Diabetes is no longer a foreign name to us. Over the years, the cases of Diabetes have increased. This can happen to anybody, no matter what the age, place, or genetic history is. Poor Diet and lack of exercise have fast-tracked this condition into an epidemic. If it is not taken care of, then it can become a serious threat to your life. Daily practice of Yoga Asanas for Diabetes can help us in control blood sugar.
Yoga can cure Diabetes! Yes, you heard it right, Diabetes can be controlled by practicing various yoga exercises such as meditation, asana, pranayama, good diet and related activities. Yoga can do wonders in reducing your high blood sugar levels.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disease which occurs when the pancreas ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired which is responsible for maintaining sugar levels in the body. Diabetes is classified as two types –
Type 1 Diabetes
It is a chronic condition which occurs when the pancreas fails to secrete enough insulin. This condition affects people below the age of 30.
Type 2 Diabetes
It is a chronic condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin. Thus, results in increased blood sugar levels. It is mainly caused by body overweight and inactivity. Type 2 Diabetes affects almost 90% of diabetes patients.
This type of condition occurs in pregnant women without the previous history of Diabetes.
How Yoga Helps to cure Diabetes
- It helps to regenerate and restores pancreatic cells by abdominal stretching.
- It helps in muscular relaxation, improves blood circulation in muscles and enhances muscular development.
- Regular Yoga exercises can reduce body weight which is very vital to keep diabetes under check.
- Yoga postures help to improve insulin sensitivity which results in better glucose uptake and blood sugar reduction.
- It helps to stimulate pancreas by enhancing circulation in the pancreas and empowers its capacity to produce insulin.
- Many Yoga Asanas squeeze and compress the abdomen and helps to stimulate the pancreatic secretions which make more insulin to flow into the blood.
Let us talk about the Top 10 Yoga Asanas for Diabetes to Keep Blood Sugar Control!
1. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
Benefits: Surya Namaskar is an extremely useful yoga practice for diabetic patients as it helps to improve blood circulation in pancreas and upgrades the use of insulin in the body. If it is done at a slow pace (at least six rounds a minute), Suryanamaskar works best to give you significant benefits.
Check out our tutorial video of the traditional Hatha sun salutation over on the Mahi Yoga Youtube channel.
2. Trikonasana (the triangle pose)
Benefits: This yoga asana help to the damaging effect of diabetes on kidneys which is a major risk every diabetic patient is more likely to experience. And thus helps in better digestion and absorption in the body.
How to do it
- Position your legs 3 feet apart in a standing position, turn your right toes to the right wall and keep your left toes slightly inwards. Breathe in and press the left hips out to the left as you slide both of your arms to the right parallel to the floor.
- Breathe out and swing only the arms, raising your left arm up and resting your right hand against your right leg, with the palms facing front.
- Keep your legs strong, press into the feet, and pull up the knee caps. Bring your arms into one straight line with the shoulder piled on top of each other, try to reach the fingertips away from each other. Press the left hip forward and the right hip backwards.
- Take breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.
- Breathe in and reach the raised hand up towards the ceiling as you touch down your feet using the whole body to lift back into the starting position.
- Repeat this pose on the other side.
3. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Benefits: This Yoga Asana is very useful in strengthening the spine and improved functionality of abdominal organs, thereby supporting digestion.
How to do it
- Lie face-down with legs a couple of inches apart
- Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing toward the top of the mat
- Press down through the tops of your feet
- Lift your head and chest slightly off the floor
- Let your shoulders back and far from your ears
- Straighten your arms, lift your chest off the floor and touch tops of your thighs down into the floor
4. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Benefits: This asana helps in proper toning of the abdominal organs along with pancreas by stretching the abdominal muscles. When done with controlled breathing, this asana helps to encounter diabetes.
How to do it
- Twist your right leg and keep your right foot on your left thigh.
- Bend the right leg and put it on your right thigh.
- Arch your back to the maximum with the help of your elbows and rest your head on the ground.
- Hold the big toes with your hands.
5. Shalabhasana (Grasshopper/Locust pose)
Benefits: Shalabhasana Yoga Asanas for Diabetes also helps in control the level of blood sugar. This asana is very useful in diabetic treatment as it pushes abdominal organs, exercises the leg and back muscles, and helps in relieving stress.
How to Do It
- Lie with your abdomen on the ground and keep your hands by your side.
- As you breathe in, lift your legs and your upper torso also.
- Lift your leg upwards without twisting your knees using your inner thighs. Your weight should rest on your abdomen and lower ribs.
- Stay in this pose for a minute and then release.
6. Vakrasana (Twisted pose)
Benefits: This Asana helps to controls the enlargement of the liver and also stimulates the pancreas. It also helps in removing extra fat around the tummy.
How to do it
- First, sit comfortably in a cross-legged position.
- Now, keep your right hand on your left knee.
- Try to bend your body in the left direction.
- Keep your posture straight.
- Also, try doing this posture in the right direction.
7. Mandukasana (Frog pose)
Benefits: This yoga practice is very beneficial for people suffering from high blood sugar levels as it puts pressure on the pancreas and helps in the proper functioning of all abdominal organs.
How to do it
- Lie down on the floor in Vajrasana position
- Make fists of both your hands and put them on your tummy such that the joint comes on the navel.
- Press both of fists against your abdomen.
- Then, try to touch the ground with your forehead as much as you can.
- Now try to bend downwards as much as possible.
- Stay in this position for at least 20 seconds and then release.
8. Padahastasana (hand under foot pose)
Benefits: Padahastasana Yoga Asanas for Diabetes also helps to control the blood sugar level. This forward-bending yoga posture helps in the direct stimulation of glands and organs present in the abdominal area, such as liver, pancreas, and kidneys. It helps in the abdominal muscles strengthening and improve the functioning of abdominal organs.
How to Do it
- First, start in a standing forward bend with your feet separated till hip distance.
- Twist your knees and raise the balls of your feet off the ground to slip your hands, palms face up, below your feet.
- Let your toes to come right into your wrist wrinkles.
- Touch your palms with the balls of your feet and let your head relax.
- Now, Breathe for some three deep breaths.
9. Pavanmuktasana (wind-relieving pose)
Benefits: It is a gas-releasing yoga posture which helps to compress up the entire body system, including liver, pancreas, and abdominal muscles and helps to release excess gas present in the abdomen. It also helps in relieving constipation which is another common problem faced by diabetic patients.
How to Do It
- Lie flat on your back with your legs stretched, feet together, and put your arms beside your body.
- Take your breath in and while you exhale, bring your knees towards your chest. Make sure to press your thighs on your abdomen area.
- Now, hold your hands around your legs. It seems like you are hugging your knees.
- Stay in this pose for few breaths. During the posture, every time you breathe out, make sure to tighten the grip of your hands on the knee and put more pressure on your chest.
- With every breath, let the grip of your hands-free. When you tighten the grip, the excess gas in your abdomen gets released.
- You can also rotate your body from one side to the other while remaining in this pose.
- Now, breathe out and release the pose.
- Take a few breaths and relax. Repeat it for at least 3-4 times.
10. Viparit Karani (legs up the wall pose)
Benefits: This yoga asana helps to stimulate the pancreas and other abdominal organs and acquires significant improvement in blood sugar control.
How to Do It
- Lay down flat on your back in the supine position.
- Bring your buttocks closer to the wall as much as you can and breathe in slowly and deeply.
- Keep both of your legs straight and rest them on the wall.
- Bend your toes towards your body until you feel the stress on your hamstrings.
- Extend both of your hands on either side of your body.
- Stay in this position and breathe for at least 2-3 minutes.
Unhealthy lifestyle, Stress, fatigue, and inactivity are a few of the biggest contributors to diabetes becoming the biggest killer, mainly in India. If not taken care properly, it can lead to a devastating effect on our lives. It is very important to adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes yoga, meditation, and diet. Yoga has been a cure for many diseases for ages. It is very beneficial for your health. Doing Yoga for one hour in a day will help keep you fit, fine and healthy forever.
Try doing these top 10 Yoga Asanas for Diabetes to Keep Blood Sugar Control and see the results!
Images were taken in Tenby on our Mahi Yoga, yoga teacher training workshop in the United Kingdom.