We’re all aware of the many virtues of yoga. Firstly, yoga stimulates the organs that leads to improvement in metabolic activities. This ensures that the chemical transformations within the cells in the body are carried out more efficiently making it a highly beneficial exercise for diabetics,
Diabetes is a disease that occurs as a result of a lack of insulin production by the pancreas or lack of cell response to insulin, that results in a multitude of metabolic imbalances involving the regulation and utilisation of glucose (sugar) and insulin in the body.
According to research, practicing yoga regularly can lead to improvements in fasting glucose and cholesterol levels. The direct stimulation of the pancreas by certain postures can also rejuvenate its insulin-producing capacity.
A few asanas balance the functioning of the endocrine system. It tones and massages the abdominal organs like pancreas and liver, stimulates the nervous and circulatory system that helps in controlling diabetes.
Besides medication, yogic asanas harmonise the body, breath and mind, which contributes to the overall health of a person. Asanas facilitate the optimal secretions of the endocranial glands which the body use insulin more effectively.
Studies have shown that practising certain asanas such as Ardha Matsyendrasana (half-twist pose) along with Dhanurasana (bow pose), Vakrasana (twisted pose), Matsyendrasana (half-spinal twist), Halasana (plough pose) helps in squeezing and compressing the abdomen and stimulating the pancreatic secretions or hormonal secretions which results in more insulin being pushed into the system. This gives new life to the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas of those suffering from type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Asanas help in stimulating the hormonal secretion of the pancreas and rejuvenating its capacity to produce insulin. They also strengthen the back muscles thus toning the abdominal viscera (muscles and internal organs).
Why: Stimulates pancreatic hormone secretion
- Stand straight with your feet close to each other and your knees, legs and hand held straight.
- Bring your right foot and keep it on your left thigh. If possible, make a right angle. If you can’t keep your foot on the thigh, keep your foot on the left leg in a comfortable position and maintain balance. Keep your right toe pointing downwards. The balance of the body depends on the left leg.
- Bring your palms together and to the middle of your chest with your fingers pointing upwards. Move your hands slowly overhead and keep your arms slightly bent.
- Keep this position for about 10 seconds. Breathe normally.
- Come back in the starting position and repeat the same procedure with the other leg.
- Try to do this at least 2-3 times
Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
Why: This helps in improving the functioning of pancreas and intestines, which in turn controls blood sugar levels. Practising this asana increases the function of organs like liver, pancreas, and enzyme producing organs.
-Lie down on your stomach and keep your feet hip width apart and your arms by your side.
-Bend your knees and hold onto your ankles.
-Breath in and lift your chest off the ground while pulling your legs up and back.
-Keep yourself balanced while paying attention to your breath. Make your body as taut as a bow.
-Keep the position for about 15 -20 seconds and let your breath out while gently bringing your legs and chest back to the ground.
-Let go of your ankles and relax.
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Why: It helps in stimulating the pancreas, spleen and activating the immune system by massaging all the internal organs including pancreas. It improves the functioning of the kidney and liver strengthens the abdominal muscles while also rejuvenating the mind.
-Lie down on your back and keep your arms beside you, palms facing downwards.
-Breath in and use your abdominal muscles to lift your feet off the floor and raise your legs vertically at a 90-degree angle. Breathe normally and support your hips and back using your hands and lift them off the ground.
-Sweep your legs in a 180-degree angle over your head until your toes touch the floor.
-Keep your back should be perpendicular to the floor.
-Hold this pose while letting your body relax
-Do this for a minute before gently bringing your legs down on exhalation.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Twist Pose)
This asana massages the kidneys, pancreas, small intestines, gall bladder and liver, which stimulates digestion and expels toxins. It increases spinal elasticity and tones the spinal nerves.
-Sit down and stretch the legs straight.
-Fold the right leg while keeping the heel touching the left leg's knee.
-Take the right hand to the back of the waist and spread the palms inside before placing it on the carpet.
-Bring the left hand close to the right knee before holding the right leg's ankle or big toe with the left hand.
-Twist your trunk to the right side and look straight to the right shoulder's side.
Other than these four poses, Suryanamaskar or the sun salutation is another highly effective exercise for diabetics as it is considered to be a complete body exercise. Doing it for 15 minutes every morning increases the metabolism rate of the body.
Stay safe, stay healthy :)