Yoga is an ancient practice followed by thousands of people worldwide. Many people have benefited from practicing yoga daily. From relaxed mind to a good night's sleep, yoga has endless positive effects on the human body. In today's, fast paced life, where people have sedentary lifestyles, yoga plays an important role to keep individuals fit, healthy and fresh.
However, with age people develop different disorders due to improper functioning of the body. Diabetes is one such medical condition where sugar levels in the blood is consistenly high and this can lead to many other medical conditions. Higher than normal sugar levels is unhealthy. Yoga can be very beneficial in controlling sugar levels among diabetics which more or less affects every organ if not cured or controlled in time.
Yoga for Diabetics
- For diabetic patients, yoga helps rejuvenating the capacity to produce insulin and hormonal secretion of the pancreas.
- Yoga helps the Diabetics to enhance the functioning of various body parts and tone them for an attractive physic without sweating on costly machines.
- Yoga is a preferred remedy for all physical illness helping an individual suffering from diabetes to perform the day-to-day activities more effectively.
- Performing yoga regularly enhances the function of endocrine glands and all the organs thus ensuring a good production and regulation in the insulin levels of a diabetic.
- There are yoga asanas which helps improve blood circulation, digestion and boosts the immune system and enhance aids in the proper circulation of the hormones to the body.
- Yoga relief and prevents chronic diseases and thus keeps all the cardiovascular and related diseases at bay
- Yoga helps make your body feel more energetic, fresh and healthy to keep you going and helps in preventing all diabetes related diseases and disorders.
Yoga Poses to Help Control Sugar Levels
There are various yoga poses which helps to control the blood sugar and other hormonal levels in the body. Let us now have a look on some asanas and their benefits for diabetic patients.
Yoga Asana for Diabetics: Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar and Its Benefits in Controlling Sugar Levels
For people suffering from diabetes, Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is a helpful exercise as it helps in administration of insulin in our body. Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar also helps in increasing the blood supply to various parts of our body and provides benefits of an exercise if practiced at 4 rounds per minute. For those who prefer doing Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar at a slow pace, it will still offer you the benefits of the asanas.
Steps to do Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar: It consists of a 8 asanas or yoga poses and a few repititions of some of these asanas. The asanas must be performed in the same sequence as mentioned below.
- Pranamasana – Stand erect on the mat with chest expanded. Slowly while breathing in lift both your hands, fold and join the palms for doing a namaskar just in front of your chest. Exhale and bring down both of your hands.
- Hastauttanasana – Lift both your hands up and take them back while breathing in so that your biceps are near your ear. Push your pelvis forward to deepen the stretch. It is to be kept in mind that you must not bend backwards, rather you must elongate you spine upwards by trying to touch the sky with your fingers.
- Hasta Padasana – Slowly exhale and bend forward keeping your spine straight, till you touch your feet. To deepen the stretch, bend your knees while going down. Once you touch your feet try to straighten your knees. Try not to move your hands from this position till you complete the next sequence of asanas.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana – Breathe in while stretching your right leg back and try to touch the floor with your right knee and take your head up for looking at the ceiling. Make sure that your left leg is exactly between the two hands.
- Dandasana – Breathing in again, now take your left leg back beside the right leg so that your entire body is in a straight line. To get the maximum benefit try to keep your hands perpendicular to the floor.
- Ashtanga Namaskar – Mildly, bring your knees down to the floor, hand resting at the sides. Rise your hips a little up. In this asana, the eight points viz., your both hands, knees and feet along with your chest and chin are supposed to touch the floor and that's why the name of the asana is ashtang (eight) namaskar.
- Bhujangasana – Move forward and slowly raise your chest like a cobra posture. The elbows must be bent. While breathing in expand your chest and while exhaling, tuck your navel in.
- Parvatasana – As you breath out, lift your hips and pelvis to form an inverted 'V' shape with your body where your chest is downwards. Try to keep your heels at the floor while doing the asana.
- Ashwa Sanchalasana – Now breathe in and bring your left leg back, touch the floor with your left knee and gently look up to the ceiling.
- Hasta Padasana – Breathe out, bend forward and touch your feet with the hand keeping your spine straight.
- Hastauttasana – While rolling the spine back to the erect posture, breathe in and left your hands up to the sky. Bend a little backward to get a complete stretch from the fingers of your hands to your toes, push your pelvis a little forward.
- Tadasana – Finally to finsh the surya namaskar, breathe in and come back to the normal erect posture. Fold your hands and join the palm in front of your chest. Relax and observe the different sensations you experience in the body.
Yoga for Diabetics: Benefits of Vrikshasana in Controlling Sugar Levels
The posture in Vrikshasana replicates the grace and steadiness of a tree. Eyes require being open while performing the tree pose in order to maintain the body balance.
- Stand on both the legs with joined hand.
- Extend the hands above the head.
- Slowly bring the right leg up, feet facing the left knee.
- Breathe in and out for few minutes and repeat the steps again.
Vrikshasana Benefits: Stimulation of hormonal secretion on the pancreas which helps in controlling blood sugar levels.
Yoga for Diabetics: Dhanurasana or The Bow Pose Helps Control Sugar levels
Dhanurasana or the bow pose includes balancing the weight of your body on your abdomen by raising both halves of your body at once.
- Lie on the stomach and your one leg must be little apart from another. Hands by your side.
- In order to hold your ankles, fold your knees. Inhale, raise your chest upwards and pull your legs back.
- Look ahead straight while smiling. Rest in this pose stably.
- Take deep long breaths continuously.
Benefits of Dhanurasana or The Bow Pose: It helps to maintain a strong digestive system which directly or indirectly helps in maintaining the hormonal levels thus controlling diabetes. It also helps in reducing abdominal fat to shape your body slim and improves the flexibility of your spine and body posture.
Yoga for Diabetics: Halasana or Plough Pose to controlSugar Levels
- Lie level on the floor on your back with your feet level on the floor.
- Place your arms close by and twist your knees so that your feet are level on the floor.
- Presently, gradually raise your legs from the hips.
- Place your hands on your hips as you raise it and use them as backing.
- Now, gradually twist your legs at the hips and attempt to touch the floor behind your head with your toes and rectify your hands so they are level on the floor.
- Breathe out while going up.
Benefits of Halasana or Plough Pose: This yoga pose is useful for maintaining a healthy thyroid and prostate gland function. Arms and legs are the common areas of problems for diabetic patients. Performing Halasana or Plough Pose helps to improve the blood circulation in the body and specifically in the arms and legs. It also helps providing flexibility to the neck and the spine, strengthen the back, shoulder and arm muscles.
Yoga for Diabetics: Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Twist Pose for Controlling Sugar Levels
- Sit with your legs spread straight before you. Keep the feet together and the spine straight.
- Bend your left leg and place the heel of your left foot next to the right hip (on the contrary, you can also keep the left leg straight).
Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Twist Pose: The benefits of this asana can be felt particularly by the spinal nerves, ligaments and digestive system. Ardha Matsyendrasana gently massages the kidney and the liver and ensures improvement over backache and pain in the hips. The gentle massage in the liver ensures proper functioning and secretion of the hormones, digestion and thus the production of the insulin hormone that regulates the sugar levels in the blood.
Yoga for Diabetics: Benefits of Paschimottanasana in Diabetes
- Start by sitting and spreading out your legs on the ground. Hold the big toe of the feet with the thumb and index finger.
- Slowly exhale and bend ahead and try touching knees with your forehead.
- Your elbows must not touch the ground. Do not inhale.
- Rest in this position up till 5 counts and start inhaling once you rise back to the original sitting position.
Benefits: Paschimottanasana helps prevens diabetes and is very useful for males against infertility. This yoga pose helps by way of massaging the upper and lower quadrant of the abdomen including all organs such as the kidneys, adrenals, liver, pancreas, spleen and intestines.
This asana helps the body fight back towards headache, stomach ache, piles, hip and back pains and body weakness.
Yoga for Diabetics: Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand Pose & its Benefits in Controlling Blood Sugar Levels
- Lie on the mat with your legs spreading forward.
- Raise your legs by either lifting them straight or folding them at knees.
- Place your palms on your hips and back and raise yourself while toes pointing to ceiling.
- Put your weights on shoulders and breathe slowly by locking your chin onto your chest.
- Elbows must touch the ground. Hold this position as long as you can.
- Come back to the lying pose by gently lowering your body.
Benefits of Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand Pose: The asana is built to provide a powerful backward stretch to the upper spine and works the lower back. Sarvangasana drains away the blood from legs, counters diabetes, and massages the visceral organs.
Yoga for Diabetics: Benefits of Balasana for Diabetes
- Start by sitting on the yoga mat with your weight on the knees. Then flat your feet on the floor and start to sit on your heels.
- Stretch your thighs a little bit. Exhale and incline forward from the waist.
- Your stomach should rest on your thighs while extending your back. Then stretch your arms forward to elongate your back.
- If you are flexible enough, try resting your forehead to the ground. Don't push youself beyond your limit.
- Balasana is a resting pose so your breathing should be normal. It depends on your capacity to stay in this pose. Stay for 5 counts or even as long as 3 minutes.
Balasana Benefits: It helps in normalizing the blood circulation in the body and also relieves stress and anxiety which are one of the main reason for increase in blood sugar levels. By calming the mind and body, Balasana helps in controlling sugar levels. It also releases the tension in the back, neck and shoulder and also flexes the internal organs, keeping them supple and good at their work.
Yoga for Diabetics: Supta Vajrasana for Controlling Sugar Levels
Supta Vajrasana is an extended version of vajrasana performed by lying down while in the vajrasana pose. It might be a little difficult initially but is recommended for those suffering from diabetes.
- Place a yoga mat and kneel on it. Your upper surface of your feet should touch the mat. In such a way that your heels are pointing in upward direction.
- Now slowly place your butt on your heels. Your heels must be on either side of the anus.
- Place your palms beside your hips while slowly bending backwards.
- As you bend, Rest your right elbow and forearm on the ground, then the left forearm and elbow. Taking the support, bend further backward till your head touches the ground.
- Now slowly take your hands off and place them on your thighs. However, do not strain the leg muscles too much and stay in the position till you can.
- While breathing in, taking the support of your elbow, raise your head, shift the weight of your body to the left arm and come up to the starting position.
Benefits of Supta Vajrasana: Improved digestion, cure against back and stomach problems, sexual stamina, diabetes and varicose veins. It also helps to prevent intestine and kidney illness. It is further good for people suffering from various lung ailments.
Yoga for Diabetics: Benefits of Chakrasan in Controlling Sugar Levels
- Start by lying flat on your back and your arms must be horizontally spread out, in line with your shoulders.
- By bending your knees, bring your feet closer to your hips. Sole of your feet must be completely on ground.
- At the same time turn your head at the right side and look at your right hand. Your shoulder blades must touch the floor.
- It is the tendency of the shoulder blades to lift away from the ground when your body is lifted. Your aim is to work against this shoulder tendency so make this stretch effective.
- You must feel the stretch in the areas of back, stomach, thighs, groin, arms and neck while holding the pose.
- You can slowly move your head back straight after a few minutes. Also start to move your torso and legs to original position.
Chakrasan Benefits: Chakrasan, is excellent to manage and control both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This asana is like a single medicine for your multiple body illnesses but it can hurt you if not performed properly. It ensures oxygenated blood flow throughout your body and helps to reduce stress. It also strengthens your shoulders and is good for developing the blood flow to your eyes. The asana helps improve digestion and reduces the fluid build-up in legs, ankles and feet.
Yoga for Diabetics: Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose for Controlling Blood Sugar Levels
Bhujangasana or the cobra pose is to be performed as explained in the Surya Namaskar asana. One can do this asana individually or as a part of the Surya Namaskar.
Benefits: Bhujangasana or the cobra pose massages and stimulates the pancreas enhancing its performance and thus, useful for people suffering from diabetes. This pose and its variations allow more blood to circulate in the body, making the organs healthy so as to perform its regular functions more effectively.
Reaserchers found that regular yoga practice leads to improvements in cholesterol and fasting glucose levels. It massages and tones the abdominal organs like the pancreas and liver, stimulate the nervous and circulatory system which in turn helps in controlling diabetes.