The increasing stress levels, the highly competitive workplace, growing reliance on junk or readymade/pre-cooked food and tight schedules are hampering our health significantly. Lifestyle diseases are some of the most commonly heard illness in the present context and more and more people are falling prey to it. Diabetes probably claims one of the largest numbers of victims. It is a situation where a person’s blood cells do not respond to the natural insulin produced in the body. If you are wondering how you can contain this, my answer is a balanced diet with regular yoga. Yoga! Does that surprise you? Well yes, it is one of the most effective ways to strengthen the body functions and bring about lasting improvement to your overall being.
How Yoga Helps Prevent Diabetes?
So before I go onto explain what kind of yoga you need to practice, a bit of background study about why yoga is an effective tool is important. Regular yoga helps in reducing the stress, lowers the blood pressure levels and the severity of the symptoms and keeps a check on your body weight. As a result, this also reduces the chance of future complications. Improved blood supply through regular practice also makes the body start responding to the natural insulin and keep the glucose level in check.
Yoga Postures Suitable For Preventing Diabetes
All yogic postures that look to bring down stress, strengthen the function of the pancreas and reduce blood pressure work in tandem to tackle diabetes.
Topmost on the list is calming the mind and reducing the stress, the biggest cause for diabetes. Systematic, uniform and deep exhalation and inhalation calms the minds, rests the nerves and betters the blood circulation level. You must remember that a pranayama should be done in the lotus pose or ‘padmasana’. The chin should be parallel to the floor and the hands in ‘dhyan mudra’ meaning the tips of your thumb and pointer should be touching each other, and the hands need to rest on the knees. Try to keep your eyes shut during the breathing period, called the ‘Anulom-Vilom Pranayam’.
As the name suggests, it is a way to release extra gas outside the body and thereby strengthening the function of the pancreas. You need to lie on your back on a yoga mat and take a deep breath. Then bring your right knee to your chest. Hold it tightly with your hands and press it closer to your abdomen with every exhalation. Then try and lift your head and let your nose or forehead touch your knee. Remember to breathe out while lifting your head. Slowly put your head down, release your legs, straighten them to a 30-degree position and rest out for 5 deep breaths in ‘savashana’. Repeat the same sequence with the other leg and then both legs together. It strengthens your back and abdominal muscles and tones the muscles in your arm and legs. Also, it works a long way in massaging the organs in your abdomen. It also eases blood circulation and improves blood flow to the lower half of the body.
Viparit Naukasan (Superman pose)
It helps in stretching the chests, arms, legs, abdomen, lower back and shoulders. It massages the spines to help it stretch and regulate your bowel movement. Also, the pressure on the abdomen helps in effective functioning of the organs in the region. Another advantage of this exercise is it helps in calming the mind too.
You need to lie down on your stomach and keep your toes, fingers and hands in a straight line close to each other. Now stretch your arms in the front and legs on the opposite side. Don’t forget to raise your legs slowly as well. Keep breathing; keeping your attention on the stretch. Remember to exhale while you are coming out of the asana.
Remember that relaxation is as important as the workout. Savasana or Corpse Pose is perhaps the easiest exercise All you need to do is lie on your back, stretch your hands as far away from your hand as possible. Take deep breaths and help the body cool down, relax and ease out stress from the system.
Paucity of space restrains me to add detailed about the other yogic postures that can very helpful. Dhanurasan or the body shaped like a bow; Paschimottasana and Chakrasana are also effective ways to keep the disease at bay. By following a regular model of learning, you can, hopefully, bid adieu to Diabetes forever.