Diabetes is a disease caused when the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or due to some reason, the body is unable to utilize the insulin so produced, effectively. Insulin helps to break down the carbohydrates giving the much-needed energy for the smooth and efficient functioning of the body cells. The inefficient functioning and absorption of insulin by the body cells primarily give rise to diabetes. There are two main types: Type 1 and Type 2.
The condition comes with a lot of complications and some of the adverse effects of contracting diabetes are the associated heart and kidney related disorders, amputations in different parts of the body, damage caused to the essential body nerves, blindness, diabetic eye, amongst a host of other complications. Hence, it becomes very imperative to take control of the disease. One of the best ways is to opt for regular yoga practicing. By primarily improving the blood circulation in the arms and legs, yoga helps a diabetic patient in controlling diabetes as these are the prime areas where problems are faced by those suffering from the disease. There are a host of other benefits too which yoga has to offer and is therefore regarded as one of the best natural remedies for diabetes control and management.
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Yoga for Diabetes
Yoga has been known to be the cure for many health problems since ancient times. The number of poses in yoga itself is too large. When specific types of yoga postures are performed by those suffering from diabetes, the condition becomes easier to manage. The main reason behind the same is the fact that yoga not only stimulates weight loss of the person performing it but also enhances the production of insulin by our pancreas. Insulin, as we have seen above, is the main hormone responsible for diabetes.
Following are a few benefits of yoga asanas for diabetic patients:
- Regular practice of the various yoga postures helps to maintain a balanced level of blood pressure in the body. The level of sugar or glucose is kept low, thereby helping in managing diabetes.
- When you take a lot of stress, the chemical glucagon is secreted. This glucagon increases the level of blood glucose which makes the complicated condition of diabetes all the more complicated. Regular practice of yoga is known to relieve stress and as a result, diabetes is kept under constant control.
- Yoga has long been performed by people across the world as the most effective way of losing all those extra calories. One of the primary reasons of diabetes is obesity. By helping one to get rid of all that extra accumulated fat, yoga helps a diabetes patient in better controlling the chronic condition. This is particularly important for those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
- With regular yoga practice, insulin which is secreted by the pancreas is better absorbed by the cells in the body, thereby helping the diabetic patient to better control the disease.
- Besides, when you regularly practice yoga, you gain your self-confidence back and with that, you are able to prevent the condition from aggravating.
In the following paragraphs, we will deep dive and get to know 15 best yoga poses for diabetic patients which will help to control and manage this chronic condition.
Yoga Asanas for Diabetic Patients
As seen above, yoga has several health benefits and you can get a lot of relief by adopting yoga and its asanas as a daily habit. In the following paragraphs, we shall learn about 15 best poses of yoga that will help in better management and control of diabetes.
Following are the 15 best yoga poses that will help to control diabetes:
1. Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)
Considered as one of the best exercises for the overall, health the sun salutations help to work out all the different parts of our body. Hence, this pose is very effective for diabetes control as well. For best results, perform sun salutations for at least 15 minutes early in the morning.
You should stand with your toes touching each other while your heels should be kept apart. With arms on the side, the palms are moved forward and stretched.
2. Breathing (Pranayama)
Pranayama is a series of breathing exercise and experts swear by the health benefits this form of yoga has to offer. It is said that while performing pranayama, you breathe out stress and breath in joy. Apart from the several health benefits, pranayama helps control and manage diabetes as it boosts the immune system of the body and relieves all the unwanted stress from us.
To perform pranayama, sit on the yoga mat either cross-legged or in Padma- asana. With the back straightened and palms on the knees,close your eyes. While you breathe in air, try to bring your stomach outward and hold the breath for a few seconds. Release air slowly while your belly moves inwards. After you have repeated it 15-20 times, rub your palms together and place them on your eyes. Open your eyes slowly now.
3. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
One of the best asanas for diabetes, this yoga posture helps to control diabetes by effectively helping in the better secretion of insulin by the pancreas of the body.
Start by standing straight with the knees, legs and hand all in a straight position. The right foot should be placed on the right thigh. Thereafter, bring the palms in the middle of your chest by holding them together. Now, try to place your hands over your head. Now the arms are raised over the head. Stay in this position for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat the procedure with the other leg and repeat the entire process a few times.
4. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
This is another important yoga asana for those suffering from diabetes. In order to perform this particular pose, you need to stand with your feet held together. After that, put your right foot a few steps down the yoga mat. The left foot should be rotated inwards. While breathing in air, lift your left arm and stretch side wards while looking towards your thumb. You should then exhale air as your right arm is placed outside the right foot. Hold this position for a few seconds and further repeat the posture in the opposite direction.
5. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This yoga pose helps to stretch the hips, arms, thighs, backs, and ankles all in one pose. The pose is considered as a great stress buster too.
All you need to do is sit down and put your entire weight on the knees. Post that, you need to sit on your heels. With the thighs kept apart, use your waist to bend forward. Make sure that you have stretched your arms to the maximum possible extent. The pose is also known as the child’s pose and is essentially a resting pose. Remain in this pose for as long as you can and repeat it 5-6 times for best results.
6. Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
By improving digestion, relaxing the mind, and keeping the body stress-free, this yoga asana helps to control not only diabetes but protects the overall health too. It is also one of the simplest postures which help improve our health as well.
For getting into this yoga pose, you need to just kneel down, with the heels of the feet pointing upwards. Then the hips should be placed on the heels. With both palms on your knees, face downwards. Breath normally and just stay relaxed.
7. Plow Pose (Halasana)
If you are someone who is having a sedentary type of lifestyle, then this is the yoga pose which is best suited for you to control the adverse effects of diabetes on your body. By keeping the hormonal balances in check, this particular asana helps to manage diabetes in one of the most effective ways. It also improves the overall immune system of our body.
For this, start by lying down flat on the yoga mat. With the arms kept side wards, bend your knees. Now, try to raise your legs and pull your legs backward. Use the hand as your support. While you are moving your leg backward, try to breathe out and while bringing the legs back to normal position, try to breathe in.
8. Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)
Another way to manage and control diabetes by using yoga is this asana which is called the Chakrasana.
For this, first, lie down on your back. Post that, bend your knees and your legs should be kept close to the hips. Try to now touch the knee one after the other onto the ground. Turn your head in the direction opposite to that of the knee. Repeat the posture a few times for best results. However, if you are someone who is suffering from injuries in the spine, you should avoid this yoga posture.
9. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
This is a very effective yoga posture for your diabetes. It helps to strengthen the immune system of the body as well which enables to avoid and fight the other complications which accompany diabetes. It not only helps improve hormonal secretion of the pancreas but the body also maintains a balanced level of blood sugar levels as you perform this yoga asana.
To successfully do this posture, take a yoga mat and lie down on your stomach. With both the knees bend, hold the ankles. Try to pull the entire upper body upwards as you take the body’s support while stretching the ankles. Stretch the ankles in this position to the maximum possible extent. Repeat this posture at least 12 to 15 times for best results.
10. Sitting Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This yoga posture is also known as the half twist pose. By squeezing out toxins from all the important body organs, namely the pancreas, liver, intestines, gall bladder, etc. the half twist pose goes a long way in helping one to control diabetes.
All you need to do is sit down and just stretch your legs. Then fold the right leg in such a manner that the heel of the right leg should touch the knee of the left leg. Now the right hand should be kept at the back of the waist and you should now twist. Bringing the left hand close to the right knee, hold the ankle of this leg. Also, try to twist your head and shoulders as you sit in this position.
11. Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
The yoga asana helps in the smooth flow of blood throughout the body. That is how it helps in managing diabetes in a better way. Besides, the posture plays a huge role in helping to strengthen the muscles of various body parts including the thighs, legs, arms, amongst others.
Start with the leg being stretched out and hold the toe of the feet with the help of your fingers. It is preferable to use either your thumb or your index finger for this purpose. While breathing out, bend forwards and try to touch the knee with your forehead and the elbows are kept on the floor all this while. Try to stay in this position for a few seconds and as you get back into your original position, breath in the air. While performing this exercise, do remember, however, that you should avoid doing it if you are someone who is suffering from any kind of back pain or problem in the spine.
12. Shoulder Stand Pose (Sarvangasana)
This particular yoga pose goes a long way in helping to improve the digestive system, the immune system of the body, boost the metabolism, preventing the body from nerve damage, etc. All this goes a long way in helping to fight and manage diabetes and its related complications in a much better way.
To perform this asana, lie on the yoga mat in a straight position. Now lift the legs straight in the forward direction while taking the support of your hands. Try to point your toes to the ceiling and all the weight should ideally be on your shoulders. Stay in this position for the longest possible time and then get back to the normal lie down position only slowly. Remember to avoid the exercise if you are suffering from back problems or have the problem of a high blood pressure.
13. Bridge Pose (Setubandhasana)
This yoga posture is very effective in controlling diabetes because it helps one maintain a balanced level of blood pressure. Besides, it also reduces stress levels by helping you to relax your mind and body. This yoga posture is considered the best posture if you want to improve your digestion as well as metabolism.
To begin with, you are supposed to lie down flat on the yoga mat. Breath out air and try to push your body upwards while the heels are still on the floor. Besides, the neck and the head should also remain flat on the floor while the rest of the body lies hung in the air. Try to use your hand as the support. You can also touch your toes with the hands if you are able to stretch to that extent. Remain in this posture for a few seconds before returning to your original position. Remember, however, to avoid this yoga position if you have problems in the neck and back.
14. Double Leg Poses
By toning the pancreas of the body and stimulating the production of the all- important hormone insulin, the double leg yoga pose is an effective way of controlling and managing diabetes as well as the other complications.
Just lay down straight on your back and try to raise both your legs up in the air while simultaneously breathing at the same time. At this point, the arms should stay very close to your body and you should remain in this position until the time you can hold to it.
15. The Fish Pose
This particular yoga pose is yet another effective way of controlling and managing your diabetes.
Just take a yoga mat and lay on your back. The legs should be kept very close to each other but care should be taken to not overlap them into each other. Thereafter, try to raise the neck so that the chin is able to face the ceiling. Try to stay in this posture for as long as you can and then get back to the relaxed self.
Yoga has long been known to be the cure for most of the diseases. When practiced regularly, the above yoga asanas help you to control diabetes to a great extent.
We hope that by reading the above article, you will now be aware of the different yoga poses which can help you in controlling diabetes. Even if you are not suffering from the disease, it is highly recommended that you start adopting it as a daily habit because of the numerous health benefits of yoga.
We all need to remember that the major cause of diabetes, like in the case of other diseases,is nothing but stress. Once you are able to manage the problem of stress, you will be in a better position to even manage conditions like diabetes. Thus, the practice of yoga has highly been recommended by the medical experts located far and wide. With yoga, you can also get the benefits associated with meditation. Yoga can also help you in restoring your lost confidence and helping you lead a life which is as normal and healthy as possible.
Having said that, it is always advisable to be careful while you perform some of the above-mentioned poses, particularly when you are suffering from some type of shoulder pain, neck pain, or any other problems. It is best to avoid some of the poses which might harm your body!!