To know how yoga can be beneficial for you if you have diabetes, you must first understand what Diabetes is and how it is caused.
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is classed as a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth.
Most of what we eat is broken down into glucose.
Glucose is a form of sugar in the blood – it is the principal source of fuel for our bodies.
Diabetes & Glucose
When our food is digested the glucose makes its way into our bloodstream.
Our cells use the glucose for energy and growth. However, glucose cannot enter our cells without insulin being present – insulin makes it possible for our cells to take in the glucose.
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas.
After eating, the pancreas automatically releases an adequate quantity of insulin to move the glucose present in our blood into the cells, and lowers the blood sugar level.
A person with diabetes has a condition in which the quantity of glucose in the blood is too elevated (hyperglycemia). This is because the body either does not produce enough insulin, produces no insulin, or has cells that do not respond properly to the insulin the pancreas produces.
This results in too much glucose building up in the blood.
This excess blood glucose eventually passes out of the body in urine. So, even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells are not getting it for their essential energy and growth requirements.
Yoga for Diabetes
There are a number of yoga poses that would help in reducing the level of sugar in the blood.
To control diabetes, yoga poses like Pavan Muktasana, Surya Namaskara (Sun salutation), ardh matsyandrasana and Matsyasana (Fish pose), and Mandukasana, if practiced regularly will be helpful.
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The Sun salutation ensures the increase of blood supply to different parts of the body. It also improves the supply of insulin while the pancreas is stimulated. In the Sun salutation there are yoga sequences present which are a combination of different asanas and poses.
Per minute at least four rounds should be practiced for it to be most effective.
To effectively control diabetes these yoga poses must be practiced on a daily basis.
For improvement of the action of insulin, yoga poses help by reducing stress which enhances the secretion of glucagons. With the reduction of glucagons the supply of insulin is improved.
In controlling diabetes, other yoga positions like the Easy pose, Anuloma Viloma and Relaxation pose will be effective.
The easy pose helps in keeping the spine straight, slowing down the metabolic rate, and relaxing the mind.
Anuloma Viloma also goes by the name Alternate nostril breathing technique. To practice this technique you should breathe in through one nostril, hold the breath and then breathe out through the other nostril.
To be in a proper relaxed state you must include the mental, physical and spiritual aspects.
Practicing the Relaxation yoga pose creates a refreshed feeling after completing the pranayama and asanas. To ensure the control of diabetes, a yoga routine should include the relaxation pose. Make it a point to incorporate as many of these poses as possible in your diabetes yoga sequences.
In spite of all the benefits of yoga you must not use it as the only form of therapy.
Diet & Diabetes
In addition to treating diabetes with yoga poses, you must also make sure the right medications are taken and a proper diet, which is essential for diabetic treatment, is followed.
A proper diet provides respite from the complications and symptoms.
Foods that contain fibers like vegetables, peas, fruits, cereals and whole grain breads help in reducing the level of glucose in the blood.
- Yogurts or curds helps in cleaning the pancreas from the waste ensuring a good production of insulin.
- Oats help in stabilizing the blood sugar level and are an effective antioxidant.
- Broccoli is an excellent source of chromium which helps in regulating the blood sugar and insulin.
- Beans are very good for diabetics as they have a high fiber content.
It is important to understand the role that a good diet plays in reducing diabetes.
To improve the control of diabetes, a yoga routine which is regularly practiced should be incorporated into the treatment. With the various yoga poses available, people of all ages can get involved in the practice and your mother can choose the positions that suit her best.