Diabetes: a yoga therapy practice

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Introduction

Substantial scientific evidence proves that combining a plant-based diet and regular physical exercise can prevent, ameliorate and even reverse Diabetes. [1,2,3]

You can find inspiration for plant-based recipes and discover the health benefits of their ingredients here: “Cinnamon Tea for diabetic patients” , “Ayurvedic porridge” and “Pink Hummous“.

More natural approaches to diabetes have been summarised in this review: “Medical cannabis & diabetes”

The following video gathers a collection (flow) of movements and exercises (asanas) specifically tailored for people suffering from Diabetes.
Yoga is a psycho-somatic science that can offer great support to the prevention & management of this disease.

Yoga for diabetes: where is the science?

Clinical trials have shown that yoga asanas have a beneficial effect on glycaemic control and improve nerve function.
The results indicate that in as little as 40 days of daily 30-40 minutes practice, there was significant decrease in fasting glucose levels as well as a decrease one hour postprandial blood glucose levels.

These postures and controlled breathing interact with somatoendocrine mechanism affecting insulin kinetics, moreover, the trials showed a significant decrease in waist-hip ratio and changes in insulin levels, suggesting a positive effect of yoga asanas on glucose utilisation and fat redistribution. [4,5]

The exercises selected for this sequence, if practised correctly, improve blood circulation. A particular focus is given to sensitive areas of the body mostly affected or prone to symptoms of diabetes, such as eyes (protection from diabetic retinopathy), legs and feet (relieve from diabetic ulcers), kidneys & bladder (preventing nephropathy), and pancreas (the organ deputed to insulin secretion) .
Yogic physical and breathing exercises are also valuable tools to prevent cognitive decline associated with diabetes.

Before the practice:

The yoga practitioner is encouraged to respect and appreciate the limits of his/her own body with patience and grace.
During the yoga practice the student must not become out of breath or feel any pain. If that should happen it’s necessary to interrupt the movement immediately and relax in Shavasana (resting position while laying down on the back with the legs at the edge of the mat and the arms away from the body with palms facing up).

For the above reasons, the exercises presented can also be perfectly practised at a lower pace with the help of props like belts, pillows and blocks according to each body. The asanas proposed are to be intended as general guide. They don’t take under consideration the different abilities of each individual determined by health condition, current use of medicines, body constitution, strength, flexibility or age.

The viewer is more than welcome to contact us for special sequence requests at: info@naturegoingsmart.com

 

References

  1. D A Snowdon,R L Phillips. x Does a vegetarian diet reduce the occurrence of diabetes? Am J Public Health. 1985 May;75(5):507-12.
  2. D M Dunaief, J Fuhrman, J L Dunaief, G Ying. Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in type 2 diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet. Journal: Open Journal of Preventive Medicine; ISSN 2162-2477; Vol. 02; Issue: 03; Start page: 364; Date: 2012.
  3. C B Trapp, N D Barnard. Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes. Curr Diab Rep. 2010 Apr;10(2):152-8.
  4. Malhotra, Varun, et al. “Effect of Yoga asanas on nerve conduction in type 2 diabetes.” Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology 46.3 (2002): 298-306.
  5. Malhotra, Varun, et al. “The beneficial effect of yoga in diabetes.” Nepal Medical College journal: NMCJ 7.2 (2005): 145-147.

Andrea Cristofoletto

Andrea Cristofoletto is a certified Yoga Teacher and has been studying the ancient science of yoga in India under the guidance of Sri Yogacharya Lalit Kumar from the Himalayan Tradition. He has deepened his knowledge on the therapeutic use of asana, pranayama, chanting, meditation and kriya techniques under the wise guidance of Ratheesh Kumar Atmaram. He has a BSc in Foreign Languages - Business Communication Specialist and graduated with a thesis on the socio-economic importance of the hemp fibre throughout history. Andrea has gained his experience through direct training in hemp fields practising organic agriculture.

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