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Yoga’s Positive Effect on Diabetes
There have been a number of studies conducted on the effects of yoga as an adjunct treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For the sake of this article, we will limit the scope of our information for type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, yoga can be used as an effective therapy in reducing oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes. Yoga, in addition to standard care, helps reduce BMI and improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients.
Yoga postures (asanas), that aid relaxation, stretch the pancreas, which can stimulate the production of insulin-producing beta cells are beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. Yoga also aids in the following ways by:
Exercising the muscles
- Like other forms of exercise, yoga increases glucose uptake by muscular cells, which, in turn, helps to lower blood sugar levels, improve circulation and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Promoting weight loss
- Exercising through yoga can reduce weight and improve weight control, both of which are essential for diabetes management and for protecting against conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Improving your mental attitude
- Regular yoga practice can help to focus the mind and create the right mental approach to dealing with diabetes.
The best beginning yoga for individuals with diabetes will include postures and breathing exercises that are designed specifically to target and stimulate the pancreas. By improving blood flow to the pancreas, yoga postures for diabetes rejuvenate the organ's cells and improve its ability to produce insulin for the body.
An example of this is the pose, Paschimotasana. This is a sitting asana also referred to as the "forward seated bend." This asana is good for those suffering from diabetes. It is known to stimulate the functioning of internal organs like the liver, pancreas and kidneys.
Sit on your yoga mat in a comfortable position with your legs outstretched in front of you. Bend your head to touch your knees and exhale completely.
Grasp your toes with your fingers. Maintain this position for a few breaths and inhale when you return to your original position.
Repeat this asana 2-3 times.