Learn how yoga for diabetes is helpful and healthy!
Although yoga is mostly viewed as a series of strategic stretching exercises, it is in essence, a mind-body discipline for regeneration and transformation. Beyond the physical postures and breathing techniques, the overall philosophy of yoga is designed to forge a union between the mind, body and soul that enhances quality of life. In recent years, an emerging body of evidence from yoga and diabetes research also point to a strong connection between the use of yoga for diabetes to achieve lower blood sugar levels and better glucose metabolism. Several research studies also provide a scientific basis for using yoga for diabetes type 2 for both prevention and management.
There are three main components of yoga that has been shown to aid in diabetes management, enhance lung function, improve mood, sleep and overall quality of life. These are Asanas (yoga postures), Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing), Mindfulness which can be applied when doing yoga postures, for meditation and while eating.
Three Tips for Using Yoga for Diabetes
- Join a yoga class for proper instructions before incorporating yoga postures into your daily exercise routine. According to yoga experts, the following four asanas or yoga postures help to control diabetes by massaging and toning the pancreas and liver, stimulating the nervous and circulatory systems and balancing the functions of the endocrine system. These include:
- Dhanurasana or the Bow pose in prone position
- Ardhamatsyendrasana is a half spinal twist.
- Vrikshasana or tree pose
- Halasana or plough pose
- A daily practice of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing is encouraged to reduce stress by releasing accumulated tension and relaxing the mind. A simple explanation of this yoga technique begins with…
- Sitting in Sukhasana or cross-legged position.
- Closing the right nostril with your right thumb and inhaling slowly to fill up your lungs, then
- Exhaling slowly from the right nostril.
Doing this exercise is most beneficial if you focus on your breath and practice the technique slowly for three to 5 minutes. This exercise can be practiced any time of the day.
- Mindful eating is a yoga meditation practice that allows us to tune in to the body’s nutritional needs. According to a study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, researchers believe that the benefits of mindful eating include greater enjoyment of the flavors and textures of food, weight loss and better food choices. Researchers believe weight loss benefits has to do with body awareness that increases sensitivity to hunger and satiety. Take a look at the following steps to practice the technique of mindful eating…
- Sit down to eat.
- Before you begin eating, take a moment to think about how you feel.
- Pay attention to the food by turning off all distractions such as the TV, cell phone, etc.
- Be mindful of portions by plating your food. It is easier to avoid overeating if you can see how much you are eating.
- Choose a small rather than large size plate.
- Take time to express gratitude for the food before you begin eating.
- Chew slowly. Although mindful eating experts suggest getting at least 30 chews out of each bite, the premise is to slow down and enjoy the flavors and textures of the food in your mouth before you swallow. This they suggest, helps to prevent overeating by giving your digestive system time to send a message to the brain when you are full.
- Put down your utensil between bites.
- Stop eating when you are full.
While research into the benefits of yoga for diabetes continue, there is sufficient evidence that it is an economic and beneficial tool for promoting overall health and well-being.