In the last 20 years, Diabetes has spread very intensely and is affecting millions of people worldwide. Having diabetes means restrictions on the food you consume, and some people also may have to eat medicine and inject insulin. Even after following these restrictions and having these medicines, Diabetes takes a toll on people’s life. The good news is that in some cases, Yoga therapy helps patients to keep Diabetes in control. Therapeutic Yoga for diabetes is a well-known practice around the globe, and a large number of people are benefiting from it.
Type 1 Diabetes
Every year, more than a hundred thousand (10,0000) people are diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes. Any person, at any age and of every size or shape, can get type 1 diabetes! There is no need to worry; there are a few very effective natural therapies and medications that can help. Yoga therapy is one of the ancient techniques used for a long time to help Diabetic people. A large number of yoga professionals are helping suffering people around the Globe.
In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells (beta cells in the pancreas) are damaged. Therefore not enough insulin is produced. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (simple sugar) by the body that it uses for energy. The job of insulin is to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of our body. Some Yoga therapy sequences massages stimulate and activate the pancreas and help people suffering from diabetes. The pancreas has a vital role in digestion and in regulating blood sugar.
Of course, there are other effective treatments also which a doctor can prescribe. However, when you can handle a situation with natural remedies, it’s better not to take heavy medicines. People who practice yoga regularly tend to fall less sick compared to people who don’t practice Yoga. With yoga therapy, a proper exercise routine, and a proper vegetarian balanced diet, a person can live a healthy, normal, and long life.
Type 2 Diabetes
The most common type of diabetes is type 2. In this form of diabetes, the body improperly uses insulin. Some lucky people can manage their blood sugar with healthy vegetarian foodstuff, proper Yoga practice, and sports. Unfortunately, some people need to have insulin or other medications to help to manage this condition.
The essential thing to keep in mind when managing type 2 diabetes is a super healthy vegetarian and nutritious diet. Find a qualified Ayurvedic doctor who can prescribe you a properly balanced diet plan that fits your daily lifestyle.
Keeping yourself fit is another gold key to manage type 2 diabetes. You can not be lazy; the mantra is to keep moving and having a physical workout every day. Physical activity can include, Yoga asanas, Pranayamas, long walks, slow jogging on soft ground, cycling or swimming. I am sharing with you a Therapeutic yoga sequence below:
Some tips for diabetic people
- Don’t drink any liquid juices because liquid sugar mixes with the blood immediately.
- If you want to eat sweet, you can eat dates, figs, and Raisins (small quantity). Eat something which liquidates and mixes in the body slowly.
- Eat a balanced vegetarian diet according to Ayurveda
- Regular physical activities
Asanas and Pranayamas for Diabetes
For diabetes, these postures and two pranayamas are a panacea. This yoga sequence is also beneficial for those people who don’t have diabetes. If practised daily, the chances of having diabetes will fall to almost Zero.
Pranayamas for Diabetes
- Kapalabhati 5 to 10 minutes in a slow or medium speed
- Anulom vilom or Nadi Shodhana – 5 to 10 minutes
Asanas for Diabetes
1. Manduk asana or Frog pose
- Sit in Vajrasana or thunderbolt pose.
- Make a fist with both hands bringing your thumbs tucked inside your fingers
- Take a deep breath in and breathe out forcefully through your nose, emptying your lungs and performing “Bahir kumbhak” (outer retention).
- Pull your stomach inside, place your fists ( from the side of your thumbs) on both sides of your navel and knuckles touching together.
- Start bending forward, keeping your spine straight and keep looking forward. In this way, your stomach will be pressed with the help of your fists.
- Maintain this pose for 15 seconds initially and increase the time slowly and gradually. Remember not to breathe in while you are bent forward.
- Now slowly raise your trunk to Vajra asana, release the pressure from your abdomen, inhale and bring your hands on your thighs.
You can practise it 2 to three times.
- It tones and stimulates all the abdominal organs.
- It helps in activating the Pancreas and is pretty helpful for diabetic people.
- Good for constipation
- People with severe back pain should avoid this pose or don’t bend fully down.
- Not recommended for pregnant women
- In case of any hip, knee or ankle injuries, don’t practice Manduk asana.
- Recovery from any surgeries.
2. Shashank asana or Pose of the Moon
- Sit in Vajrasana with your spine straight.
- Inhale, raise your arms over your head from the front of your body. Keep your arms straight and shoulder-width apart.
- Exhale bend forward from your hips, keeping the arms straight next to the ears.
- At the end of the bending, the forehead, hands, forearms, and elbows will touch the mat.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds to 1 minute ( retain the breath). Beginners should slowly increase the holing time in the final position.
- Inhale and slowly raise your trunk, arms and head up in one straight line.
- Exhale and lower your arms and rest your hands on the thighs.
This count as one round
Practice 5 rounds
- Shashank asana Stretches and strengthens the back muscles.
- It helps to separate every vertebra from each other and releases pressure on the discs.
- This leads to better functioning of the Adrenal glands
- Tones the whole pelvic area
- Stimulates the health of female and male reproductive organs.
- Relieves constipation if practised regularly.
- People with high blood pressure
- Back injury
- Slip disc
3. Yogamudrasana or Attitude of Psychic Union
Yogamudrasana is a seated forward bending asana. It is an advanced asana and belongs to the group of Padmasana.
The Yogamudrasan is made up of three words – Yoga, Mudra and asana. Mudra means gesture. Mudras can be performed with simple hand movements or using the entire body.
It is also known as the psychic union pose because it helps channel the flow of psychic energies within the body and stimulates psychic energy centres.
Advanced practitioners practice Yogamudrasana to awaken the Kundalini, the cosmic, spiritual energy that lies at the muladhara chakra.
This asasa can be done in Padmasana or in Sukh asana
- Sit in Padmasana or Sukh asana with closed eyes. Relax totally, and be aware of your breathing.
- Open your eyes, bring your hands behind your lower back and hold one wrist with another hand.
- Take a deep breath in
- Exhale bend forward, keeping the back straight.
- Try to bring the forehead on the mat, or as close as possible, you can bring it to the floor.
- Stay in this position, relax the whole body and breath smoothly and deeply
- In the final position if practising in Padmasana, be aware of the pressure applied on your abdomen with the heels.
- Don’t strain the ankles, knees, thighs or back while practising Yogmudrasana.
- Hold the pose for as long as comfortable.
- Inhale and return to the starting position
Practice it one more time and this time with the legs crossed the other way around.
- Profoundly massages the abdominal organs.
- Yogamudrasana stimulates and enhances peristaltic activity. The enhanced peristaltic movement helps in flushing down the accumulated waste substances from the colon and relieves constipation.
- Profoundly massages the abdominal organs and improves digestion.
- It awakens Manipura Chakra
- It gives a good stretch to the spine
- Tones the spinal nerves.
- Pregnant women
- People with heart problems
- Serious back problems
- Eye conditions
4. Ardhmatsyendr asana or Half spinal twist
5. Vakrasana or Twisted pose
- Sit on your mat with both legs stretched out in front of your body.
- Keep the palms of your hands flat on the mat next to your buttocks.
- Bend your right knee and place the right foot next to the inner left thigh. Bring the right hand behind the right side of your buttocks.
- Raise your left arm and bring it next to your ear, place your left arm on to the outer side of the folded right knee, bring your left hand on the inside of your left knee. Look behind and breathe normally.
- When you want to get out of the pose, reverse the whole process.
- Practice on the left side for the same duration as you did on the right side.
You can practice Vakrasana for up to 2 minutes.
- Massages and stimulates the pancreas. It helps controlling diabetes.
- This asana is suitable for people with back pain. It tones the spinal nerves and makes the back muscles supple and strong.
- It massages the internal organs improving digestion and alleviates constipation.
- People with extra fat on the belly can also benefit from Vakrasana.
- Stomach ulcers
- Spinal and shoulder injuries
- Slipped disc
Note: Be aware of the twisting effect on the spine. Do not twist more than the present flexibility allows. Focus on the expansion and contraction of the abdomen as you inhale and exhale in the final position.
6. Gomukhasana or Cowfacepose
7. Pawanmuktasana or wind release pose
- Ligh flat on your back with your arms beside the body, palms flat on the mat and head aligned with the neck.
- Bend your right leg and bring the thigh as close as possible to the chest.
- Interlock your fingers and clasp the hands on the right shin just below the knee.
- The left leg remains on the mat and straight.
- Inhale and exhale deeply. Perform outer retention, raise the head, shoulders off the ground and if possible, touch the nose on the right knee.
- Hold this final position for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Inhale slowly and come back to the starting position.
- Relax the body
- Repeat the same with the left leg.
- Practice 3 times on the right and left.
- Lie in the base position,
- inhale and exhale. Perform outer retention.
- Bend both your knees and bring your thighs close to the chest.
- Interlock your fingers and clasp your hands on both the shins just below the knees.
- Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Inhale slowly and come back to the base position.
- Practice 3 times.
- Deeply massage the abdomen and the organs related to this area.
- It helps to remove the wind and constipation.
- It strengthens the back muscles and helps in loosening up the spinal vertebrae.
- It massages the pelvic muscles, and in yoga therapy, pawanmukt asana is used for treating impotence, menstrual problems and sterility.
- Do not practice if you have back problems ( slipped disc, sciatica…).
- Any major neck problems
- High blood pressure
- Pregnant women should not practice
8. Uttanpadasana or Raised leg pose
- Lie down on your back with your palms flat on the mat on the sides of your buttocks. Relax the body and be aware of your natural breathing.
- Inhale and raise both your legs straight up to about 40 to 60 degrees angle.
- Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds in the beginning. Slowly and gradually increase the holding time up to one minute.
- Exhale, bring the legs down to the ground and relax for some time till your breath comes back to normal.
- If practised for 30 seconds, then repeat this pose three to five times.
- If practised for 1 minute, then repeat it only two times.
- It makes the abdominal muscles strong
- Massages the abdominal organs
- Strengthens the lower back and pelvic area
- Good for the digestive system
- Helps in prolapse problems
- People who have lower back problems and get pain while raising the legs
- People who are suffering from abdominal injuries or surgeries
- People suffering from High blood pressure should not practice for more than 30 seconds
9. Nauka asana or Boat pose
- Lie flat on your back, legs together, arms beside the body and palms on the mat.
- Take a deep breath in. Hold your breath inside, raise both legs, head, shoulders, arms and trunk off the mat.
- Shoulders and feet will be 15 cm above the ground.
- Balance the whole body on your buttocks, keeping the spine straight.
- Arms and hands should be aligned with the toes, and palms are facing down.
- Gaze at the big toes. Eyes are open throughout the practice.
- Hold the final position for 15 to 30 seconds. Time duration can be less if it can not hold for 15 seconds. Do not strain.
- Breath normal while in the pose.
- Exhale and come back to the base position.
- Practice 3 times
- Relax in the base position after every round.
- This asana strengthens the abdominal region.
- It helps in improving the health of the pancreas, liver and kidneys.
- It helps in burning the extra belly fat
- It can be helpful for people with hernias
- low blood pressure,
- back or hip injuries, spinal problems,
- first three days of the menstrual cycle