Yoga is the ancient art of physical, mental, and spiritual discipline; which has been practiced for well over 5,000 years.  The goal of yoga, they say, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on the Hindu concept of divinity. For some this meaning and goal makes perfect sense and for others yoga is boring and stupid….

I think back to my early days of P90X. I dreaded and I mean dreaded the idea of an hour and a half of yoga. I remember thinking to myself on several occasions this is going to be so boring and what could I possibly gain from holding yoga poses? So I kept reminding myself that if yoga was not an important piece of the fitness puzzle the creators of P90X would not have included it. I also reminded myself that in order for me to reach my fitness goals I needed to push myself outside of my comfort zone and be open minded. The first round of P90X that I did I was horrible at yoga! I found some of the poses to be extremely difficult and my balance was atrocious, so I was not able to hold the poses for very long. However, as I kept at it I got better and better. I noticed that my back was not as sore and my flexibility was improving. Also slowly but surly my balance began to improve; which made my other P90X routines much easier.

I began to realize, just as the creators of P90X knew all along, that there were so many benefits to the practice of yoga.  After doing a little research, I realized that yoga has so many more benefits that just improved flexibility and balance. The University of Maryland Medical Center found that the practice of yoga can help to reduce anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, asthma, and overall pain. The research that the University of Maryland Medical Center conducted also concluded that the practice of yoga could be helpful in chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The basis of all yoga teaches the participant to focus and concentrate on all parts of their body. This deep concentration and focus allows the participant to focus on the here and now and take a break from our fast paced lives.

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