Last updated on August 30th, 2022
Yoga is an additional treatment for those living with diabetes type-2. It helps in improving all the health parameters to promote physical and mental health. Yoga helps in managing diabetes better if you practice yoga for long enough. It will also reduce the risk of complications related to diabetes. Yoga in the early stage of diabetes not only controls your diabetes but also gives the best results for your health. You can practice the best yoga for diabetes to keep your blood sugar levels in control.
Many people with diabetes are now turning to practicing yoga to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Yoga is an ancient known practice that helps in improving overall well-being, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and enhances mobility. Adding the simple yogic practice to your daily regime is a way to address diabetes besides medicines. You need to maintain consistency and regularity to get the best results of yoga on your health.
Yoga: A Better Way to Stay Physically Active
Physical activities are vital for staying healthy with diabetes. Exercise regularly to keep you physically active. Yoga is the best option if you are looking for an exercise alternative that is soothing for your joints. It doesn’t leave you huffing and puffing because yoga is not aerobic. Yoga for sugar patients involves the synchronization of body movements with breathing techniques. As a result, it soothes your nerves and facilitates chemical transformation within the cells. It activates your internal organs to balance your blood sugar.
Also Read: Normal Sugar Level
Therapeutic Role of Yoga in Diabetes
The key factors that increase the risk of Type -2 Diabetes by 3 times are:
- Unhealthy diet patterns
- Lack of physical exercises
- Psychological stress
These factors also pose a risk of coronary heart disease and the risk or severity of diabetes. Therefore it is necessary to have a balance of medicines, physical exercise, and a diabetic diet plan for efficient management of health in diabetic conditions. Yoga is a set of activities that helps in controlling your stress, and emotions and helps in balancing the body to its perfect shape.
Also Read: Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Benefits of Yoga For People With Diabetes
SummaryPeople with diabetes are at the risk of developing several health complications. Therefore, diabetes patients need to keep their blood sugar levels in control. Besides medications and insulin therapy, yoga is the best way to adjust your blood sugar levels to normal. Yoga keeps your stress level low, protects against cardiac diseases, prevents diabetic neuropathy, and boosts strength and balance to promote overall health.
Starting with yoga exercise for diabetes can be daunting for those who are physically inactive for some time. However, it is a gentle way to improve health and build strength. It also helps in improving your physical and mental well-being through:
- Keeping your stress levels low: Stress is one of the contributing factors that cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels. Stress results in hypertension, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, and insulin resistance. Practicing yoga gives a therapeutic effect and effectively reduces stress levels. Thereby, it helps in controlling diabetes.
- Protecting your cardiac health: Yoga helps to reduce the risk factor of heart problems such as cholesterol level, body mass index, and blood pressure. On regular practicing yoga, there is a decrease in changes in blood vessels responsible for heart problems. Therefore, the risk of heart diseases associated with diabetes gets minimum with yoga.
- Preventing the risk of diabetic neuropathy: Neuropathy is the damage to one or more nerves. It is one of the most common complications of diabetes. It starts with the tingling in the hands and feet and may result in the altered functioning of internal organs. Practicing yoga for diabetes cure for around 20-30 minutes every day helps in improving nerve conduction. It boosts metabolism, hormone levels, and glucose levels that overall improve nerve health.
- Boosting strength and balance: Several poses improve the strength, balance, and flexibility of your body. Body strength and balance reduce liver fat. It also improves blood sugar levels in people with obesity and diabetes type-2.
Simple Yoga Poses to Control Diabetes With Pictures
SummaryNon-diabetics and people with diabetes can perform yoga asanas to improve their physical and mental health. You have to practice these poses in the correct way to avoid adverse consequences on your postures and muscle health. Each pose has its benefits. Hence, practice these poses for a few minutes every day.
Regular practice of yoga helps in reducing the overall risk for complications due to diabetes. You can learn simple yoga poses for improving your diabetic health and enhancing your overall quality of life. It also leads to a significant transformation in your life. The best yoga asanas for diabetes cure are:
1. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
This pose helps in strengthening and regulating the pancreas. Therefore, this pose is suitable for people with diabetes. Additionally, it targets strengthening the abdomen muscles, boosts digestion, and prevents stomach cramps. Process:
- Lie down on your stomach and keep your feet slightly apart. Keep your arms on the sides of your body.
- Fold your knees and hold your ankle.
- Lift your chest from the ground while taking a deep breath. Simultaneously, pull your legs up and back. Feel the stretch on your arms and thighs.
- Look straight ahead with a smile on your face. Hold the pose for at least 15 seconds.
- As you exhale, slowly bring your chest down to the ground. Leave your ankle to bring your legs towards the ground.
2. Balasana (Child pose)
This pose involves hamstrings, rotator muscles, and spinal extensors. It helps in relieving stress, fatigue, and back and neck pain. It also encourages relaxation that helps in increasing the production of insulin-producing beta cells.
- Sit in the kneeling position and ensure that your knees are wide apart at the same width as your hips.
- Move a bit backward and try to touch your heels with your hips.
- Lean forward to touch the ground with your forehead.
- Stretch your arms forward and feel the pressure on your back.
- Remain in this pose for about 5 minutes. Now, relax and lift yourself back into the seated position.
3. Bhujangasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
Your spinal extensors, triceps brachii, and quadriceps muscles work together in this pose. As a result, it increases the strength of your muscles. It ultimately reduces your blood sugar levels.
- Lie on your stomach and keep your legs straight.
- Keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Take your arms on the floor adjacent to the last ribcage.
- Press your arms to lift your body.
- Do not hold your body on your feet. Instead, create pressure on your feet and firm your hip muscles.
- Look straight or slightly upward. Breathe normally and hold this position for at least 15 seconds before you sit in and relax.
Also read: Convert Blood Glucose
4. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
It is the ultimate resting pose. It allows your body to cool down and enter into the meditative stage. The corpse pose not only relaxes your body but also calms down your mind. It enables your brain to process the workout and get its benefits on your body. Practice this pose at the end of the yoga session.
- Lie down straight on your back and close your eyes
- Relax your mind and body. Take your time to feel the weightlessness around you.
- Do not think anything. Release the stress and relax completely.
- Breathe as normal without holding your breath.
- Hold this position for 15-20 minutes.
- Now, stand up and feel your stress-free body.
Also Read: Hba1c Normal Range
5. Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
Legs up the wall yoga pose stimulate your internal organs like the pancreas. Therefore, this pose makes a significant impact in controlling your diabetes. Regularly practicing this pose helps in controlling blood pressure and lowering your blood sugar levels. Along with this, the legs up the wall pose relaxes your body by improving blood circulation and improving energy levels.
- Lie down along the side of the wall. Use a folded towel under your head for support.
- Keep your legs up the wall while making an angle of 90 degrees with the wall.
- Relax your head, neck, chin, and throat.
- Stretch your arms while keeping them beside your body.
- Stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes or more. Later, slide your legs slowly towards the ground.
6. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
It is a simple yoga pose but needs the perfect technique to transform your body and mind. It helps in improving concentration, increase the strength of your knees, and promotes flexibility of your spines. The Mountain pose creates more space within your body and allows the internal organs to work more efficiently. Therefore, it helps improve blood circulation and promotes insulin sensitivity to control your blood sugar levels.
- Stand straight on the flat ground and keep your arms on the sides of your body.
- Keep your palm in the upward direction.
- Slowly breathe in and extend your arms up and down to the sides of your body.
- Hold this position for a while.
- Repeat this position ten times. Exhale slowly and bring down your arms back to the starting position.
7. Mandukasana (Frog Pose)
It is one of the best yoga poses for people with diabetes. It helps in stretching the pancreas to promote the release of insulin. Along with this, it also promotes better digestion health and improves the function of the other glands in your body. You should avoid this pose if you have backache, ankle injuries, hypertension, migraine, or insomnia.
- Fold your knees backward and sit down on the ground with the assistance of your knees.
- Make a fist and put your hand on your stomach. Keep your fist in such a way that the joint of your fists comes at the navel.
- Place your fist firmly and press your stomach.
- Bend forward in this position and try to touch the ground with your forehead
- Hold this position for 15-20 seconds then, exhale and relax.
Also Read: Homeopathic Medicines to Cure Diabetes
8. Chakarasna (Wheel Pose)
It is another effective yoga for diabetes control. In this pose, you have to bend backward and touch the ground with your palm. This asana helps in stretching your spine and relaxes it. Regular practicing of the wheel pose helps in reducing stress and calms down your mind. It strengthens the pancreas that stimulates the release of insulin for balancing your blood sugar level. Along with this, it also improves the health of your kidney and liver. These are at high risk of diabetes complications.
- Lie down on your back. Bend your knees and bring your legs close to your hips.
- Bring your palm under your shoulder such that your fingers point towards your shoulders. Keep your elbows shoulder-width apart.
- Press your palm firmly on the ground and inhale while lifting your shoulders, elbows, and hips.
- Straighten your arms and legs so that your hips and shoulder feel the upward push.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds then, bend your elbows and shoulders first to bring your head down. After that, bend your knees to lower your hips and spine to the ground.
9. Halasana (Plow Pose)
People with diabetes who have a sedentary lifestyle should practice halasana. It helps to control the adverse effect of diabetes on your body. This pose involves your abdomen muscles. Therefore, it helps in reducing belly fat and promotes the secretion of insulin in your body. As a result, it controls your blood sugar levels while regularly practicing this yoga asana minimizes the risk of diabetes type-2.
- Lie down on your back on the ground. Keep your hands straight on the sides of your body, palm facing towards the ground.
- Inhale slowly and raise your legs 90 degrees.
- Exhale slowly and keep the legs straight. Gradually, move your legs from the top of the head to the back. Try touching the ground with the toes of your feet.
- You can take the support of your hand to push your waist upward so that you can touch the ground with your toes.
- Now, keep your hands straight on the ground. Stay in this pose for some time and normalize your breathing while coming back to the initial position.
Also read: High Carbohydrate Foods to Avoid in Diabetes
10. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the fish pose)
This asana massages the internal organs for better functioning. It is a retreat for the liver and pancreas. Ardha Matsyendrasana involves a half spinal twist that helps in improving your energy levels and promotes the release of insulin in your body. Therefore, this pose helps in controlling your diabetes and keeps your energy levels high.
- Sit on the ground while keeping your legs out in the front.
- Bend your knees and keep your feet on the ground. Then, slide your left leg under the right leg.
- Step your right foot over the left leg and make it stand on the floor.
- Now, put your right hand against the floor and behind your hips. Set your arm on the left side of your right knee. Point the right knee towards the ceiling.
- Sit in this pose for around a half minute and then relax.
11. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
This Therapeutic Forward Bend Yoga Has Many Benefits. It Helps To:
- Lower blood pressure.
- Remove extra fat from your body.
- Reduce headache, anxiety, and fatigue.
- Relax the mind and relieve stress and mild depression.
- Tone the abdominal and pelvic organs.
- Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out straight in front of you.
- Inhale, raise both the hands above your head and stretch up.
- Exhale while bending forward and holding the toes with respective hands.
- Your forehead must touch the knee joint in the bent position. Close your eyes. Breathe (2-3 times).
- Inhale while raising your head and releasing your hands.
- Exhale, and lower the arms.
Also Read: Common Remedies to Cure Diabetes at Home
12. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta baddha konasana):
This is classic restorative yoga. It helps to:
- Lower the stress levels.
- Control blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
- Calm the nervous system.
- Stimulate abdominal organs, kidneys, and heart.
- Sit with your legs extended forward.
- Fold your knees and pull your feet closer to your trunk bringing the soles of your feet together.
- Place your elbows on the floor behind you to help lean yourself on the ground.
- Stretch your arms to the side and breathe naturally (for 2 mins).
- Use your elbows to lift your body up.
- Straighten your legs and relax.
13. Supported Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana):
This is an inverted yoga pose that helps to:
- Calm the brain and relieve stress.
- Stimulate the thyroid and abdominal glands.
- Reduce fatigue and alleviate insomnia.
- Improve circulation.
- Lie in a supine position.
- Exhale and lift both the legs in the upward direction.
- Bend your legs towards your head slowly. Move your hands to the lower back for support.
- Inhale and point the toes towards the ceiling. Relax.
- Release the pose by lowering your legs back to the ground.
14. Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana):
This is a powerful back-bending asana that requires immense muscle strength and is a part of the famous Surya Namaskar. It helps to:
- Improve posture and stimulate abdominal organs.
- Relieve fatigue, sciatica, and mild depression.
- Control obesity and boost circulation.
- Maintain blood pressure.
- Lie on your stomach with the legs extended behind you.
- Straighten your elbows and lift your chest until your shoulder is stacked directly over your wrists.
- Lower the hips. Press the top of your feet into the floor.
- Keep your gaze straight ahead. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds.
- Release the pose.
15. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana):
This is a restorative twisting done lying on the back. It helps to:
- Encourage blood flow to the digestive organs.
- Stimulate the abdominal organs.
- Control blood sugar levels.
- Massage the spine, back, and hips and relieve their pain and stiffness.
- Lie on your back with your arms stretched out at shoulder level.
- Bend your knees towards the chest and move your knees together to the left side.
- Use your left hand to put slight pressure on the bent knees.
- Relax and breathe for 30 seconds.
- Slowly, stretch out your legs. Now, repeat the same on the other side of the body.
Also Read: Can You Eat Jaggery as a Diabetics
Other Effective Yoga Asanas for People With High Sugar
Along with the mentioned yoga poses for high blood sugar. Few other poses help treat diabetes or reduce the risk of developing diabetes type-2. These include:
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
It is a sequence of powerful yoga poses that makes a positive impact on your mind and body. Practice Surya Namaskar early in the morning when you are an empty stomach. It contains two sets and, each of the sets has twelve poses. It is a holistic approach to achieving better health. Surya Namaskar promotes better cardiovascular health, stimulates the nervous system, enhances cognitive function, helps in weight management, and improves physical and mental health.
Kapalbhati Pranayama For Diabetes
Pranayama series of breathing exercises. Kapalbhati Pranayama is a breathing exercise that helps in improving the efficiency of the pancreas. It, therefore, promotes the secretion of insulin in your body to maintain blood glucose levels. Sit in a comfortable position to do kapalbhati pranayama for diabetes. Place your hands on your knee cap. Take a deep breath through your nostrils and fill your belly with air. Then, put your hand on your stomach and exhale by pushing the abdominal wall towards the spine.
Precautions of Yoga Asanas For Diabetes
Yoga requires expertise and thus should be practiced under the guidance of qualified yoga professionals. Some styles of yoga may not be suitable for everyone. General precautions to be followed are as follows:
- Practice yoga under a qualified professional
- Vigorous exercise and fast-paced yoga are done in hot temperature conditions. These are not recommended for patients with diabetes and heart diseases.
- Beginners to yoga should avoid hard yoga practices.
- Diabetic patients should regularly monitor their body reactions after every physical activity.
- Any sign or symptom or pain should not be overlooked if you are diabetic.
- Don’t do yoga beyond your capabilities.
- Generally, yoga requires an empty stomach, but diabetic patients should take light snacks to avoid hypoglycemia.
- Any sign of dizziness, headache, etc. should be reported to the practitioner.
Also read: Fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels
How long do I need to practice yoga to manage my diabetes?
What is the best yoga pose for diabetes?
There are so many yoga poses for diabetes patients that help in lowering their blood glucose levels. You can pick any four poses and practice them regularly to see the benefit on your health. However, if you are looking for the best yoga pose, Sun Salutations is the best. It includes a group of yoga poses that you need to practice one after another. If you practice around 10-12 rounds of Sun Salutation, you will gradually control your diabetes.
Can yoga permanently cure diabetes?
Diabetes is an incurable disease, but you can control your blood sugar levels. Yoga is one of the healthiest ways to manage your diabetes. You need to practice yoga asanas like kapalbhati and pranayama to keep blood sugar spikes. People with high diabetes should practice yoga asanas for diabetes for at least 30 minutes every day.
What are the preparations required to start yoga for controlling diabetes?
Well, there is no need for special preparations to practice yoga for diabetes control. You can practice yoga asanas at any time of the day. Nevertheless, you get the maximum results if you practice yoga asanas empty stomach in the morning. Those who are on insulin or some medications for diabetes control should discuss with their doctors before starting. You may need to eat something before yoga to avoid lowering blood sugar levels.
How yoga helps in controlling your blood sugar levels?
Various yoga poses help in improving the sensitivity of beta-cells attached to the glucose in your body. It results in better insulin secretion, relaxes the muscle, and increases the blood supply to your muscles. Thus, improving the blood sugar levels.
Are there any asanas that should be avoided while you are diabetic?
Avoid any asanas that require twisting and heavy exercises. Avoid fast-paced yoga which is done at hot temperatures if you are diabetic.
I am diabetic and I have heard about yoga. Can I practice yoga daily at my home?
Yes, yoga shall be beneficial to you but before practicing yoga at home consult a yoga instructor and get trained.
Can yoga cure diabetes completely?
Yoga is one of the best and cost-effective ways of managing a healthy lifestyle if you are diabetic. Research has proven it to help control diabetes especially type-2 diabetes. But completely curing it is not proven so far.
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.
My name is Sonal Jain. I am 49 years with 84 kg bodyweight. Being diabetic for over 8 years, my body is fed up with eating medicines. Also, I face difficulty while climbing the stairs the moment I climb, my heart starts racing too fast. My body is getting weaker and weaker day after day. I heard about the benefits of Surya Namaskar exercise for diabetes on television, and wanted to ask the same?
Surya Namaskar is an enormously useful yoga exercise for diabetics. It helps improve blood circulation and manages the insulin levels in the body. You can begin doing 5 cycles a day and slowly increase to 11 cycles. Surya Namaskar makes your body flexible and increases your stamina. By doing this, your problem of fast heart rate would also solve. As, it is found that a 6-week, two times daily Surya Namaskar would considerably lower the resting heart rate and blood pressure.
Hi, my name is Nimisha from New Delhi. My age is 32 years and weight around 70 kgs. My post-prandial blood sugar level is 220 mg/dL and my fasting blood sugar level is 190 mg/dL. I have been taking Metformin tablets twice daily for diabetes control. But I feel quite low and lazy all day. I have been doing regular morning walks and taking a low-carb diet. Now, I am worried seeing my weight gain. Please suggest any fitness exercise that can be done at home?
Yoga would definitely work well for your high blood sugar. Yoga asanas will reduce your obesity, keep you active during the day, and decrease your waist-hip ratio as well. If these asanas are done regularly, they would certainly have a beneficial effect on your body measurements, body weight, and both fasting glucose and PPG levels. Also, you need regular monitoring of your food habits and continue walking for at least 5000 steps a day. For more help, you can connect any time with Breathe Well-being Diabetes Expert.