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Yoga Poses to Manage Diabetes

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Yoga Poses to Manage Diabetes

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Diabetes is considered a never-ending disease. Read this article to know more.

Written by

Dr. Vinod Kumar

Medically reviewed by

Dr. K. Shobana

Published At September 27, 2014
Reviewed AtSeptember 22, 2023

How Do Diabetes Influence an Individual?

Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder that is affecting a greater population of the world. Both the developed countries and developing countries are significantly affected by it. Even though there are many treatment approaches for managing diabetes, the success rate is low. But still, the prevalence of this disease is increasing, and the age of onset of the disease is found to be decreasing. This is going to affect the world's health and bring the economy to a bad state. Yoga is a traditional science from India, and it has proved its efficacy in several places.

Diabetes mellitus is a lifestyle-associated disorder that is characterized by increased levels of blood sugar. Diagnosis of diabetes is not a temporary phenomenon. This condition is a slow life-threatening event that affects individuals for the rest of their lives. The population of type 2 diabetes mellitus is rising continuously. In 2010, 6.4% of the world was found to be having diabetes.

It is important to mention that the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus type 2 is not restricted only to adults. The trend is increasingly being observed in children and adolescents who are overweight and have two or more additional risk factors. This trend indicates long-lasting adverse effects on the world's overall health and will also affect its economy.

What are the Risk Factors of diabetes?

A positive family history of diabetes can serve as a risk factor. The other factors that increase the risk of diabetes are:

  • Obesity.

  • Lack of physical activity.

  • Malnutrition in utero.

  • Dietary habits.

  • Stress.

What are the Common Symptoms of Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes mellitus can remain in the body without any symptoms for a prolonged time. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue.

  • Frequent urination (polyuria).

  • Weakness.

  • Change in weight.

  • Increased thirst (polydipsia).

  • The increased appetite (polyphagia).

  • Frequent infections.

Uncontrolled diabetes, in the long run, results in kidney failure, problems related to eyes (diabetic retinopathy), numbness of feet (diabetic neuropathy), non-healing wounds, hypertension, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, etc. Skin problems are also common in people with diabetes.

Conventional medicine has been dealing with the menace of diabetes for a long time and is successful to some extent. But being a lifestyle disorder, more emphasis needs to be given on lifestyle modifcation. This fact brings attention to yoga.

How is Diabetes Managed?

Management of diabetes includes:

  • Patient education.

  • Nutrition management.

  • Oral drugs.

  • Insulin treatment.

  • Physical activity and yoga.

How Can Yoga Help in Overcoming the Condition of Diabetes?

There are more than 70 research papers that prove the efficacy of yoga for diabetes prevention and management. The safest and most effective way to overcome diabetes is by yoga. The various yoga practices which are found to be beneficial for diabetics are listed below.

  • Vakrasana.

  • Mandukasana.

  • Ardhamatsyendrasana.

  • Surya Namaskar.

  • Pranayama techniques like Kapalbhati and Bhastrika.

As long as we are not able to focus on each and every part of diabetes management mentioned above, it will be difficult to control it. The most important and beneficial yoga among these is Mandukasana.

What is Mandukasana?

Mandukasana is referred to as a frog pose. The level of difficulty to perform this pose is intermediate. The time duration for mandukasana is five breaths.

Steps:

  • Sit in Vajrasana and make fists with both hands thumbs inside like Adhi mudra.

  • Place your fists on the side of your naval.

  • As you exhale, bend forward and keep breathing.

  • As you inhale, come up.

Advantages:

Physical:

  • Stimulates the digestive system, releasing gas from the stomach.

  • Prevents diabetes.

  • Enhance kidney and liver functions.

  • Stimulates the pancreas, which produces insulin and helps to control diabetes.

  • Relieves constipation.

  • Massages abdominal organs.

  • Reduces menstrual cramps.

Mental:

  • Relieves stress, anxiety, and mild depression.

  • Relax your mind.

Limitations:

  • Avoid during pregnancy.

  • Avoid it if you have an ulcer.

  • Avoid if you have high blood pressure, insomnia, and migraine.

Suggestions: If separating the knees is a challenge, keep the feet together with the top of the feet facing down.

What is Pranayama?

Pranayama is the measuring and directing of the breath. Pranayama commands energy, maintains health, and supports evolution. When the in-flowing breath is neutralized or united with the out-flowing breath, the perfect relaxation and balance of body activities are experienced. Breathing or pranayama technique is essential in yoga practices. It goes hand in hand with the asana or poses. In the Yoga Sutras, the methods of pranayama and asana are considered to be the best form of self-discipline and purification for the mind and the body, respectively. The practices create the actual physical sensation of heat, called tapas, or the internal fire of purification. It is taught that this heat is part of the process of cleansing nerve channels of the body. This allows a healthier state to be felt and channels the mind to become calmer.

Pranayama is the method of controlling the breath and regulating proper functioning in the body. It helps in providing the highest form of purification. It helps in providing good relaxation to the body. The level of focus will be increased by performing pranayama. It is very simple and can be performed by all age groups. The impairment in lung function can be restored. The respiratory system will be enhanced, and the nervous system will be calm. The unnecessary craving will be eliminated. All the vital forces have to go with a balanced flow. The yoga sutras and pranayama practices are enabling a person to reach the highest form of self-discipline and purification. This is due to the production of a physical sensation called tapas, which refers to purification's inner fire. The yoga masters are known to follow perfect rhythmic breathing that will reduce unwanted craving. The beneficial effects of pranayama on diabetes should be highly noted.

Conclusion

In conclusion, diabetes poses a serious threat to world health, posing problems for developed as well as developing nations. Its rising prevalence and younger onset could have detrimental effects on economies and public health. Although traditional treatment has advanced, lifestyle change is essential. An approach that shows promise is yoga, a practice with a long history and proven effectiveness. Its beneficial effects on diabetes management and prevention are supported by research. Mandukasana stands out among yoga postures for its capacity to improve digestive, renal, and pancreatic function, as well as stress reduction. For total wellness, pranayama, or the control of breath, works in conjunction with yoga postures. Adopting these methods can help create a diabetes care strategy that is more thorough and productive.

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Dr. Vinod Kumar

Yoga

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obesitypolyurialifestyle modification
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