Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate and Type 2 diabetes is affecting a growing number of people and at a younger age than ever before. Lifestyle changes have long been recommended for treating diabetes, including changes in diet and exercise habits. Yoga offers both short term and long term benefits for people with diabetes.
In the short term, a regular yoga practice has been shown in studies to help improve fasting glucose levels. Yoga also aids in digestion and improves metabolism, which is beneficial for people with diabetes. Circulation is also improved with a regular yoga practice.
In addition to helping to keep glucose levels under control, yoga offers benefits for several of the common complications of diabetes. Many people with diabetes experience high blood pressure and yoga has been shown to have a positively affect blood pressure.
A diabetes diagnosis is very stressful and the changes that are required in diet and lifestyle create additional anxiety and stress. Yoga is known to reduce stress, anxiety and improve depression. When you are adjusting to a new reality, yoga helps calm the mind and relax the body.
There are no specific asanas for diabetes, but you should use a mix of asanas in your practice to provide lasting benefits. There are many forms of yoga, so you can try the style that best fits your personal preferences. Some poses to include in your practice are downward facing dog, standing and seated forward bend, triangle pose, seated twist, and corpse pose.
A good hatha yoga class offers the variety of asanas needed to improve digestion, circulation, glucose levels, and provide stress relief benefits. In addition, hatha yoga uses modifications and props that are very helpful for new students and people with limited flexibility. If you have never practiced yoga before, check with your doctor and take a class with a certified yoga instructor to gain the full benefit of yoga for diabetes.