8 Best Yoga for Diabetes

Yoga is the art of balancing and harmonizing our bodies. It has proven to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to diabetes, a healthy lifestyle is the key factor that shall help you to either reverse the Diabetes or control it.

Read how Yoga is beneficial for diabetic patients and know more about the best yoga for diabetic persons.

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 risk to coronary heart disease and the risk of severity of diabetes.

Therefore it is necessary to have a balance of medicines, physical exercise, and a diet plan for efficient management of health in diabetic condition. Yoga is a set of activities that helps in controlling your stress, emotions and helps in balancing the body to its perfect shape.

Yoga benefits in diabetes

Research on yoga and diabetes reveals the following facts:

  • Yoga-based mind therapies like mediation help in reducing mental stress. This helps in reducing hyperglycemia caused due to stress and thus has positive results on blood glucose levels.
  • Yoga-based breathing techniques and postures help in relaxation and rejuvenation. These help in stretching the pancreas and thereby result in insulin production.
  • Exercise of yoga leads to the increased demand for glucose by muscles and cells. This in turn helps in lowering blood glucose levels, enhances blood circulation, and reduces complications of heart diseases.
  • Many asanas of yoga along with diet plans help in reducing weight. Obesity is one of the key factors of type-2 diabetes. Proper weight management is important for a reversal from tye-2 diabetes.
  • Various asana of yoga help in enhancing pyscho-neuro, endocrine, and immune mechanisms. All these help in controlling complications like foot pain, heart diseases, weight gain, nervous disorders, etc.

Thus, yoga helps in controlling glycemia actions and helps in controlling complications associated with type-2 diabetes.

Summary:

Yoga helps in harmonizing the body and enhances psycho-neuro, endocrine, and immune mechanism vital for controlling complications of type-2 diabetes.

8 Asanas for diabetes control and management

1. 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.

Step-by-Step Procedure

  1. Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out straight in front of you.
  2. Inhale, raise both the hands above your head and stretch up.
  3. Exhale while bending forward and hold the toes with respective hands.
  4. Your forehead must touch the knee joint in the bent position. Close your eyes. Breathe (2-3 times).
  5. Inhale while raising your head and release the hands.
  6. Exhale, lower the arms.

2. Reclining bound angle pose (Supta baddha konasana):

This is a 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.

Step-by-Step Procedure

  1. Sit with your legs extended forward.
  2. Fold your knees and pull your feet closer to your trunk bringing the soles of your feet together.
  3. Place your elbows on the floor behind you to help lean yourself on the ground.
  4. Stretch your arms to the side and breathe naturally (for 2 mins).
  5. Use your elbows to lift your body up.
  6. Straighten your legs and relax.

3. Bow pose (Dhanurasana):

This is an intermediate yoga similar to backbend which helps to expand the chest. It helps to:

  • lower blood sugar levels.
  • stimulate the abdominal organs.
  • relieve constipation and respiratory ailments.
  • reduce anxiety and fatigue.

Step-by-step procedure

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with the legs and feet together.
  2. Bend your knees and hold the ankles. Move slowly and with control.
  3. Inhale, arch the back lifting the thighs, chest, and head together.
  4. As you exhale, lift your gaze and keep your feet up. Bring your heels close to your buttocks mindfully. Breathe.
  5. Exhale, release the pose i.e. lower the legs, chest, and head. Relax.

4. Legs-up-the-wall pose (Viparita Karani):

This restorative yoga posture helps to:

  • reduce stress and mild depression.
  • lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • relieve headaches, boost energy, and increase circulation.
  • relieve insomnia and respiratory ailments.

Step-by-step procedure 

  1. Sit with your right side against a wall.
  2. Exhale, swing your legs up along the wall. Your body should form a 90-degree angle against the wall.
  3. Stretch your arms on the sides, close your eyes, relax and breathe.
  4. Inhale, release the pose by slowly sliding your legs down to the side.

5. Supported shoulder stand (Sarvangasana):

This is an inverted yoga pose which helps to:

  • calm the brain and relieve stress. 
  • stimulate the thyroid and abdominal glands.
  • reduce fatigue and alleviate insomnia.
  • improve circulation.

Step-by-step procedure

  1. Lie in a supine position.
  2. Exhale and lift both the legs in the upward direction.
  3. Bend your legs towards your head slowly. Move your hands to the lower back for support.
  4. Inhale and point the toes towards the ceiling. Relax.
  5. Release the pose by lowering your legs back to the ground.

6. Upward-facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana):

This is a powerful back-bending asana which 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.

Step-by-step Procedure

  1. Lie on your stomach with the legs extended behind you.
  2. Straighten your elbows and lift your chest until your shoulder is stacked directly over your wrists.
  3. Lower the hips. Press the top of your feet into the floor.
  4. Keep your gaze straight ahead. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds.
  5. Release the pose.

7. 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 spine, back, and hips and relieve their pain and stiffness.

Step-by-step Procedure

  1. Lie on your back with your arms stretched out at shoulder level.
  2. Bend your knees towards the chest and move your knees together to the left side.
  3. Use your left hand to put slight pressure on the bent knees.
  4. Relax and breathe for 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly, stretch out your legs. Now, repeat the same on the other side of the body.

8. Plow pose (Halasana):

This is an inverted yoga pose that stretches the spine and shoulders while reviving the nervous system. It helps to:

  • improve detoxification and regulate the breath.
  • alleviate backache, insomnia, and headache.
  • stimulate the thyroid gland and abdominal organs.
  • relax and calm the brain.
  • increase circulation and reduce stress.

Step-by-step Procedure

  1. Lie on your back and form the shoulder stand posture (the bodyweight resting on the bony parts of the shoulders).
  2. Slowly, bring your knees down towards your forehead and extend the legs.
  3. Press the hands on your lower back for support and press the toes on the floor.
  4. Keep your gaze towards the navel. Breathe naturally.
  5. To release the pose, lower your legs back down to the floor.

Precautions

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 qualified professional
  • Vigorous exercise and fast-paced yoga are done in hot temperature conditions. These are not recommending 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.

In a nutshell

Performing yoga helps in diabetes management by improving physical fitness and enhancing the mental well-being of a person.

Yoga-related articles and online classes can guide you to practice yoga flawlessly. However, consult your doctor if you lack prior knowledge of the subject. 

At last, brace yourself and make the first move. Do practice yoga on a daily basis to achieve your fitness goal.

FAQ’S:

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.

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