Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that requires continuous monitoring & control. Yoga therapies along with the medicinal therapies are equally demanding nowadays. Diabetes affects multi systems of the body so it’s mandatory to maintain the wellbeing of the body of a diabetic person. Physical inactivity is the major cause for diabetes as per the studies.
So for a diabetes affected person exercise or any form of physical activity is very important. Here yogasanas assumes great significance. There are yogasanas exclusively effective in diabetic condition. Yoga influences the emotional, physical & behavioral transformations in a diabetes affected person.
Yoga & Diabetes
Yogasanas have a positive impact on endocrine glands, brain & the body. This will have a control on hormonal imbalances & stabilizes the body by preventing further damages.
Yoga can prevent the onset of diabetes by modifying the body’s susceptibility to develop the disease. If you eat too much sweet foods or your activities increases the risk of developing the disease, then yoga can help you in controlling your cravings & help to balance mind.
Asanas & pranayamas are components of yoga. Every healthy individual can also practice yoga on a daily basis with regards to preservation of health.
What are the benefits of yoga in diabetes
Benefits of yoga in a diabetic condition is unbelievable. In Diabetes, person cannot escape from taking medications. It is evident that after each stages, the frequency of medication is increased. This in turn affects the other healthy systems of the body in due course. This is the main aftereffect of diabetes. So in such a condition, opting for other supportive therapies are advisable.
Here not only body is affected but the mind also. Gradually sleep problems, behavioral abnormalities like loss of temper, sexual problems, mental stress owing to anxiety & depression also manifests. All these cannot be dealt with medicines always as the body start showing signs of systemic failures like cardiac problems, kidney problems or neurological manifestations
These severe conditions can be effectively managed by yoga therapies & meditation or mind relaxation techniques. It acts as a life saver for diabetes persons. Yoga not only controls mental attributes but also controls & regulates glandular functions by stabilizing the sugar levels.
Let’s now discuss some of the effective asanas in managing diabetes. Suitable asanas can be chosen with respect to body constitution & disease intensity. Sometimes for chronic diabetic patients this seems very complex. But then slow moving yogic exercises are advisable. Gradually the person becomes capable to perform the normal asanas.
Yoga in an easy way
It is not important to do every steps perfectly in a day. But you can take your time to familiarize with the movements slowly. You may not attain the perfect bend or posture during practice. Give your body the time to attain flexibility & then continue for the rest of life.
Start the yogasanas without any predispositions. Leave your mind calm. Never think of any results during performing yoga. Don’t be disappointed if you are not able to do any of them. Try doing the warming up exercise initially, degree of flexibility of body increases. Slowly the muscle fibers align with the movements you perform.
Yogasanas recommended for diabetes are mostly bending postures or whole body supporting postures which suggest that the body energy is utilized at this maximum. Before performing the actual yogasanas, body should be warmed up or made ready. This includes couple of physical movements.
Warm up your body before the actual yoga
Bending the body forward with hands touching the toe. Lying down straight & slowly bringing thighs close to chest, hands can be used to support the movement of thighs. This can be done for about 5-10 minutes. Try sitting on the floor with crossed legs for 10 to 15 minutes daily
Give small rotation to your neck, shoulder, wrist joints, knee, ankle, hip intermittently. After the warming up sessions you may be ready to perform yogasanas without any difficulties or pain.
Yogasanas with steps in detail
1. Dhanurasana –
This asana is very popular in management of diabetes. In simple words it is a pose resembling a bow. The jaw region, neck, abdominal or the stomach part are in a perfectly stretched position. The pancreatic blood flow is increased, the beta cells are also energized.
Prone lying position is followed in this asana. After that legs arms, head along with jaws are bend backwards. Then the legs are held by the backward stretched hands. Inhale & raise the thighs & jaws. Exhale when lowering the thighs & jaw. The posture itself suggests that it is a very relaxing pose.
As this is a stretching pose, the fat present in the stretched regions are broken down. After continuous practice you feel lightness of body & more enthusiasm.
2. Padmasana –
This is a sitting pose. This is very simple to practice. It resembles the shape of a lotus. This cuts down the stomach fat & improves body metabolism if practiced daily. This improves digestion & relieves constipation in diabetes. It purifies the body by removing the impurities through sweat & urine.
Sit on the floor with stretched legs, then fold each leg & place on the opposite thighs. The navel &the feet touches each other. It is very much beneficial in improving circulation to internal organs. It also keeps the spine erect. If there are circulatory disturbances this is a very effective. Precaution should be taken if you have any deep injuries in ankle or thighs.
3. Shavaasana –
As the name suggests, third pose is very relaxing one. Very simple to follow any time. Just lie in a flat position with arms by the side, closed eyes. Take a deep breathe inhale & exhale slowly. This yields better results in chronic patients or in weak patients.
Slowly the person attains reduction in body fatigue & can switch on to other asanas. Choosing yogasanas greatly depends upon the health condition. It powers the mind by relieving associated stress or anxiety. Avoid noisy environment for best results.
4. Ardhamatsyeindriyasana –
This resembles a half fish as the name suggests. It is a sitting pose with legs stretched, then the left leg is bend & brought under right hip region, the right leg is brought near to knee of left leg, above the knee of left leg. The hip muscles are stretched & this increases the muscle tone of the region. This pose also enhances blood supply to our kidneys & improves the elimination of waste through urine output. Avoid if you have severe back injuries or if you experience any difficulty during practicing.
5. Bhujangasana –
This asana resembles the snake pose. Lie in the prone position, keep feet pressed to the floor &hands below the shoulders. The elbows are kept near to the body. The blades of the shoulders are moved up & down throughout. Exhale & inhale slowly during the session. This is highly recommended in improving the oxygen flow to lungs & clearing the breathing tract. It improves the strength of chest & shoulder muscles. It also controls the excessive or untimely cravings for food.
6. Sarvangaasana –
This asana promotes the blood supply to scalp & brain. It’s very effective in enhancing memory & relieving depression & stress. It’s done in supine position with the legs raised upwards in a perpendicular or 90 degrees, then gradually the hip, chest, shoulder are raised by supporting the hands on the hip region. This prevents ageing & improves longevity by regenerating the body cells.
This improves visual clarity by increasing blood flow to retina. Complications like diabetes retinopathy can be corrected if practiced properly. It can cure neuropathies associated with diabetes.
Avoid if you are recovering from any head injuries or shoulder injuries.
7. Vajrasana –
This pose is done by sitting with straight extended legs, then feet are brought under the corresponding hip region. This is a sitting pose with knees touching each other. Each palms are placed under corresponding knees. This asana if practiced properly can cure sleeping disorders. In diabetic patients, various sleep related disorders are common. So this is an ideal remedy. It also increases the oxygenation to internal organs like pancreas, liver & other abdominal organs. Avoid if you have any ankle pain or injuries.
8. Paschimottanasana –
This is a forward bending asana. This is done by sitting straight with stretched legs & toes flexed, the hands raised above the region of head & stretched upwards. It tones the spinal nerves & hip muscles. Daily practice can give you amazing results. It reduces the fat of the belly, increases the tonicity of the abdominal muscles. For women, it improves the uterine blood supply & reduces cramps in menstruation.
Precaution should be taken if you have severe low back pain, sciatica or hip injuries.
9. Chakrasana –
This resembles the shape of a wheel, hence the name wheel pose. Lie straight on the floor. Slowly fold & bring the legs to the back or buttocks region. Then the feet soles are firmly touched attached to the ground, the hands are bend backward direction to touch the ground, supporting the body by hands & soles touching the ground.
This is very effective in conditions like altered sensations in diabetes. The person will have different or strange sensations in the body, this asana gives better relief. This asana tones the nerves.
10. Pranayama –
This breathing technique or exercise is useful in controlling mind & body to attain a stable equilibrium. This is very simple to practice. With your right thumb slightly close the right nostril, then breathe in slowly through your left nostril, then slowly close the left nostril with the right ring finger. Then release the air through the right nostril slowly.
This can be done on a daily basis. This clears the sinuses & the breathing tract. It also promotes oxygenation to brain cells. This technique is very effective in managing stress, controlling anxiety & memory loss.
After doing yogasanas, if you feel any discomfort stop for the time being. Wait & observe your body. Restart when you are normal.
Managing diabetes complications
If you can do at least some of these yogasanas it can transform your body drastically. In conditions like diabetes there is already a great deal of metabolic derangements’ happening & the disease as it progresses, causes systemic damage.
Yogasanas can be advocated as supportive therapy along with medicines & greatly arrests the future disease progression. The complications can be controlled with minimal systemic damage.
The above yoga poses can be done on a daily basis, if there are no other serious illnesses like associated spinal injuries or pregnancy or uterine bleeding. If there are any serious disc problems like prolapse it should be avoided. The therapies should be done under strict medical supervision.
In Diabetes, exercises like walking & other physical activities are advised. Yoga have a very unique effect on the body unlike other exercises. Yoga helps to maintain both physical as well as mental equilibrium. Thus the body is energized.
Yogasanas have a good influence on brain functions & regulating the hormonal secretions by the glands. Yogasanas done on a daily basis can accelerate the disease recovery & preventing any further disease complications. Particularly when talking about diabetes, the complications are very distressing than the disease it selves. So practicing some of these asanas can reduce the intensity of the serious complications resulting from the disease.
If you have concerns about practicing yoga on a regular basis. You can consult your nearest Ayurveda consultant & get your body thoroughly examined. Take the expert opinion always if you have any doubts or clarifications.
Apart from yogasanas, meditation can be performed by sitting in yogic postures. This gives an added effect to the mind body complex. Simple mind relaxation techniques by closing eyes & focusing your concentration can also be done.
All these asanas are very effective in diabetes. Try some of them by starting the warming up activities. The results are amazing. It radically changes your body & mind through rejuvenation. Make yoga a part of your daily routine. And you would be freed of all illnesses.