Yoga for Diabetes: Best Asanas/Poses With Steps For You

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yoga for diabetes

Yoga, a series of stretches and poses, has been around for more than 5,000 years. It is not just a type of workout; it is something that your body requires for the advancement of better living. Moreover, the relationship between yoga and diabetes has been known to mankind for a long time. As we celebrate International Day of Yoga on 21st June, let’s learn about the benefits of yoga for diabetes and how it affects one’s sugar levels.

So, it’s time for you to roll out your yoga mat and discover the perks of introducing Yoga to your daily routine.

Benefits of Yoga 

  • Reduces stress: Practising yoga has been shown to reduce the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. It is a mind-body practice that promotes relaxation of the body through controlled breathing, stretching, and meditation.
  • Improves heart health: Studies have proven that yoga can reduce heart diseases by lowering blood pressure, the leading cause of heart complications. Yoga also helps to lower cholesterol and improve the overall immune system.
  • Helps in fighting anxiety: Consistent yoga practice has been proven to increase serotonin levels (the happy hormones) significantly. Hence, it can help in fighting anxiety and stress.
  • Improves sleep quality: Stimulation is essential for a healthy body, but too much of it takes the nervous system. Yoga provides relief by calming your nervous system from the hustle and bustle of the modern lifestyle. 
  • Increases flexibility and balance: Improved flexibility is one of the most obvious perks of consistent yoga practice. With physical flexibility, yoga also works upon mental balance by bringing peace within. This helps in performance optimization at work as well as in personal life. 
  • Improves breathing- Most types of yoga incorporate breathing exercises and improve breathing altogether. Yoga is said to increase vital capacity, i.e., the maximum amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs.

How Does Yoga Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Studies have shown that incorporating yoga into your lifestyle leads to a decrease in sugar levels. The postures in yoga contract certain areas of the abdomen and relax them. These back and forth abdominal contractions help release pancreatic juices, thus improving oxygen and blood supply. As a result, the pancreatic cells enhance the secretion of insulin to the body. Even breathing exercises are known to help with healthy pancreatic function. Furthermore, a glucometer proves to be your best friend for keeping a check on your sugar levels.

Yoga exercises can not only improve insulin production but also help in decreasing the chances of hypoglycemia, a condition where blood sugar levels go dangerously low. Moreover, it also reduces the production of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels in the body. The benefits of yoga are not just limited to physical health. It can even help people with diabetes on a fundamental level by calming the mind and integrating it with the body.

Best Yoga for Diabetes 

Here is a list of asanas that can help your body increase insulin production and decrease blood sugar levels.

  • Balasana/Child’s Pose

child's pose

This is a resting posture that helps relax and develop more insulin-producing beta-cells. It is beneficial to relieve back pain, stress, and fatigue.

How to do this?

    • Step-1: Keep the body in the kneeling position with knees hip-width apart.
    • Step 2: Bring your belly to rest between your thighs and touch your forehead on the floor.
    • Step-3: Then stretch your arms back with palms facing upward or in front of you with palms facing downward.
    • Step-4: Focus on your breathing when in the position.
  •  Supta Mastyendarasana/Supine Spinal Twist

Spinal twist

This asana helps stimulate the lower abdominal organs, thus lowering blood sugar levels. It also helps alleviate pain in your neck, spine, and back.

How to do this?

    • Step-1: Lie down and bring your knees to your chest.
    • Step-2: Extend your arms with palms facing down.
    • Step-3: While keeping the knees to the hip level, try to bring it to the left side.
    • Step-4: Turn your head to the right side.
    • Step-5: Stay in the position for 2 minutes and repeat the process to the right side.
  • Viparita Karani/Legs Up the Wall Pose

Legs Up the Wall Pose

This posture promotes relaxation and helps in lowering blood pressure and sugar levels. The muscles worked in the posture are the pelvic, lower back, front torso, hamstrings, and the back of the neck.

How to do this?

    • Step-1: Lay flat on the right side against the wall and form a 90-degree angle.
    • Step-2: Keep your sitting bone as close as possible to the wall.
    • Step-3: Relax your body, especially your chin, throat, and neck.
    • Step-4: Stretch your arms out with palms facing up
    • Step-5: Stay in the position for 10 minutes.
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana/Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Yoga for diabetes

It is a twisting posture, which helps in digestion and elevated energy levels. It also improves the functioning of lower abdominal organs and thus lowers glucose levels in the body.

How to do this?

    • Step-1: Sit in a cross-legged position and then scoot your left foot to the outside of the right hip.
    • Step-2: Cross your right leg over the left leg so that your left foot sits outside the right thigh.
    • Step-3: Twist your body to the right and your right hand to the floor behind you.
    • Step-4: Bring your left hand and rest it on the outside of your right thigh.
    • Step-5: Relax in the position and then repeat on the other side.
  • Supta Baddha Konasana/Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Reclining Bound Angle Pose

The reclining bound angle pose calms the body and reduces sugar levels by stimulating the kidneys, bladder, and abdominal organs.

How to do this?

    • Step-1: Bring the soles of your feet together and lie down.
    • Step-2: Rest your arms alongside the body with your palms facing up.
    • Step-3: Try pressing down your thighs to touch the floor. However, make sure to relax your hips.
    • Step-4: Stay in the position for 5 minutes.
  • Dhanurasana/Bow Pose

bow pose

Dhanurasana or bow pose helps open the chest and stimulate the lower abdominal organs. Moreover, it resolves respiratory and digestive problems as well.

How to do this?

    • Step-1: Lie down on your stomach with arms resting on the side of the body.
    • Step-2: Bend your knees and bring your hands to the ankle and hold them.
    • Step-3: Lift your head, chest, and knees.
    • Step-4: Stay in the position for 30 seconds and then release.
  • Shavasana/Corpse Pose

corpse pose

This posture helps in improving concentration and lowering blood pressure and is usually done at the end of the yoga session.

How to do this?

    • Step-1: Lie down with your feet wide apart than your hips.
    • Step-2: Rest your arms beside the torso with palms facing up.
    • Step-3: Make sure the body is in a Y-shape with your torso in a straight position.
    • Step-4: Relax your body and stay in the position for 10-20 minutes.

All seeds of well-being stem from within. When you perform healthy activities, it ultimately leads you to a healthier version of yourself. 

Read More: Is Music Therapy Beneficial for Diabetes Patients?

Download the BeatO App to get a personalized diet plan to go with the right kind of exercise in order to follow a path of healthy living. 

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