepare yourself for what’s to come!), then move to table top pose, and add bird dog arms and legs. We move into plank, then up to cobra; we raise and lower our cobra “head” several times, then we move into downward facing dog, where we hang for a while. We jump into forward fold, then move to standing mountain pose and a quick little backbend. We then begin a slow vinyasa, where the moves are sun salutation, forward fold, flat back stretch, plank, cobra, and downward facing dog. I really noticed the music keeping my energy and interest as I repeated this vinyasa several times. Although the moves were very “accessible”, the pace kept my heart rate “up there.” (I don’t wear a heart monitor, but I can tell when my endurance is being tested!) After a few repetitions, Travis adds chair and warrior poses; then we begin our second warm-up series, which Travis calls a “sweet little flow.” The moves are faster here: chair pose, forward fold, flat back stretch, plank, cobra, downward-facing dog, warrior on one side, plank, cobra, downward-facing dog, warrior on the other side, plank, cobra, downward facing dog … this is a continual flow that is repeated several times with no break; and again, the music helps keep the pace. At the end of the flow, we go into a standing wide leg stretch, crown of the head to the ground, and hold for a while. It felt nice to just relax here for a bit! We then move into flat back stretch, then standing for eagle arms, then another flow: Warrior 2, reverse warrior, side angle pose, then wrap one arm down behind back and other arm up under thigh and try to grasp them together (this is one “challenge” I wasn’t able to meet.) Continue the flow with warrior 2, triangle pose, half-moon pose (stretches are held longer here), downward-dog split, flat back stretch, forward fold, then back to standing for tree pose (and a bit of a rest!) From here, we attempt warrior 3 (aka “balancing stick” or maybe “airplane pose”), then back to mountain pose, chair pose, twisting chair pose (again with the advanced option of wrapping one arm down across back and the other up under thigh, handd meeting in the center of the back.) Then back to chair, flat back stretch, then (WHAT?) pushups, and downward-facing dog. Then we repeat this “sweet little flow” (starting with standing wide leg stretch) on the other side. The entire sequence is repeated again with a few variations and a faster pace: Downward-facing dog, warrior 1, warrior 2, reverse warrior, back to warrior 2, plank, cobra, downward-facing dog … and repeat several times. FINALLY, we get to sit down and do some seated stretches: butterfly, reverse table top, seated forward bend, bridge (with an option to move into “wheel” if you’re more advanced), goddess pose, supine spinal twist, and (HURRAH!!!!) corpse pose.
The second workout on this DVD is Yoga Hard Core. At the beginning of the workout, Travis says we’re going to do 300 yoga crunches, so you can’t say you weren’t warned. There is a wide variety of ab work here; crunches, pikes, bridges, “rope crawls,” etc., and each set was done 30 times. I didn’t care for was his almost continual counting of the repetitions; however, I did enjoy his dry humor and joking with the cast members, saying things like “one of these days, I gotta try that one myself.” My abs were feeling it by the end of this one.
Travis is gently encouraging with a soothing voice (and yummy AHHHH sounds) that makes me want to try for that “extra mile.”