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Healing Through Yoga: Diabetes & Hyperglycemia

by Kaya Peters

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Diabetes has become one of the major health problems all across the globe, especially among adults with sedentary life styles. As diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent every day, patients are increasingly trying to find a cure among various lines of alternative and complementary therapy. 

Recent research has examined the influence of yoga on diabetes and its complications. Despite the fact that researchers failed to prove that yoga can completely cure diabetes, they concluded that practicing yoga regularly can lead to better control of blood glucose levels which would reduce the complications of diabetes. 


Yoga benefits for diabetes


Various yoga poses and breathing techniques can be helpful for diabetic patients as they can stimulate the tissues of the pancreas. These postures increase the pancreatic blood flow, which rejuvenates its cells and promotes insulin production to reduce the symptoms and complications of diabetes.

To get the maximum benefits of yoga for diabetes, you should supplement your practice by a healthy diet, rest and proper medications. Monitor your blood glucose regularly and with time and under your physician's supervision, you will be able to reduce the dose of your diabetes medications and enjoy a healthier and happier life.


How to practice yoga for diabetes


When practicing yoga for diabetes, you should do it before meals. Depending on your fitness levels, you can practice for 40 minutes or even up to 60 minutes. Start with simple postures and focus on abdominal compressions and smooth stretching. In the beginning, hold each pose for around five seconds, and increase gradually throughout successive sessions until you can reach up to one minute for each pose.

The following poses have been shown to be of great benefit for people suffering from diabetes:


Downward facing dog


Downward Facing Dog - Postures for Diabetes and Hyperglycemia

Picture is taken from Health Consciousness


This posture stimulates the pancreas, promotes digestions and helps in the reduction of high blood pressure which is a common complication among those affected by type II diabetes. To execute this posture correctly, it is important to remain relaxed, while spreading your fingers apart and sucking your tummy in without straining.​


Big Toe Pose


Big Toe Pose - Postures for Diabetes & Hyperglycemia

Picture is taken from Laury Shark's Flickr


This pose increases the blood flowing to your kidneys and liver, which reduces the damage of their tissues which can be a complication of diabetes. Touch your toes with your hands. Although it is better to keep your knees straight, it is ok to bend them if your hands can't reach your toes.


Triangle Pose


Triangle Pose - Postures for Diabetes & Hyperglycemia

Picture is taken from The Preppy Yogini

The triangle pose promotes digestion and increases blood flow to all abdominal organs including the pancreas. You can use a yoga block to improve your stability while doing this pose. This pose should be held for 5 seconds on one side and then repeated on the other side.


Hero Pose


Hero Pose - Postures for Diabetes & Hyperglycemia

Picture is taken from Looking for Om


This posture promotes digestion and aids in the reduction of high blood pressure. To do this posture correctly, you should sit on the floor between your heels and make sure to straighten your shoulders and pelvis. You can put a yoga block in between your feet and sit on it if you can't comfortably sit on the floor.


Abdominal Squeezing


Abdominal squeezing can not only improve your digestion, but it can also stimulate your pancreas and increase the blood flow of your liver and kidneys.


Breathing exercises and meditation are also helpful


Breathing exercises are also indispensable for those suffering from diabetes as they increase the levels of oxygen in the blood which promotes the pancreatic secretion of insulin. Meditation also acts through stimulation of the pancreas via relaxation of the autonomic nervous system. 

Yoga can help you to control the glucose and reduce the complications of diabetes. Try it on a healt yoga retreat and see the benefits!

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