REVIEW: Travis Eliot’s ULTIMATE YOGI
I’m a huge fan of yoga postures. Especially as I hit my mid forties. Maintaining a level of flexibility has done more to prevent me from injury than anything as mid-life drags me screaming into an alleyway. So with that in mind it was an easy sell to get me to review Travis Eliot’s Ultimate Yogi.
What you get:
12 DVD’s, a calendar and fitness guide. The program timeline is a 108 day schedule.
Time: 65 Minutes
Despite the title, there will be no throwing tires and jumping on plyo-boxes. This is straight up salutations and balance postures with occasional changes in tempo. If you’ve ever done P90X Yoga then this has many similarities and the benefits of both would probably be identical. I guess I expected a little more considering the aggressive “Cross Training” title.
One thing is obvious, this is not for beginners. Also, Travis never…and I do quite literally mean never…stops talking. Down dog, updog, warrior one, inhale, exhale, now fold yourself in half…finding that mental calm gets pretty hard when you’re concerned about falling behind.
Time: 63 Minutes
Yoga at the speed of light. If you had a hard time keeping up with Cross Training, this is not going to be a good day for you. Still, if you give yourself some time and tune Travis out when necessary, you will have a pretty sweet cardio-core routine to start your day.
Time: 65 minutes
I’m starting to see a pattern here. Modern yoga by nature has a very limited set of moves. Vinyasas, warrior postures, balance postures and general all around stretching. That’s really about it. So whereas the Cardio workout moves at a fast pace, Strength goes slower and has longer isometric holds. Planks are held longer and ab work is slow and controlled. Just don’t expect weight training results.
Time: 72 minutes
If P90X YogaX feels long to you, this might seem an eternity but that doesn’t mean you should bail. The deliberate focus on slow, stretching and flexibility will be crucial for us older folks.
Time: 61 minutes
As the name implies, more focus is spent on maintaining balance postures.
You will be told often..about 1,056,872 times per workout...to inhale/exhale. Sorry, I meant IIIIIIIIINHALE. EEEEEEEEEXHALE. It was getting to the point where my lungs were starting to develop a complex.
Time: 73 minutes
Toxins are in you, therefore we shall wring your body like a soaked towel and squish them out. Don’t ask me whether this will actually work as I’m only a fitness columnist, but I at least like the muscular benefits. Think of this as a very aggressive form of Twister.
Time: 70 minutes
The intro to this is freaking hilarious, as Travis tells us we’re going to restore energy to earth ( although I’m sure he’s being facetious…right? ). The poses remain the same except there’s a lot of expanding the chest out as if to imply energy release. My volt-meter didn’t register squat, but it felt nice.
It’s just Travis today as the cast is away getting their herbal tea colonics. This is designed to focus on the abdominal area and is unquestionably one of the harder ab workouts I have done.
Time: 65 minutes
Long and slow. To be honest, this one is a lot easier to follow due to the reduced pace and the fact you’ll be on the floor for the entire time. No warrior postures today.
Time: 55 minutes
We cut the cast down to 4 today. The moves are back to the more traditional yoga with salutations and forward bends, with the last half focusing more on ground work. The pace slows compared to most other workouts which makes this one a fine choice overall for most people.
MOUNTAIN POSE SERIES
Time: 30 minutes
While the outdoors does indeed make for a good set, this reminds me when my karate Sensei would make us run outside in bare feet. So sure, you could practice your yoga in the sandbox, but I would argue getting sand in your crotch is an inevitability.
Breathing, calmness and the quest to become the ultimate human being. Wait…what? Like an X-Man? That makes no damn sense at all. Think before you speak Travis.
The moves here are reaching high and bending forward, so a lot of hamstring action will be taking place. It is actually a very nice series that allows one to get a fair bit done in with a short runtime.
Time: 37 minutes
While I’m certainly a fan of relaxing the mind, I try to keep it online enough that my grey matter doesn’t ooze out of my ears. I mean, we can meditate on giving gratitude for the good things in our life, but who are we giving the gratitude too? Travis and the kids would like to thank the impersonal “universe”. Take it from a theological junkie, you don’t want to get me started…
Time: 50 minutes
The intro implies I’m a different human being if I made it this far. Cool. The outdoor set also looks great, but that jagged stone floor has got to be murder on the casts feet, even with a mat. Poor saps.
This workout is a non-stop sequence of 108 sun salutations. No queuing from Travis at and to be honest it is rather nice as any constant advice during this time would be distracting.
If you want advanced yoga then you have unquestionably come to the right place. Travis Eliot delivers a program that is high on skill, if not somewhat lacking in variety.
I do have some gripes with this program though. For example, Travis specifies that this is good for people with injuries. I would advise people to have more realistic expectations. The pace in Ultimate Yogi moves far too fast and there is not much opportunity to settle in. Anyone with knee or joint issues should find a beginner program and move past this until they are ready. It will only lead to further injury.
So what’s the trainer like?
This is a very subjective thing. Personally, I doubt me and Travis are going to be long term workout buddies. Not lying, there are times this can feel like a goofy hipster-cult initiation ritual. Travis has a somewhat unique way of talking that will either comfort you or make you throw a brick at the screen. Everything is slow…damn slow…and monotone to a ludicrous extent ( think 60’s hippie maaaaaan ). He has less voice intonation than Siri. What compounds the issue is that every sentence Travis speaks you know he feels in his heart it is brilliant even though it is usually pretentious, convoluted nonsense.
Like most yoga practitioners you have to be prepared for a hefty truckload of bullshit and in my opinion, Travis delivers a little too much of it at times. No matter how much you stretch or calm yourself, you will not ‘find yourself‘, create a better life out of nothing, nor gain the wisdom of the universe. Can you fold yourself in half and with ninja like skill calm your heart-rate to near zero? Great…but you are not a better human for doing so. Sorry kids, being a better person comes with age, values and experience, not on a rubber mat in a room with east-Indian decor. Therefore, every time Travis had some meaningless Yoda-advice such as “moving with compassion”, I would politely yell ‘shut up’ and tell him to go back to making my non-fat latte.
There is also the perpetuated myth that this form of yoga is thousands of years old. Perhaps parts are, but those sun salutations and stretch techniques have more in common with Indian gymnastics. While I am a huge fan of the health benefits of modern yoga postures, I just don’t believe yoga teachers when they say their art has been passed down through the ancients…unless they are referring to 60’s stoners.
All that nitpicking aside, Travis has created something for the masses craving a dedicated yoga program. The sets are attractive and the audio/music is very appropriate. It would be nice to have a timer bar for those of us on a schedule but that might run counter to the goal of losing yourself in the moment which Travis was aiming for,
If you’re a hardcore yoga buff then I highly recommend Ultimate Yogi. It never strays from its premise even though the workouts don’t have a lot to distinguish themselves. If you like variety or prefer to have trainers with a more pragmatic worldview, there’s a good chance Travis will get on that last nerve. Newcomers especially may wish to first consider more lightweight options or they will be left in the dust.
REVIEW: Travis Eliot's ULTIMATE YOGI
Production Values - 80%
Trainer - 80%
Music - 70%
Cost - 70%
Value - 60%
Solid yoga program designed for the intermediate to advanced enthusiast. The program lacks variety in most workouts, yet still accomplishes the goal of increased flexibility. Just don’t get too caught up in the “Yoda” wisdom.
Probably one of the most advanced yoga programs out there.
Appeals to advanced practitioner right away.
Fortune cookie advise is bullshit.
Trainer can be like working out with Tommy Chong.
Difficulty too advanced for beginner.
This seems to have been your very first exposure to yoga movement (hatha) and philosophy, or perhaps any philosophy of any kind arising outside of the church on your street. It’s the first time I have read any of your writing, I’m surprised to see that you call yourself a fitness columnist. One would assume that a professional columnist would take 10 minutes to research their topic before reviewing a product based on that topic.
Yoga is a philosophy of living, not just a movement practice. I am thrilled that Travis did not choose to cheapen his product by ignoring the entirety of yogic philosophy to just put people in a bunch of poses.
He is not reminding you to breathe. Movements are meant to be coordinated with the breath. Certain movements happen during the inhale while others happen during the exhale. He is cueing you to move. You shouldn’t be moving at the same time as the guy next to you, but should be going into the next pose during your inhale or your exhale.
Unlike the narrow view of western christianity, many eastern religions are all-inclusive. You want Travis to act as an evangelist for your personal definition of GOD? That is entirely inappropriate and exlusive of peoples who may have other thoughts about what or whom is running the universe. Are you aware that other religions exist, or do you just think they are all wrong? Thank God Travis keeps his program inclusive of all beliefs by allowing people to thank the universe and choose whatever that means to them as an individual.
I am an out of shape 43 year old who is 30 pounds overweight and has a limited experience of yoga, having taken a class here and there over the years. I didn’t find the program to be advanced at all. Perhaps you didn’t take the time to view the introductory video where methods of modifying the moves to make them easier are carefully explained and demonstrated. If you had any previous experience of yoga (outside of p90x) you would realize that yoga is all about listening to your own body and adapting the practice to suit your needs. He explains that several times. Perhaps you were so quick to consign his speech to the category of ‘hippie mumbo jumbo’ that you didn’t actually listen to what he was saying.
I’m a fan of honest reviews, but it’s disappointing to see someone who calls themself a ‘fitness columnist’ be so ill informed! On the bright side, if this is all it takes to be a professional writer I can quit my day job!
I’m not sure I’ve ever been filled with enough rage to leave anyone a 5 paragraph diatribe. Gotta be honest, stopped reading once it got snarky. I mean, doesn’t that kind of outburst seem just a little pointless to you at all?
The review you wrote was quite a bit longer than 5 paragraphs.
You need sex. Or an enema.
So, you’re saying articles and comments must follow the same rules? Interesting. Not sure what it is you’re hoping to accomplish here but I’ll play.
I didn’t realize that there were rules for comments. It’s surprising to me that someone would present themself as an expert in a subject with such an obvious knowledge defecit. I was hoping to explain some basics about yoga to you in the hopes that you would educate yourself better to avoid looking like such a rube in the future.
So let me get this straight…you’re mad because you came to a site that didn’t say what you want it to say? Remarkable.
Nope, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. From what you wrote, it’s clear that you have no knowledge of even the most basic yoga fundamentals. I’m surprised that someone presenting themself as a fitness expert would not even take 10 minutes to read about yoga on wikipedia before writing an article on the topic.
So because my opinion does not line up with yours, I must not be an expert and therefore your lashing out is a mature response? Um, I did a review on a yoga program probably a year or so ago. A degree in Yoga Fundamentals is hardly a prerequisite and dare I say, would probably only serve to bias me in the wrong direction. If Travis is a hack, that’s not really my problem. Yoga culture at best, is liberally coated in bullshit on its best day. Stick to the physical benefits and you’ll be fine. And avoid acting like a melting snowflake on comment sections too. They say it’s bad for the aura. :)
Well it seems my attempt to educate you or encourage you to educate yourself has been entirely unsuccessful. I give up, you can’t force a person to learn. Good luck with your ‘expert’ blog.
Oh, you were trying to educate…is that what it was? Seemed more like the ramblings of a snowflake, but I guess tomato-tomatoe. Still, all the best to you too and I hope you quickly find the stamina required to make it in this world of diverse opinions. It’s a jungle out there. Shalom.
It’s funny you should say that because I’m about as open minded as it gets. There is a difference however between an opinion and a lack of knowledge. I also wish you a good life, full of the bliss that only ignorance can bring.
No, you’re open minded to your own opinion. Your reaction to a benign article with disproportionate rage demonstrates that. Consider the possibility…and hear me out on this…that you in fact know jack about yoga. And then consider that my criticisms and accolades may well be entirely valid. You don’t need to agree, and you probably won’t…but consider it. THAT’S being open minded.
Plus, everyone who starts a sentence by saying “I’m open minded” generally is the polar opposite in practice. Secure people don’t say that, they just have a private confidence about them. Strive for that and you’ll be a better person.
Look, before you start smashing that poor keyboard again understand that I realize we apparently have two absolutely opposing worldviews. But since you seem to have a disturbing inability to co-exist with a differing view without virtue signaling, also realize that I don’t care what you believe and never recall asking. Clearly a friendly debate amongst friends at the coffee shop is not what is happening here.
If it makes you feel better, hate my observations and consider me the biggest a–hole in your small world…although I honestly would ask you not to waste precious time doing so. Life is too short. But I do ask you to take your lumps with a bit more dignity than you have been demonstrating. If you despise what you’re reading then walk it off and stop acting like you’re twelve.
So as a “Bible College” graduate and theology junkie, you’re calling him out on his impersonal universal-loving, hippy “bullshit”? Not only does this discredit your review due to a personal bias, but I’d argue that you’re chewing on that same bullshit-stick Travis is.
All reviews have personal bias. That’s why they’re called reviews. I also don’t believe that all worldviews have equal merit. If this upsets you, please find a nice “safe space” to hide in. Good day.
I did this last spring and couldn’t agree more with your review! It’s spot on – particularly the last few paragraphs! I am not much of a yoga guy but I still use Yin Yoga routinely as a recovery routine and will sometimes rotate one of the other, more challenging routines to hybrid programs I create.
I just recently found you, and I am THOROUGHLY enjoying your reviews. Not only are they insightful, they are highly entertaining! Thanks!! :)
Okay, I just did the first video, and I liked it! He does spout some new agey drivel that I just can’t get on board with, but I did like the workout. I couldn’t help but laugh a few times at what he was saying, though. That didn’t help with my balance.
On a side note, my husband and I have decided that he sounds like a mix of Matthew McConaughey and Dana Carvey. :)
Oh wow, yes he DOES!!!!
I found his voice and inane drivel to be so distracting from videos that I couldn’t focus as intended. During the YinYoga I wanted to scream at him to shut the f#$% up! I do pull out the core workout because he stays on point with the workout and not wander off on annoying esoteric rants.
I would be very curious to see you do a review of Yoga Warrior 365, which I found to be a much better all-round yoga system, with a vastly superior instructor.
Nice review! I’ve done a lot of different yoga DVDs and I think if you like the Ultimate Yogi set, Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga DVD is another good one to try out. It’s a bit old (so what), and Bryan can be annoying/pretentious like Travis, but overall its a nice set of three 50 minute routines.
I’ll also agree with the other commenter about the Yoga Warrior 365 set. I couldn’t stand Rudy so much that I never made it through all the DVDs…
Hello. Thoroughly enjoy all your fitness reviews. I too am a big “Beachbody” fan (not a coach either) but I was looking for a more serious Yoga routine than the P90X et al programs provided. I knew you were going to be reviewing this program, but I could not wait, so I purchased “The Ultimate Yogi” and I am 58 days in. I would like to add a few comments if you don’t mind.
I too found it difficult to keep pace with the program. However, I found that if you turn the music off (menu choice), the pace is actually quite comfortable. For some reason the increasing tempo combined with the increasing volume of his instructions makes it feel faster than it actually is.
After the first 30 days, I began to combine these routines with Body Beast. While I was certainly increasing flexibility, there really is not enough strength training in these routines (if you are into that type of training). I chose Body Beast because with 60 plus minutes of Yoga, I can’t spend another 60 minutes weight training. I have found though that the Yoga routine provides an excellent warm-up to the Body Beast movements, without over-taxing the muscles. Plus, the combined routine stays around 1 hour and 45 minutes (skipping Hardcore), which is about the maximum amount of time I have.
Yes, he does talk a lot. But his constant instruction is useful because I can’t always view the screen. Also, breathing is a huge part of Yoga, and after about 40 days or so you really can feel the movements becoming easier because of your breath. I followed his “inhale and exhale” religiously, and it is a huge help.
Finally, I will be 50 in 6 months, and adding this every day has improved my posture, reduced the aches and pains that seem to occur with weight training alone, and has certainly made me a calmer individual through the day.
So here’s to you Mr. Parrot (imagine a wheat grass smoothie being raised) – another excellent review.
That is true! Travis Eliot’s cueing can make you not look in the screen anymore after sometime. I am surprised to know you are ‘stacking’ it with body beast on the same day. You could try his 30 minute Power Yoga series in his website. The setting is just him in his room but still he’s cueing is second to none.
I could not find any 30 minute routines. I did find where you can buy a couple more, but between this video series, the P90X, X2, X3 and One on One, I think I have plenty. After the 108 days are up, no more stacking. I think I am going to just add a few Yoga routines in instead of a cardo and stretch day. Try and keep it to around 3 to 4 days per week.
I’ve been waiting for this Yoga review for ages. In fact, it was Mr Parrot mentioning it a month or so ago that got me into it in the first place.
Finally, a like-minded workout individual!! I too have been doing a hybrid of Ultimate Yogi and Body Beast. They are polar opposites of each other and compliment each other well. Though I find that after 2 days of Back & Bis and Chest & Tris it is really difficult to hold a Downward Dog for any length of time. Yoga truly is a masterful workout.
Travis’ voice does indeed take some getting used to. My girlfriend has to leave the room :) But surprisingly his sloooow monotone voice actually suits the proceedings perfectly, and his knowledge of the practice comes through well. Disengage your BS meter and you’ll really enjoy it.
Nice! Are you doing them both simultaneously or 1 routine per day? If you are doing the latter, would you mind sharing an example of how you structure your week? I am doing both simultaneously with intelligent “breaks” when needed. For example, today was Yoga Cardio with Total Body. I try not to do Yoga Strength with any upper body routine, so it is either by itself that day or with legs. I just finished BB Phase 1 so tomorrow, instead of jumping right to Beast Chest, I am doing the scheduled Mountain Pose Disk/Pranayama routine to give a bit of a break before Phase 2.
I tend to pick and chose my workouts depending on how I feel, thought I don’t repeat workouts one day after the other. And I do one workout per day. I was going though a phase of getting up early and doing Yoga, then doing a Body Beast in the evening, but that was getting too much.
Mixing it up means that I might do BB Back & Bis on Monday, BB Chest & Tris on Tuesday, Ultimate Cardio on Wednesday, Ultimate Detox on Thursday and maybe a Ultimate Hardcore on Thursday.
That is just an example however. I’ve done a ultimate-yoga/p90x/cize/bodybeast/DDPYoga combo.
I’ve ripped all the dvds and got them on a memory stick. This is plugged into my Xbox One and I can simply pick and chose a video I like the look of on the evening.
I’ve not been following either courses calendar routines at all. It’s all ad-hoc and down to what I fancy. The way I see it is, I’m actually doing some decent workouts and by randomising them I never get bored :)
In fact the last time I stuck to a full routine strictly was Insanity back in 2014!!
Greetings Mr. Parrot. Let me just say that I am a fan of yours since I’ve discovered your P90X2 reviews and all other workout reviews here.
It’s great for us to reap the benefits of yoga because a lot of people have been skipping it in P90X because it’s over an hour. I can’t remember the exact time. Tony Horton has said it a million times that yoga is the fountain of youth that’s why the man looks like he’s aging backwards.
I’m glad you’ve came across Travis Eliot’s Ultimate Yogi because it is one of the better yoga dvd’s out there in my opinion. I’ve got to add that the production of this video is perfect. The sequence doesn’t have a mistake unlike Tony Horton’s P90X Yoga which missed a couple of moves for your other side of the body. There’s another yoga dvd offered by Udaya, same as Ultimate Yogi’s company which is Yoga Warrior 365. That dvd is also solid and you should check it and do a review of it too. The problem is that I could not stand the yoga instructor Rudy Mettia and his antics because he does crack up a lot of side comments and jokes which will leave you feeling centered out if you know what I mean. Well to each is his own, but I am on the same page with you about Travis Eliot and his yoga thing. It took me a while to absorb it but later I found it to be a perfect cue when doing yoga sequences.
These days it’s a 30 minute workout that does it for me. I’m glad Travis Eliot has a 30 minute version of his yoga found on his website. An hour + of exercise seems too much with this ever changing demands from work and life. Doing hybrids is my thing now because doing yoga only in the past where I have zero access to weights didn’t do much for my muscles. Weight training, plus cardio, plus mobility/yoga I think is the best for optimal fitness.
More power to you Mr. Parrot and I’m looking forward to more of your workout reviews.
How about some kettlebell dvd’s?
Check out Brihony Smyth’s Beginning Yoga on Daily Burn.