Visit winbeta.org to read the following yoga story in full or start with the taster below:

After a brief tease on the official Xbox Fitness Instagram account yesterday, Microsoft has properly announced the latest batch of workouts to launch on the Xbox One’s Xbox Fitness app, YO:30, a 5-part yoga series that brings more yoga to the console two years after the sport/activity was initially teased during the Xbox One’s announcement presentation.

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The yoga classes are around 30 minutes long each and are hosted by Jake Ferree. Here’s the official description:

Created exclusively for Xbox Fitness by Hollywood Yoga Instructor Jake Ferree, YO:30 is a 5-workout series designed to help you get the most from your yoga practice in the shortest time possible. This unique program can help you establish a better mind-body connection while you build upon on the basics of yoga. With all levels of yogis in mind, YO:30 will helps you find and create balance, flexibility, strength, and self-awareness in just 30 minutes.

While the classes are advertised as being designed for “all levels”, they are better suited for those who have some experience with yoga and have been taught the proper alignment for certain poses. Interestingly, Xbox Fitness scores users on how still they are in different poses, which stands in contrast to the other programs which usually grade on activity and intensity.

Xbox Fitness has always been a concept with a lot of potential but has struggled to really take off due to common problems with the Xbox One’s Kinect properly detecting a user’s body andprograms designed exclusively for Xbox Fitness showing a surprising disconnect between the workouts and how they’re actually used. Some examples of this disconnect can be seen in the Mossa Groove workout where the instructor suggests people play Xbox Fitness with a friend (Xbox Fitness only supports one player) and in the recently launched Extreme Combat workouts whose instructor constantly switches between working out both front-on and parallel to the TV which results in the Kinect being unable to detect certain exercises and also constantly forces the user to move their workout mat during the fast transitions between exercises.

YO:30 is a dramatic improvement over these programs. Each class places the user parallel to the television screen for the entire duration of the class and the Kinect has very little trouble tracking the numerous yoga poses. There are some instances of the intensity bar decreasing in poses like Thread-the-Needle and Warrior 1 (possibly due to the user’s face being obscured from the camera’s view) but this is a massive improvement on other Xbox Fitness programs where the user’s body disappears completely.

The first class of YO:30 will be free for all Xbox Fitness users to play for the entirety of November while all five classes can be purchased for a one-off payment. Two special YO:30-related Xbox One Challenges have been released to promote the launch and can be unlocked by reaching certain requirements in the YO:30 classes. Microsoft is also holding a special Xbox Fitness giveaway on their Twitter and Instagram accounts which will reward winners with a variety of Xbox Fitness branded goods.

See more at winbeta.org

WinBeta: Yoga finally comes to Microsoft’s Xbox One console

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