Yoga for diabetes: 5 asanas for managing the condition
- Yoga can be helpful in reducing blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to studies. Here are five asanas by yoga guru Grand Master Akshar for managing diabetes.
Diabetes, a metabolic disorder, needs to be managed effectively in order to prevent one from the risk of several diseases like cardiac problems, stroke, kidney troubles, lower leg amputation, blindness etc. Apart from medication, the patients are advised to lose weight, modify their dietary habits by incorporating low GI (Glycemic Index) foods in their diet, do yoga and other exercises to keep blood sugar level in check.
While type 1 diabetes occurs when body stops making insulin as a result of autoimmune response, in type 2 diabetes which is more common in people, insulin resistance is developed due to which the sugar stays in the blood, instead of being utilized by the body and leads to many health problems.
Several studies have established the efficacy of Yoga in reducing blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 Diabetes.
There are certain yogasanas that can help activate pancreas, the organ that produces insulin. Yoga guru Grand Master Akshar suggests five asanas for managing diabetes.
For doing Urdhva Mukhi Marjari Asana, come on your knees, place palms under shoulders and knees under hips, and then inhale, curve your spine to look up. For Adho Mukhi Marjari Asana, exhale, round your back and drop your chin to chest. Focus your gaze towards your navel region.
Also known as seated forward bend, begin the asana by stretching your legs forward while ensuring that your knees are slightly bent. Raise your arms upward and keep your spine erect. Exhale and bend forward at the hip, placing your upper body on your lower body. Try to hold your big toes with your fingers.
Pregnant women should refrain from practicing this asana. Also those suffering from slip disc, sciatica or asthma should avoid doing this apart from ulcer patients.
3. Adomukhi Svanasana
Also known as Downward Dog, begin this asana on all fours and ensure that your palms are under the shoulders and knees below hips. Lift the hips up, straighten the knees and elbows, and make your body in the shape of an inverted ‘V’. Now keep the hands shoulders width apart. Keep your eye focused on your big toes.
This asana should not be performed in case you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and/or diarrhea. Also avoid this asana in advanced stages of pregnancy. If you have high blood pressure or headache, go slow and in case of chronic or recent injury to the arms, hips, shoulders and back, this asana must be avoided.
It is also known as Child's Pose. To perform this asana, kneel down on mat and sit on your heels. Inhale and raise arms above head, exhale and bend your upper body forward. Place your forehead on the floor resting your pelvis on the heels. Ensure that your back is not hunched.
5. Manduka Asana
Another name for this asana is Frog Pose. Begin this asana by sitting in Vajrasana, and extending your arms in front of you. Fold your thumbs into your palms, wrap the remaining four fingers over it and ball your fist. Bend your arms at your elbows, place your balled fists over your navel. Bend your upper body and place it over your lower body. Stretch your neck and focus your gaze forward.
Pregnant women should refrain from practicing this asana. Those who experience pain in the ankle or have recently undergone an injury or surgery to the ankles/ligaments, should avoid this asana. In case of ulcer issues, one must avoid this asana. In case of pain or injury to knees or back, please refrain from performing this asana.
"Practise regularly holding each pose for 30 seconds and repeat for 3 sets. Poses such as Half-Fish Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana), Paschimottanasana, Adomukhisvanasana, Vajrasana etc. can be very helpful to prevent and treat diabetes. Practice these asanas very slowly with awareness on your breathing," says Grand Master Akshar.