Diabetes mellitus is a condition that affects the body’s sugar metabolism. The primary issue with diabetes is the body’s inability to properly utilise sugar. Our unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet can increase the risk of developing diabetes.
Factors such as high blood pressure, inadequate sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, high-fat diets, and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to the development of diabetes. In addition, insufficient insulin production by the body can also lead to diabetes. When there is a lack of insulin reaching the pancreas, blood sugar levels rise. Insulin, a hormone produced by the digestive gland in our body, is responsible for converting food into energy.
One of the most concerning aspects of diabetes is that it gradually affects all parts of the body. This can result in complications such as eye problems, kidney damage, liver issues, heart disease, and foot problems. Diabetes is often referred to as the silent killer.
Yoga can help in managing diabetes by controlling high blood sugar levels in diabetics. Yoga Asanas, or yoga postures, are particularly beneficial for diabetic patients.
The following are some examples:
- Ardha Matsyendrasana: This asana improves lung capacity and helps them hold oxygen for longer periods. It also relieves back pain, making it beneficial for diabetics.
- Paschimottanasana: This asana should be performed to control high blood sugar. It activates all abdominal organs, which includes the pancreas that produces insulin.
- Chakrasana: This asana stretches the spine and relaxes back tissues. It is helpful in relieving stress and promoting relaxation.
- Dhanurasana: This asana is effective for people who have been suffering from diabetes for an extended period. It provides good exercise for the back and spine.
- Halasana: This asana is suitable for people who sit for long periods. It is helpful for problems related to posture and stimulates the throat gland, lungs, and other organs. It also improves blood circulation throughout the body.
- Sarvangasana: This posture corrects the thyroid gland, which regulates the body’s activities. The digestive system, nervous system, and respiratory system benefit from this asana.
Kapalbhati Pranayama: This pranayama is beneficial for diabetics, as it strengthens the body’s nerves and mind. It brings energy to the body and improves blood circulation. It also promotes calmness of mind.
Some precautions that should be taken by diabetic patients before practising yoga are:
- Consultation with a physician before starting any yoga practice.
- Avoid strenuous yoga postures that require a lot of physical exertion.
- Practice yoga under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.
- Diabetics should avoid practising asanas that put a strain on the abdomen or the back.
- Avoid practising asanas that require holding the breath for a long time.
- Avoid practising intense asanas.
- Avoid practising pranayama that involves retention of breath.
Overall, the practice of yoga and pranayama can be an effective way of managing diabetes. It can help in controlling blood sugar levels, improving circulation, and promoting relaxation and well-being.