Yoga and Diabetes
Diabetes can be defined as a cluster of metabolic diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose (hyperglycemia). This may be as a result of defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. It is a complex condition with a multitude of metabolic imbalances involving the regulation and utilization of insulin and glucose (sugar) in the body.
How yoga helps
Regular practice of yoga does reduce blood sugar levels, the blood pressure, weight, the rate of progression to the complications, and the severity of the complications as well. Yoga’s effectiveness at preventing and treating diabetes is due to its emphasis of a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as its ability to balance the endocrine system, massage and tone the abdominal organs, stimulate the nervous and circulatory systems, and reduce stress.
Exercise is a highly effective part of diabetes treatment because it increases insulin sensitivity and lowers blood sugar. Many studies have reported the beneficial effect of the practice of yoga on diabetes, confirming that the practice of postures can stimulate the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.
Important Asanas/ Pranayama for Diabetes
Any pose that compresses the abdomen will help stimulate the pancreas, with prone (Advasana) poses being the most effective. Forward bending poses have a calming effect on the body. Some of the poses are given below:
Pranayama will also be calming and stress reducing. Yoga has also been proven helpful for weight management, blood sugar control, as well as lowering of the dosage of diabetic medications.
Stress has been shown to play an important role in diabetes by elevating blood glucose levels and increasing the odds of developing certain complications, such as heart disease, stroke and infections. And having a chronic disease that requires major lifestyle changes and constant monitoring can be very stressful in itself. Research now shows that chronically elevated levels of cortisol (hormone produced by the stress response) can lead to blood sugar problems, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Yoga and meditation are the two best practices to reduce stress. And yoga has shown dramatically Changes to lower cortisol levels in the body.
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