Tackling Diabetes Naturally with Yoga
Diabetes is a multi factorial disorder essentially resulting from lack of proper exercise, inappropriate food habits etc. Modern day ‘stress’ only aggravates the challenge. All these aspects point to ‘life style’. Besides medical attention, addressing life style is of paramount importance. With the fast-paced life that we lead, finding the time and often the place itself to address ‘life style’ can be a challenge. In this context, addition of pranayama, yoga & meditation, simply called ‘yogic practices’, to the daily regimen is a step in the right direction. This is not to discount the daily walk. Let us include yogic practices to the daily walk and beat diabetes.
For sterling results with yogic practices, build in regularity & consistency. As far as possible, stick to a daily fixed schedule. It could be mornings or evenings depending on your other daily demands. Set aside the time and be disciplined about it. You will be amazed at the results.
Here are few specific asanas to tackle diabetes better:
The Skull shining breathing technique helps energize the nervous system and rejuvenates brain cells. It is very helpful for patients suffering from diabetes, as it stimulates abdominal organs. This pranayama also improves the blood circulation and uplifts the mind.
2. Supta Matsyendrasana (Lying-down body twist)
The Lying-down body twist massages the internal organs and improves digestion. This posture also exerts pressure on the abdominal organs and is hence very helpful yoga posture for people suffering from diabetes.
The Bow pose strengthens regulates the pancreas and is highly recommended for people with diabetes. This yoga pose also strengthens the abdominal muscles and is a good stress and fatigue buster.
The Two-legged forward bend massages and tones the abdominal and pelvic organs, and helps people suffering from diabetes. This yoga posture helps balance the prana in the body and also calms the mind.
The Sitting half spinal twist massages the abdominal organs, increases the oxygen supply to lungs and makes the spine supple. It also helps calm the mind and improves blood flow to spine.
The final resting yoga pose, Corpse pose, takes the body into a deep meditative state, letting it relax and rejuvenate.
For proper understanding of diseases processes, we need to understand ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are negatively charged atomic entities that exist in nature for extremely short time, in nano-seconds. Since they carry a negative charge, they are ‘hungry’ for neutralization. Free radicals are necessary. For example, body’s defense mechanism employs free radicals to control microorganisms. Body balances the free radicals with antioxidants. Body balances free radicals with antioxidants. Three important antioxidants generated in the body are glutathione, catalase, super oxide dismutase (S.O.D). Antioxidants from external sources comprise of vitamin-C, vitamin-E, certain minerals etc.
Sudarshan Kriya, the hallmark of Art of Living’s programs, increases levels of glutathione, catalase & S.O.D. Sudarshan Kriya also improves concentration of antioxidants from external sources. Thus, Sudarshan Kriya has a direct impact on disease process itself and is relevant in diabetes management.
Sudarshan Kriya is a unique rhythmic breathing technique that helps flush out toxins from the body and relieves it of stress. People around the globe have learned this technique and experienced improvement in physical and mental well-being. Sudarshan Kriya is simple to learn and can be easily practiced by anybody. You can learn more about Sudarshan Kriya and its benefits here.
Diabetes? Yoga to the Rescue
Know more about the important role of yoga practice in fighting a common condition called diabetes.
Diabetes – a name that is no longer foreign. These days, this condition can happen to anybody, irrespective of age, place, or genetic history. Yet, there’s nothing to fret about because the condition can be controlled with a little awareness and care. Good food, regular exercise, and a few minutes of yoga practice everyday – the three golden rules to remember if you are a diabetic.
But how to first find out whether you do have diabetes or not? Simple. Just look out for these common symptoms:
Are you unusually losing weight?
Do you need to pay frequent visits to the bathroom to urinate?
Do you feel hungry or thirsty too often?
If the answer to these is ‘yes’, it is quite likely that you have high blood sugar, either due to low production of insulin in the body, or lack of response from the blood cells to the insulin produced. In either case, it’s always good to consult a doctor at the earliest.
Diabetes can be classified as Type 1 or type 2 or it can even be gestational – occurring with pregnancy. Whatever the case, the earlier the condition is treated, the better it is for the individual. And for this, yoga and meditation, along with good lifestyle practices, can be your escorts.
How yoga can help fight diabetes
– Regular yoga practice can help reduce the level of sugar in the blood, along with lowering blood pressure, keeping a weight check, reducing the symptoms and slowing the rate of progression of diabetes, as well as lessening the severity of further complications. Let’s see how.
– Like for most lifestyle diseases, stress is one of the major reasons for diabetes.It increases the secretion of glucagon hormones in the body, responsible for increasing blood glucose levels. Consistent practice of yoga asanas (body postures), pranayamas (breathing exercises) and a few minutes of daily meditation can help reduce stress in the mind and body. This, in turn, reduces glucagons and can also help improve insulin action.
– The practice of yoga is also proven to reduce weight as well as control increasing weight, which is particularly important to keep diabetes in check.Sun Salutation and Kapal Bhati pranayama are one of the best ways to weight loss.
– Diabetes can also be worsened with the occurrence of high blood pressure, or hypertension. Yoga asanas, such as the Corpse Pose, Bridge Pose, Child Pose, and Yoga Nidra are all helpful in controlling hypertension.
– Other yoga postures that are helpful in diabetes include Vajrasana (kneeling pose), Shoulder Stand, Plow Pose, Lying-Down Body Twist, Bow Posture, Two-Legged Forward Bend, and Sitting Half-Spinal Twist.
– Nadi Shodhan Pranayama is also good for diabetics. It helps release stress and flush out toxins from the body. Another excellent technique to combat diabetes is a unique breathing technique, Sudarshan Kriya, designed by Sri SriRavi Shankar. It has helped several diabetics across the world reduce blood glucose levels and control their condition from getting worse. You can learn the technique at an Art of Living Part-1 program.
– A few minutes of regular meditation practice also acts as an excellent stress-buster for the mind and body. Interestingly, while stress is the major cause of diabetes, the condition in turn results in patients getting highly stressed about it, which further aggravates the problem. It has also been observed that most diabetics lose self-confidence and end up brooding over their condition. This is where meditation can help – restoring their confidence levels so that they gain the strength to fight the condition and live well.
– Craving for sweets is a common occurrence in diabetes. Regular practice of meditation can help drop such cravings to a large extent.
Regular exercise helps
Diabetes happens because the blood cells do not respond to insulin produced. When you follow a regular exercise regimen, your body starts responding to insulin, helping in reducing blood glucose, and also sometimes the dosage of medication required.
– Exercise helps improve blood circulation in the system, particularly in the arms and legs, where diabetic patients mostly complain of problems.
– It is an excellent way to fight stress, both at the body and mind level, which in turn helps keep glucose levels down.
– Regular exercise patterns can be extremely beneficial to older patients with diabetes. In their case, the condition is partly due to lack of physical activity. A few minutes of brisk walking and joint movements, coupled with some gentle yoga postures – Triangle Pose, Standing Spinal Twist, and Butterfly Pose – followed by relaxation in yoga nidra can help.
Eating right matters
The type of food you eat and how much can be greatly responsible for diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. It is therefore important to:
– Eat at least three meals a day, along with one or two snacks evenly spaced out throughout the day.
– As far as possible, have each meal/snack at about the same time every day.
– Avoid skipping your meals.
– Keep about the same amount of carbohydrate intake in each meal every day.
You may consult a Sri Sri Ayurveda doctor to know the ideal amount of food intake as also the types of food recommended for you.
Bhara Bhindi (Stuffed Okra) for Diabetics