Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yoga 108 – The Ultimate Yogi Review

I bet you are wondering why I didn’t call this article Yoga 101 – well read on!

One of my new year’s resolutions was to incorporate yoga or pilates into my current exercise regimen. I have taken both classes before and have never been able to pick a favorite because I like different things from each.
When I was asked if I would like to give The Ultimate Yogi program a try, I was delighted! This would be a great way to incorporate yoga into my routine and the fact that I was going to do a review on it was the push I needed to keep my resolution.

The Ultimate Yogi program consists of daily yoga, daily meditating, and a nutrition program. There are 12 discs, each containing a different style of yoga – from Crosstraining to the Sun Salutations. The program runs for 108 days; broken down into three thirty-six day cycles.
The nutrition program is based on eating whole foods, and adopting or “testing” a vegan lifestyle. It helps you to become aware of your dietary choices and to avoid processed food, stimulants and refined sugars.
The meditation begins with 10 minutes each day, and increases with each cycle. This is to help you teach your mind how to become more calm and focused, thus bringing the body, mind, and senses into balance which, in turn, relaxes the nervous system. (I really need to work on the meditation part)
As most programs are usually based on a 30, 60, 90 day time period, I was curious why this one was 108 days. Admitting this shows you that I am basically a yoga newbie, I have attended classes but have never delved into the philosophy. Wow, I found out that the number 108, is a highly significant number.

There are many reasons for the Hindu and Buddhist belief in the sacredness of the number 108.
(via Fitsugar)

v  There were initially 54 sounds in the Sanskrit alphabet: 2 X 54 = 108
v  There are 108 Upanishads, which are part of the oldest scriptural texts of Hinduism. They primarily focus on philosophy, meditation, and the nature of God.
v  There are 108 names for Hindu deities.
v  The distance between the earth and sun is 108 times the diameter of the sun; therefore, the number 108 is taken to represent the "distance" from the devotee to the divine.
v  Some say there are 108 feelings: 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.
    Today’s Dietician magazine recently did a three-part series on the health benefits of yoga showing that research has confirmed that practicing Yoga daily will lower blood pressure, increase balance, reduce stress, improve weight loss, increase strength and define muscle tone.

    What I liked (and didn’t) about the program:

    v  I loved the varying goals and challenges of each disc. Although I am not a total newbie, I am no yoga master either, but I could follow the moves fairly easily and the classes are designed to offer some modifications for all levels of students. If  you have trouble with flexibility, (I have work to do) a yoga block is quite helpful. My favorite discs were Crosstrain, Vitality, and Hardcore. The Yoga Crosstrain was the perfect balance of strength, balance, cardio, and flexibility. The Hardcore session isn’t as long, but it is as tough! You will definitely feel it the next day. And the Vitality session? Just watch!

    v  I found the meditation to be difficult for me, but I like the idea of quieting my mind and feel this is a great feature to offer in the challenge as it impresses the importance of finding balance within your day.

    v  I love most of the nutrition program – I believe the less processed foods you eat the better. They wreak havoc on your body. However, I am not too keen on the juice “cleansing” they promote. Speaking for myself, I cannot go 3 days without real food; and I don’t promote this type of fasting or “detox”.

       So, yes, I would recommend this program – especially if you were already a yogi! However, if you have never performed yoga before, I would recommend that you take a few local classes first, so that you can familiarize yourself with the poses with a professional. But I feel that everyone can benefit from yoga. As we grow older we need to improve and maintain our balance and flexibility – and yoga is a really great way to do that.

      I believe the program can help you lose weight, become more flexible and less stressed. I usually work out an hour or more a day, 5 days a week – doing both weights and cardio, so the length of work out is acceptable. And because you alternate between a hardcore session and a lighter one, you can follow this program without having to take any rest days as you would with traditional training.

       If you are looking for something new to challenge you, this would be a great addition to your collection.

      They also have a blog which features recipes and great articles, be sure to check it out. You can also find them on facebook at The Ultimate Yogi, be sure and tell them Get Fit sent you!

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