Yoga can help you more than just relaxing your body and mind — especially if you’re living with diabetes. Certain poses, also known as ‘Asanas’ may help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels while also improving circulation. Experts recommend yoga to many patients for diabetes management.
Begin yoga with holding each posture for about five seconds, or as long as is comfortable. As you progress further, gradually increase the duration of each pose until you can comfortably hold asanas for up to one minute each.
Below are a few asanas which are found to be effective for diabetics:
Dhanurasana (bow pose)
Dhanura = Bow, Asana = Pose
Bend back into the shape of a bow. You will realise that the torso and legs form the body of the bow and the arms become the string.
Tip: If you find it difficult to lift your thighs from the floor, use a rolled-up blanket, to support your thighs so that your legs can get a little upward boost.
Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend)
Paschima = Western, Uttana = Intense stretch, Asana = Pose
Stretch the back of your entire body, from your heels to your head. This helps to open your hips; reinforces your agni (digestive fire) and results in inner state of calm and peace.
Tip: Don’t round and harden your back, pushing your torso away from your legs as this can strain your back.
Padangusthansana (head to toe pose)
Pada = Foot, Angustha = Big toe, Asana = Pose
This asana requires you to stand up straight and place your feet parallel to each other. The next step is to bend forward so that your forehead touches your knees. Do not forget to hold the big toe with fingers of each hand. This pose gently lengthens and strengthens your tight hamstrings.
Tip: Use a yoga strap to keep your knees straight by looping the strap around the middle of each arch and handhold the same.
Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
Bhujanga = Serpent or snake, Asana = Pose
Start doing this asana by lying on your stomach with your forehead on the floor. Keep your feet or hip together or width apart. Start by lifting your head off the ground. At the same time lift your chest too. Remember to keep your elbows slightly bent.
Tip: Don’t overdo the back bend as it can put lot of strain on your back.
Sarvangasana (shoulder stand)
This asana reduces backache and can help you get sleep. Lie face upwards and raise your legs bringing them to a 90 degree angle. Slowly bring your legs close to your head by raising the buttocks up. Your legs, abdomen and chest should form a straight line. Use your palms for back support.
Tip: In this pose, you might end up stretching your neck a little too much by pulling the shoulders too far away from the ears. Lift the shoulders slightly towards the ears to keep the back of the neck and throat soft.
Supplement your yoga exercises with proper diet and rest. By including yoga as a part of your lifestyle, you can get enough relief and enjoy a new level of health and well-being.