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Yes! Yoga asanas are good enough for diabetes management!
Yoga is considered a great form of exercise for good reason. Yoga exercises do more than relax your mind and body – they help lower blood pressure and help control blood sugar levels by improving blood circulation. Attending yoga classes is a great way to prevent the onset of diabetes. Moreover, Yoga benefits cardiovascular health, which may help prevent heart disease.
A combination of yoga, a healthy diet, and a few other lifestyle changes can help prevent not just diabetes but many other chronic diseases and illness. Certain yoga asanas and breathing exercises target certain organs – pancreas in the case of diabetes. Some of these poses increase blood flow to the pancreas in addition to rejuvenating pancreatic cells, which help the organ to produce an optimum amount of insulin for the body.
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The Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana is one of the best exercises for diabetes patients. It increases flexibility, improves respiratory tract functions, and the digestive processes. Those suffering from back pain can include it in their daily exercise routine; it strengthens the back muscles and eases the strain caused by sitting for long hours in the same place.
- Place a yoga mat on the floor and lie down on your stomach
- Bring your feet together or place them at hip-width. The upper part of your feet should press against the floor
- Place your hands on your sides and keep your elbows tucked in
- Raise your upper body – the head first and then the chest off the floor
- Let your shoulder muscles come close to each other
- Maintain this pose for 3-5 breaths
- Lower yourself back to the floor while exhaling
- Relax the back muscles. In this order - abdomen, ribs, chest, and shoulders - lower your body
This yoga asana is so named because it resembles a bridge. To get the best benefits of the bridge pose, perform it in the morning on an empty stomach. Doing it for 30 seconds to a minute is enough. You can do it in the evening if you haven’t eaten anything for 4 hours or more. Setu Bandhasana benefits include relieving stress and improved blood circulation along with reducing anxiety and depression.
- Lie on your back on the yoga mat
- Place your arms on the side and align your shoulders
- Place the feet at hip-width and fold your knees
- Start by lifting your lower back slowly followed by the middle and then the upper back
- Make sure to balance your weight equally on the shoulders, legs, and arms. Your legs should be parallel to each other
- Hold for 45 seconds to a minute and then assume the starting position
The asana gets its name from its benefits – it strengthens the body like a diamond. You can practice this pose after a meal. Perform this pose every day for about 5-10 minutes after lunch or dinner or any other time. Many of the breathing poses are performed in this position and it is great for meditation as well. The benefits of diamond pose are improved overall body functions and digestion. The diamond pose stimulates pancreatic cells and increases blood flow to the organ.
- Sit on your knees with your spine erect
- Position your feet so that your calves and feet are directly underneath your buttocks when you sit
- Make sure that your weight is equally balanced on both legs and your knees touch each other
- Place your palms on your knees. Your spine should be straight
- Hold the pose for 5 minutes. Increase the duration gradually
The Bow Pose is one of the twelve Hatha Yoga poses; it is great for the back. For best results, perform it in the morning on an empty stomach. Holding the pose for 15-20 seconds everyday energizes the pancreas. It decreases stress and is good for the heart as well. The bow pose relaxes the neck, shoulder, and chest muscles.
- Lie down on the mat on your stomach. Make sure you’re comfortable and your body is straight
- Bend your knees towards your buttocks and lift your arms to hold your ankles
- Once you get a proper hold of your legs, lift your chest slowly
- Make sure that your weight is distributed equally. Don’t force or strain yourself
- Hold the position for as long as possible
- Relax for sometime after releasing the pose
The Balasana resembles the baby’s position in the womb, which gives it the name. Perform it in the morning on an empty stomach when you feel fresh. It can be done in the evening as well but your last meal should be at least 4 hours ago. Doing it for 1-3 minutes every day is good for blood circulation and improving the breathing pattern. You can do it to relieve stress and to calm the mind.
- Assume a kneeling position with your knees at hip-width. Make sure that your big toes touch each other
- Bring your buttocks to your heels
- Next, lean forward so that your forehead rests on the floor
- Extend your arms in front of you. You can place your arms beside your torso with palms up as well
- Hold the pose for up to 5 minutes
- Lift yourself into a seated position to release
There are several other poses like Supta Baddha Konasana, Vakrasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana, and Chakrasana, which you can practice after you perfect these. Start Yoga at home or attend Yoga classes to control or prevent diabetes.