Yoga For Diabetes

Source: Article Snatch

Diabetes is a chronic and currently incurable condition in which too much glucose (sugar) is present in the blood.

In a nut shell, the problem with people suffering from diabetes is that they cannot utilize the glucose in their blood. Glucose is a simple sugar and the body cells use this glucose and convert it into energy. A hormone called Insulin is the key which opens the door that lets glucose into the cells so that the cells can use them to make fuel. In Diabetes the hormone Insulin is either produced insufficiently, or the body resists the action of Insulin on cells. So the glucose builds up in the blood, and it goes waste as the glucose cannot reach inside the cells.

Other facts worth knowing:

  • Our mental stresses also dump glucose in the blood and not just food! (under the influence of stress hormones)
  • Too much fat, especially in the abdomen will give rise to insulin resistance.
  • The cells of muscles that are exercising dont need insulin to open up their doors to let glucose in! Their doors are open independent of insulin levels or sensitivity.

Why Yoga for Diabetes?

Stress management:

Regular practice of Asanas, Pranayama (breath regulation), and Meditative techniques have been proven to reduce perception of stress and anxiety. Regular practice of all these will help us better manage our daily stresses by making us better understand ourselves and our relations to others and the outside world. After all, Yoga is a journey of self discovery.

Controlled diet:

Regular practice of Yoga creates a positive shift in our habits by encouraging a healthy reconnection to food and by development of physical empowerment through cultivation of present moment awareness. Yoga also brings about a balance in the bodily processes (nervous and hormonal functions) and in the emotions which lead to an overall reduction in the quantity of food consumed, decreased eating speed and an improvement in food choices. Yoga also makes us feel more connected to and positive about our physical well being.

Thus, with regular practice we will become naturally conscious of the food we consume, and we develop the awareness of whether a particular thing is right to do or not.

Regular exercise to burn the excess glucose:

It is a well known fact that active muscles do not require insulin to utilize glucose. So when our muscles are working, not only is the excess glucose being used up, but also the sensitivity of other cells to insulin increases.

Although we dont want to consider asanas as just exercises, lets face it! A lot of muscles are definitely acting so that we can get into a posture or maintain it. And since the leg muscles are some of the bulkiest muscles of the body, all the leg work done in maintaining asanas like chair posture or warrior postures will definitely use up a lot of glucose. It is also just as well to know that the regular practice of asanas and practices like kapalabati will also revitalize the internal organs by massaging them slightly.

YOGA PRACTICES COMMONLY USED IN THE MANAGEMENT OF DIABETES:

Asanas: Parivritta Trikonasana, Uthkatasana, Veerabhadrasana, Vakrasana, Ushtrassana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana.

Pranayama: Kapalabati, Nadi shodhana, Sitkari, Bhramari.

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