By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Yoga can be an effective part of managing diabetes, due in part to the gentle massage that many poses give to internal organs and stimulating glands that regulate glucose levels in the blood.
Yoga Poses for Students with Diabetes
The most effective Yoga poses for diabetes treatment are those that gently compress the liver, stomach, pancreas and intestines. The gentle compression is helpful in stimulating each organ to function in the regulation of sugar levels in the body.
As a Yoga instructor, you can utilize poses (asanas) that are especially good for relieving diabetes related symptoms. Many of these asanas concentrate on the kidneys or lowering high blood pressure. The following asanas and sequences are a small sample of the possible movements recommended for diabetics.
Sun Salutation: This sequence generates heat within the body, cleanses your digestive system and engages the muscles in your abdomen.
Downward Facing Dog: Downward Facing Dog helps to alleviate high blood pressure and helps in digestion.
Triangle Pose: Another pose that can be difficult for beginners, Triangle helps aid in digestion.
Fish Pose: This pose is often difficult for beginners, but this asana has been labeled as, "the destroyer of all diseases." Fish Pose stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly.
Hero Posture: In addition to strengthening the pelvis, Hero is also good for helping with digestion and lowering blood pressure.
Corpse Pose: An easy and well-loved pose, the Corpse Pose helps remove impurities via perspiration and urine. Lying in corpse also helps lower a student's heart rate back to normal.
Depending on the student's ability, you can also incorporate mild inverted poses like Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani). For new Yoga students, Child's Pose is a wonderfully gentle pose to help with circulation as well as relive stress and fatigue.
Yoga and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Researchers estimate that much of the Type II diabetes, present around the world, could be reduced if patients maintained a healthy weight. Yoga can marginally help in weight loss, first by helping improve muscle tone through the use of asanas. With increased muscle tone, the fat that leads to diabetes can be lessened.
In addition, a regular Yoga practice promotes an awareness of one's self, including the issues that can lead to weight gain and the onset of Type II diabetes. Practicing Yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle, which leads many students to cut out the processed food in their diets and to begin eating fresh and whole foods instead.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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