Does Yoga Prevent Diabetes?

Does Yoga Prevent Diabetes?
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

About Yoga

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice combining the body and mind. For many, yoga helps to improve the quality life. This starts by improving the physical and emotional well-being of oneself. Further, while other forms of exercise exhaust one’s energy, yoga actually does the exact opposite. Instead of staining the body of energy, it is a practice the creates more energy internally.  Yoga can be practiced by anyone irrespective of age, sex, fitness level. All you need is yourself! No heavy equipment or extra money required.

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Yoga and Diabetes

Yoga has been a growing trend in the Western world after hundreds of years of formation in the East. Now, more and more professionals are taking a unique look on how yoga helps patients suffering from many types of diseases. A study published in the journal, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, last year analysed available research looking at yoga’s influence on diabetes. The research, conducted by Marshall Govindan and Dr Emilia Ripoll Bunn, found that the direct stimulation of the pancreas by certain postures rejuvenated its capacity to produce insulin. The study also found that people who have a regular yoga practice experienced short term improvements in fasting glucose and cholesterol levels.

Yoga can do another key thing for your body. Build immunity. A consistent yoga  practice with correct techniques may bumps up the antioxidants throughout the body with a result of stronger immune functions. When this happened it can lead to a host of other great well-being like weight loss. If you are someone who wants to lose weight and maintain a normal weight, yoga can be quite effective. Power Yoga and Bikram, which both originated in America, are vigorous form of yoga that consumes calories resulting in weight loss.

Now you may be thinking, how can I start practicing yoga? Well, that’s the easy part!

Here are 3 Yoga Poses specifically for Diabetes

1. Vrikshasana aka Tree Pose

Yoga - Vrikshasana aka Tree Pose

Benefits: Stimulates the hormonal secretion on the pancreas.

Begin standing in with both feet flat, hip width a part, with your arms at your sides. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet, grounding down equally through your inner ankles, outer ankles, big toes, and baby toes. Shift your weight to your left foot. Bend your right knee, then reach down and clasp your right inner ankle. Use your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh. Do not rest your foot against your knee, only above or below it.

2. Dhanurasana aka Bow pose

Yoga - Dhanurasana aka Bow pose

Benefits: Improves the functioning of the pancreas.

Lay flat on your stomach with your chin on the mat and your hands resting at your sides. Slowly bend your knees. Bring your heels as close as you can to your buttocks, keeping your knees hip-distance apart. Reach back with both hands and hold onto your outer ankles. On an inhalation, lift your heels up toward the ceiling, drawing your thighs up and off the mat. Your head, chest, and upper torso will also lift off the mat. 

3. Halasana aka Plough pose

Yoga -  Halasana aka Plough pose

Benefits: Internally massages the pancreas.

Lay flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms down. Carefully life your legs and hips up toward the ceiling. Bring your torso perpendicular to the floor. Straighten your legs and slowly lower your toes to the floor with your legs fully extended. Lower the legs as far as possible, while keeping them legs straight. It is key to support the back with both hands throughout. 

These three yoga poses can help to control blood glucose levels. They also help with building immunity and weight loss if done regularly.  Ready, Set… Namaste!

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Reference source: The Beneficial Effects of Exercise and Yoga on Diabetes: a Survey of Medical Research