Yoga Posture for Diabetes PDF
Study after study at top Western universities confirm and reiterate what our ancient science has been preaching all along -that positive health effects of yoga are bountiful.
For one, yoga stimulates the organs which in turn improves metabolic activities. This means that the chemical transformations within a cell are carried out more efficiently. This makes it a highly beneficial exercise for those suffering from diabetes -a complex condition which occurs due to lack of insulin production by the pancreas or lack of cell response to insulin, resulting in a multitude of metabolic imbalances involving the regulation and utilisation of insulin and glucose (sugar) in the body.
In fact, a study published in the journal, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, last year analysed available research looking at yoga's influence on diabetes and complications of diabetes (for instance, kidney problems and high blood pressure) and found that regular yoga practise led to shortterm improvements in fasting glucose and cholesterol levels. The research, conducted by Marshall Govindan and Dr Emilia RipollBunn, also found that the direct stim ulation of the pancreas by certain postures rejuvenated its capacity to produce insulin.
Yoga practitioner Sabir Shaikh adds, "A few asanas help balance the functioning of the endocrine system.It massages and tones the abdominal organs like pancreas and liver, stimulate the nervous and circulatory system which in turn helps in controlling diabetes."
Diabetologist Dr Pradeep Gadge concurs. "Besides medication", he says, "Yogic asanas help in harmonising the body, breath and mind, thereby contributing to the overall health of the individual. Asanas help in optimal secretions of the endocranial glands which helps insulin in the body to be used more effectively."
Studies have also confirmed that practising certain asanas such as Ardha Matsyendrasana (half-twist pose) combined with Dhanurasana (bow pose), Vakrasana (twisted pose), Matsyendrasana (half-spinal twist), Halasana (plough pose) squeezes and compresses the abdomen and helps stimulate the pancreatic secretions or hormonal secretions. As a result, more insulin is pushed into the system. This rejuvenates the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas of diabetics suffering from both type 1 and 2. Practising the postures in a relaxed manner, without exertion, meditation and breathing techniques help most patients control the triggers or causes of diabetes.
Asanas over high-intensity workout
A study, by S A Ramaiah in Washington, compared the effects of exercise such as walking, jogging on a treadmill, static cycling with asanas such as Upavishta Bakasana (sitting crane), Bakasana (standing crane) and Dhanurasana. It was found that these asanas were the most effective as they helped stimulate the hormonal secretion of the pancreas and rejuvenate its capacity to produce insulin. They also strengthened the back muscles which enhance toning of abdominal viscera (muscles and internal organs).The balancing in Bakasana improves interaction between the pituitary gland and pancreas.
Breath of life
Aside from asanas, breathing exercises especially anulom vilom (alternate nostril breathing) and kapalbatti (one-time inhale; exhale 30 to 50 times quickly) is extremely beneficial.Anulom vilom is found useful in diabetes as alternate nostril breathing has calming effects on the nervous system, facilitating homeostasis (internal equilibrium in the function of all the systems). This manages the stress levels, helping in diabetes treatment.
Kapalbhatti, on the other hand, stimulates the pancreas to release insulin, thus helping control diabetes. Pranayam makes the mind calm, thus balancing the interaction between the pituitary gland and the pancreas. Kapalabhati combined with Nauli Kriya (pressure manipulations and isolation of abdominal-recti muscles) help control blood sugar. These practices balance the Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) which in turn helps stabilise sugar levels.
"Once you are through with the practice, relax in shavasana (lying flat on the ground) to cool off, " advises Shaikh. "A yogic diet that is high in fibre, whole grains, legumes and vegetables complements the regimen. It is recommended to lose excess weight and stabilise blood sugar levels."
Bear in mind
Throughout the programme, monitor glucose levels under the supervision of a physician, and take appropriate medication as prescribed.