If you just can't get with the idea of going into the weight room or on a cardiovascular device such as a treadmill or bike, fear not! You can still work on increasing your fitness level. There are in fact numerous ways of going about this, but today I would like to emphasize the overall conditioning benefits of yoga, and there many.
First, yoga is not a religion, a cult or politically motivated. It is, however, a way to not only improve your physical body, but your mind as well. After all, as human beings, it is our birthright to be happy, healthy, vibrant beings. Unfortunately in our world today we have grown accustomed to and accept disease and suffering of the mind and body as normal. This acceptance unfortunately plays a role in our life expectancy.
Yoga, which was created thousands of years ago by highly evolved humanist and sages, is a scientific method designed to help us develop physically, mentally and psychologically into more complete human beings. The word yoga implies harmony and balance between all aspects of creation and helps connect us to our higher self. There are many different forms of yoga, but the one that takes the physical body as the starting point and the yoga form I am recommending here is called Hatha Yoga.
The syllables ha and tha signify the sun and the moon respectively, representing the flux of positive and negative energies. When these energies are balanced they result in perfect health. Imbalances result in dis-ease. That makes Hatha Yoga a complete system of physical maintenance although the exercises alone do not constitute Hatha Yoga.
Through Hatha Yoga's purposefully directed bodily exercises, combined with the guidance of the life-force into all parts of the body, (muscles, joints, glands, and nerve fibre), the body become a conscious and obedient instrument. The postures and breath control help the body eliminate poisons and toxins, vitalizing and strengthening the body and entire nervous system. As a result you begin to feel more energetic but relaxed, free from tension and more easily able to meet the demands of everyday living.
There's more, Hatha Yoga stimulates endocrine activity, which is a major component in the development of emotions, aiding in the regulation and stabilization of emotion. When practiced regularly, Hatha Yoga uplifts the mind as well as the emotions raising your consciousness and bringing you into harmony with all of nature. Hatha Yoga is a scientific tool, pleasing and enjoyable, which will help bring balance of body, mind and emotions.
Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life. - Burton Hill
Reference: Yoga A Practical Introduction by Dr. Svami Purna