My gorgeous man friend got me The Ultimate Yogi DVD selection, and for Valentines Day he completed the set with with a Manduka mat, towel and yoga strap. I’d been moaning and whining for months about my home yoga practice, how I didn’t have anything and basically had to work on a hard wood floor – not cute on them knees.
He listened. He took in. He interpreted into the best mat IN THE WORLD and the most intense home yoga pack I have ever encountered.
I am no stranger to a YouTube yoga video. I love them, I like to do my own thing if I’m only focusing on Sun Salutations, but if I want to mix it up I venture into the calming underbelly of YouTube.
I’ve done so many different videos. So many. I don’t even remember half of the lovely, tanned, (pretty much exclusively) American beauties who are Downward Dogging their ways into my heart, but I have loved and relished every single one. Some were more informative than others, some helped you with your alignment throughout and others assumed that you knew what you were doing (hah, ha…) and took you through a vigorous flow.
So, I am no stranger to being instructed through the medium of video. I know my own limitations, and I know that I can drop into child’s pose, just like any normal class.
But Ultimate Yogi IS NO normal class. It’s a lifestyle.
Your guide is Travis Eliot, a typical hunky American dude, whose voice is slightly annoying. Ok. That’s a lie, it’s SO. ABSOLUTELY. ANNOYING. But only sometimes. Let me explain.
He does this voice occasionally, and it seems to be when he’s trying to be calming during a particularly strenuous flow. Hee taaaaaaalks, just like thiiiiiis, but rassssssspy, and more foooooorcefullllll, and allllll I can focus ooooooon, is the rhythm oooof his voiiiiiiiiiiiice. He takes paaaaaauses, where ther shouuuuuldn’t be, a pause, and then carrrrries, on. Sometimes he rhyyyyymes, whilst you are in chaturangaaaaaaaaa, and it makes me, want to crrrrrrrryyyy, and screeeeeeam in angerrrrrrrr (his rhymes are better than mine).
I know that annoying voices are endemic in yoga videos. I know, and maybe I am being very harsh; this lovely man is making me the Ultimate Yogi! How DARE I poke fun at his voice, but…it’s so annoying.
So, voice a solid 8/10 on the annoying scale.
The first day on the programme you are scheduled in to do an hour of CrossTrain yoga, with a session of Hardcore and 10 minute meditation.
Now, we are all friends here so I’m not even going to lie to you and say I did the Hardcore. I’m not in the business of fibbing. And here is why: I am reasonably fit, I like to think, I do 45 minutes of yoga a day and (used to, sob) walk an hour a day to and from work. Fairly active, wouldn’t you say. But when I am greeted by the phrase ‘Hardcore’, I quietly shrink away like the very frightened slightly cardio-phobic field mouse that I am.
“I don’t do yoga to do ‘hardcore’”, I angrily thought, “I do yoga, to be flexible, and calm…and…and be strong without really trying very hard…”Ah, well there is our problem.
I was kind of under the illusion that I would magically get strong, without really sweating, by bending down and stretching a bit. I was utterly horrified that this lean, but incredibly toned man, would make me actually do a work out.
A 9/10 for scaring new candidates into not doing parts of your programme.
After the session of CrossTrain I was so sweaty I wanted to cry, but I was elated. I had never felt the ‘glow’, the serotonin boost that you get from working out. I had never felt it, and never had the inclination to feel it. But I did after this session. It was gorgeous, tingly, and I had a smug face on all day.
I understood our Travis’ weird smug voice instantly.
I’ve just finished off Week One today, still a Hardcore virgin, but I’m looking forward to maybe dipping my toe in that pool next week. The rest of the classes went extremely well. The first three days are gnarly as fuck, CrossTrain, Cardio and Strength, respectively, are all nuts. I haven’t ever sweated so much, ached so much, but loved every single minute of it. Today was the Mountain Poses and Pranayama Breathing; even though I enjoyed it, I was looking for my burn. I wanted my tingly smugness back.
I would highly recommend this programme to any yogi who wants to take the next step into fitness and vitality. My skin is starting to glow, and I am starting to get more energy.
A resoundingly positive 8/10 for the first week.