Today over 100 million Americans are pre-diabetic or diabetic. The future is not bright as well as one in every three kids born after the year 2000 will develop diabetes. One the three main approaches in dealing with diabetes is holistic physical exercise. Yoga is right there at the top as the most advised physical activity for diabetics. Yoga means ‘union’, dissolving ourselves with the cosmos. There are 8 limbs of Yoga, however only one Yoga Asana (the poses) is widely practiced. Some yoga poses are very effective in treating diabetes. This article is about a list of yogasanas that are beneficial for the diabetics.
Yoga is the key
Until recently the scientific community vouched that diabetes is a progressive disease (meaning it cannot be cured and will only worsen with time). The only way to reverse your diabetes is to make our body cells respond to insulin. Two ways of doing it are through physical activity and through well planned diet. Yoga helps improve blood circulation and prevents your arms and legs from encountering the problems created due to diabetes. Yoga also massages the internal organs including pancreases and lower abdomen. At a psychological level yoga fights stress. It also detoxifies the body in a better way by stimulating the lymph system in our body.
How Yoga Helps
Regular yoga practice can help reduce the level of sugar in the blood, lower intra-cellular fat, control your weight, and reduce the severity of the symptoms. One of the important but often neglected reasons for diabetes is stress. Whenever you are experiencing stress your body will secrete epinephrine (adrenaline), glucagon, growth hormone and cortisol. Cortisol is the root cause of belly fat and weight gain. While Glugacon converts fat in to glucose and increase the blood glucose level. Therefore stress can directly increase your blood glucose level. Yoga is considered around the world as the most effective weapon against stress.[st_box title=”Yoga Improves Cellular Health” type=”success”]yoga improves your cellular health, it decreases the glucagon secretion, it helps you to lose weight. It works on various levels and effectively helps you in managing diabetes.[/st_box]
Setubandhasana: Toxin generation in our body starts with our digestive system. People with poor digestion build up a lot more toxin in their body, worsening the diabetic symptoms. This pose improves digestion, massages the lymph nodes, strengthens pancreas and relaxes mind.
You need to lie flat on a yoga mat, Lie flat on your yoga mat, with your feet flat on the floor. Bring both your legs close to your buttocks and hold the ankle with your hands. Now raise your body with your knees together, hold the pose for 2 minutes (you can slowly increase the duration.
Note: Avoid doing this asana if you have a neck or back injury.
Ustrasana: It is often called as camel pose by non-Indians, it is a very deep backward bend performed in a kneeling position. People will find this very challenging, because unlike forward bending, bending backwards is not an activity that people are accustomed to on their daily life. Ustrasana increase the blood flow in our body, people will sweat and often can feel in increased blood flow. The important thing to note is the breathing, it has to be deep and slow. This aids in weight loss, detoxification of the body and relieves stress.
Stand with your feet apart and your hands by the side of your thighs with fingers pointing downwards. Then raise one arm to the side perpendicular to the body. Turn the palm over. Now raise the hand straight up so that it is by the side of your head. Stretch slightly. Now lean to the opposite side as much as possible until your body makes a smooth curve. Do not bend the knees.
Known quite aptly as the child’s pose this is a great stress buster. It gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles, calms the mind and helps relieve stress and fatigue. It is also a great remedy for that lower back pain you might have from long hours of sitting.
Vajrasana: This is a special pose, as you can do this yoga even after having a heavy meal. It improves digestion, stimulates lymph nodes and soothes all the abdominal organs. It is believed that the energy flow to pancreases increases if you do this asana. It also reduces tummy fat. Even Ayurvedic medicine advises this yoga when taking certain medications. This yoga stimulates a region called as Kanda, according to Ayurveda, kanda is a spot about 12 inches above the anus and that is the point where 72,000 nadis converge.
Kneel on your yoga mat, and let the top surface of your feet touch the mat, such that your heels are pointing upwards. Now gently place your buttocks on your heels. It is important to note that your heels are on either side of your anus. As you master this yoga, you can spread both the feet wider for better results, however you knees should always be together.
Sarvangasana: This pose is often called as the queen of asanas. It regulates thyroid glad, and thereby regulates metabolism. It also regulates the respiratory system and improves vitality. It improves your over all health.
Lie down in Shavasana, raise your legs by folding them at knees. Place your arms along your back for support, it is important to support the back of your rib cage (and not your hips). All of the weight should be on the shoulders and not on your hands. The hands are only for support. The elbows should be parallel to your body. Lock your chin and breath slowly. Hold this pose for 2 minutes, you can slowly increase the timing. This asana helps you with diabetic management; however there are far more benefits.
Halasana: This is actually an extension of sarvangasana. Yogis always do sarvangasana and follow it with this pose. It is also called as the plough pose. It stimulates, thyroid and parathyroid glands. It improves posture and helps in weight loss. It improves digestion and alleviates the symptoms of diabetes.
Note: If you have an injured spine or neck avoid doing this yoga.
Dhanurasana: This pose is great to strengthen your back and spine, stimulate the reproductive organs, beats stress and fatigue, relieves menstrual pain and constipation.
Lie down on your yoga mat with your face down. Fold your knees and hold your ankles. Breathing in, lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back. Breath smoothly and slowly, after a couple of minutes, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground.
Note: If you have hernia or low bp, don’t practice this yoga pose.
Paschimottanasana: This is one of the most important yoga asanas for diabetes. This forward bending pose has numerous other health benefits as well. It also strengthens your arms and thigh muscles. Apart from that, it helps the digestive system function better.
Ardha Matsyendrasana: This asana is named after the great sage Matsyendranaatha, one of the ancient teachers of Hatha Yoga. This pose is relatively easier, you need to sit upright with legs together straight out in front of the body. Bend the left knee; place it on the outer side of the right leg and the left foot should be placed flat on the floor. Move the heel of the right foot near the left buttock. Place your left arm to the floor behind the back. Move the right arm to the left side of the left knee and hold the left ankle. Repeat to the other side.
This asana increases the lung capacity and revitalize the digestive system. It is also very helpful for diabetic patients.
Note: If you have a back injury, then do this yoga under the supervision of a qualified guru.