Diabetes has become a common problem for everyone today. Most of the people suffer from diabetes and insulin resistance. Diabetes weakens the bones and body parts which result in the deterioration of energy from one’s body. Yoga is said to be sure short cure for all the diseases and pains even if they have been in your body from a very long time. Doing yoga for diabetes can be beneficial for completely treating this disease.
How Yoga Helps in Fighting Diabetes?
Many medical researches and studies suggest that yoga is very helpful for people suffering with diabetes.
As per the article published in Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism yoga act as an effective therapy for diabetic patients due to following reasons:
- Yoga improves the quality of life for people suffering from diabetes.
- Yoga follows a holistic approach by combining physical exercise with healthy lifestyle changes like diet, stress management and relaxation.
According to an article in Journal of Yoga and Physical Therapy, daily 10 minute practice of seated can improve your fasting blood glucose levels, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate.
Let us discuss effect of yoga on diabetes and how it can become a long term cure for diabetes patients:
1. Reduces Stress
Stress is considered as one of the major causes of type 1 diabetes. It leads to the rise of cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine which can reduce the production of insulin and increase blood sugar levels. Yoga reduces cortisol which in turn decreases stress. Yoga asanas help in the proper functioning of endocrine glands and relax sympathetic nervous system.
2. Improves Digestion and Insulin Administration
Yoga helps in improving digestion through various twisting poses. These poses open up the core of your heart, helping you feel more compassion and love. Yoga helps in proper blood circulation which helps in the improvement of insulin levels.
3. Improves Emotional Well-being
Yoga helps in connecting mind and body and develops the power of deep breathing. This decreases anxiety which helps you to stay in the present moment and improves emotional well-being.
4. Improves Strength and Balance
There are many yoga asanas which help in improving flexibility, balance and strength of a person. It can help in fighting many diseases for which you might be taking medicine for many years.
5. Improves Heart Health
There are many medical studies that state yoga is beneficial in avoiding cardiovascular diseases. You can modify yoga poses according to your fitness level and ability.
Yoga Poses for Diabetes
Yoga has been practiced by people since many years to stay physically and mentally healthy and fit. Many people have been able to come out of the diseases which were not curable by medicines through yoga. Let us discuss best yoga asanas for diabetes.
1. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
This pose involves intense heating and involves every muscle in the body. It builds up abdominal, shoulder and wrist strength.
Balance the hands and balls of your feet by first extending the right leg and then left leg. Press your thumb and forefinger and the weight will eventually spread throughout the palm. Lift your wrist for coming to this pose. Round your upper back to stabilize shoulder blades. Hold the pose as long as possible and if you are unable to do so drop your knees on the floor.
2. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Dhanur Asana keeps blood sugar in check and stimulates important organs in the abdominal area and is considered to be one of the best yoga asanas for diabetes cure.
Lie down backwards on your belly. Keep your legs two feet apart and arms beside your body. Inhale deeply and when you release your breath, hold the ankles of the legs with your hands by folding the legs. Pull your chest off the ground and the legs should be pulled up in the bent position itself.
Your body should be stretched like a bow with only the tummy touching on the ground. Hold on the pose as long as possible and slowly come to resting position when completed.
3. Tree Pose (Vriksha Asana)
This pose is helpful in regulating the insulin secretion from your pancreas and controls your blood sugar level and is a good yoga for diabetes.
Start this asana by standing on a flat surface with legs joined together and hands on the side. Lift the right foot and place it on the inner side of the left thigh. Join your hands in namaskara mudra and raise your joined hands over your head. Hold this pose for as long as possible and repeat the same procedure with other leg.
4. Sleeping Diamond Pose (Supta Vajrasana)
It lowers the blood sugar levels and stimulates pancreatic functions. It is an extended version of vajrasana and a useful yoga for diabetes.
Firstly, sit in vajrasana with knees touching the floor and buttocks between the heels. The hands should be placed on the ground next to your buttocks and the back should remain straight. Move your upper body backwards, keep bending your elbows and ultimately rest them on the floor.
Lower your head until it touches the ground. You can either make namaskara mudra with your hands or keep them crossed your head. You can hold the pose as long as possible and return back to normal position with the help of your elbows.
5. Downward Facing Dog (Aard Facing Ddho Mukha Svanasana)
You do this asana by making an upside down V shape which implies that you come on your hands and knees, lift the hips and tuck the toes under like a downward facing dog. Put pressure on thumb and first finger and spread all the fingers wide, exerting pressure upon them. Your hands should be placed wider than shoulder width.
Lift the kneecaps and press your heel on the mat. Belly should be drawn up towards the spine and the sit bones should be pressed up towards the sky. The floor must be pushed away with the palms and the heart should be drawn towards thighs. The shoulders should be moved away from the ears and the triceps should be rotated towards each other. Take 5 deep breaths and hold the position as long as possible.
6. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Keep your feet 6 inches from the tailbone. Take a deep breath and lift your hips up the floor. Use a block to support your hips or place your hips under the buttocks. Hold for some time and lower the hips by removing the block. Bridge pose stimulates thyroid by pressing the front and stretches the back of the neck.
7. Half Twist Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This posture relieves backaches, loosens the spine and cures any type of discomfort in the back and is a yoga for diabetes. Your breathing capacity increases which allow lungs to hold more oxygen while you are taking a deep breath.
Keep your spine erect and feet together while sitting with legs stretched straight in front. Bend the left leg and place the heal of left foot beside the right hip. If you want, you can keep the left leg straight. Take the right leg over left knee and place left hand on the right knee by keeping the right hand behind you.
Twist shoulder, neck and waist to the right and look at the right shoulder. Hold the pose and continue inhaling and exhaling. Keep breathing out by releasing the right hand, waist, chest and neck and sit straight and in a relaxed position. Repeat the same exercise for the other side.
8. Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
It is a forward bending pose which helps in the circulation of blood flow to face. It also relaxes back and arms, improves stomach function, strengthens and is a yoga for type 1 diabetes.
Sit with the legs stretched outwards on the floor. Hold the big toe of the feet with thumb and index finger. Release your breath and bend forward. Try touching your forehead to the knees. The elbows should touch the floor and no inhalation is to be done. As you take a deep breath come back to the normal position after five counts.
9. Plough Pose (Halasana)
Halasana improves posture and backache. It improves the functioning of lungs, thyroid glands and parathyroid glands, digestion, blood circulation and keeps the hormones balanced. It is a good yoga for type 2 diabetes.
Lie down on the floor with feet stretched out. The arms should be placed on the side and the knees can be bent so that your feet are flat on the floor. The legs should be raised from the hips slowly. You can put your hands on the hips and you can use it as a support as you raise the hips. Bend your legs at the hips and touch the floor behind your head with the toes and straighten the hands so that they remain flat on the floor. While going up, exhale. Return back to the normal position by slowly rolling the back on the floor and inhale when coming down. Don’t do a sudden drop.
Getting Started Tips
Before you start doing yoga for diabetes it is very important to consult a doctor or a yoga expert. Let us discuss few tips which can be followed before starting yoga.
- Maintain focus on your breath
- Start with simple asanas
- Don’t overexert yourself while doing yoga asanas. Overdoing can result in injury.
- Keep modifying the poses as per your flexibility and strength.
- Talk to the yoga instructor if there are any special instructions for diabetes patient.
- Do Savasana if you feel tired
- Have a proper diet rest along with yoga routine.
Easy Yoga for Diabetes
There are many yoga poses which cannot be done by people suffering from injuries, old people, less flexible people or someone who is suffering from obesity. For those people are few easy yoga for diabetes:
- Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)
- Child Pose (Bālāsana)
- Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
- Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
- Lying-down body twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
- Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
- Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
Pranayama for Diabetes
Kapalbhati Pranayama is helpful in improving the strength and function of pancreas. It helps in producing the right amount of insulin for your body. It is a sure short cure to control and cure diabetes. Pranayama helps in reducing the level of stress hormones from the body. It also causes muscle relaxation and is helpful in improving the blood circulation. Thus, the person suffering from diabetes should practice pranayama daily in order to stay fit and healthy.
Meditation For Diabetes
Besides doing yoga for diabetes, doing meditation practice regularly can act as a tool for releasing stress from body and mind. Most of the people suffering from diabetes start taking more stress than required which can reduce the level of self-confidence.
Meditation restores the self-confidence so that you can live well, fight with your condition and gain the required strength. Diabetics can also have a craving for eating sweets. Meditation helps in reducing these cravings to a greater extent.
Join meditation and yoga retreats in Rishikesh to rejuvenate your body and learn correct steps to do yoga.
Diet Tips For Diabetes Patients
Proper intake of diet is very important for diabetic patients. If you are having a balanced and tasty diet, your mood improves and your energy boosts up. Some of the diet tips for diabetic people are:
- Avoid packed or processed foods.
- Avoid hidden sugar present in soda, soft drinks and juice.
- Take 2-3 meals in a day and avoid snacking between the meals. As everything time to eat something, it will increase your insulin.
- Increase the intake of vegetables.
- Use few drops of natural stevia instead of sugar or honey to add sweetness in your tea, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, etc.
- Avoid foods with high carbohydrates.
- Intake high fiber and high protein meals.
- Do not consume excess alcohol
Yoga is very effective for controlling type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It helps in natural insulin generation from pancreas which saves you from taking medicines which can contain harmful chemicals and puts an adverse effect on your health.
Yoga is a divine art form practiced all over the world for physical and mental fitness. Yoga for diabetes can also be very useful for everyone in the long run. Start practicing yoga daily to keep your blood sugar under control and live a healthy life.