By Faye Martins and Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
What is the best form of Yoga for diabetes? A movement-based form of Yoga would be helpful. Hatha and Vinyasa styles come to mind first. Yet, the type of Yoga should match the patient’s fitness level. Yoga poses are beneficial for people with diabetes in many ways. Yoga practitioners have active lifestyles. It is common for walkers, golfers, and tennis players to practice Yoga on a regular basis. However, you can practice movements and poses in your bed, on a chair, or sitting on your couch.
Are Yoga Poses a Cure for Diabetes?
No, but practicing postures is a great activity for anyone with diabetes. It improves cardiovascular health and lowers blood sugar levels. Additionally, posturing encourages the body to expend more energy than resting in bed which reduces the likelihood of obesity. However, there are some poses that are better than others. In general, movement helps the body reduce sugar levels. However, safety is a primary concern when we consider any form of exercise.
What are the Best Poses?
Firstly, Yoga poses should be kept in the comfort zone. Secondly, it’s very important to practice consistently. Thirdly, a realistic schedule should be maintained. Lastly, enthusiasm should be kept to a slow boil. People burn themselves out by taking on too many goals at once. So, Yoga for diabetes is a way of life. During practice, students should focus on being present and enjoying the experience.
But I Want Instant Results Now!
Of course, you want the quickest results and that is understandable. Diabetics should be in regular contact with their physicians. Your physician or health specialist knows about your medical history as well as any other patient. Together with your physician, you can compare notes and draw up a plan of action. Doctors often recommend Yoga, but you should still discuss this with your doctor. It is equally important to understand that any form of exercise presents a risk. On the other hand, doing nothing also presents a risk.
What’s My Guarantee?
We don’t guarantee anything – Even though Yoga poses often produce favorable results. Nevertheless, regular exercise, relaxation skills, better breathing, and endurance are beneficial for diabetic patients. Therefore, we don’t give guarantees because life has many factors that affect your health. After all, people are coping with so much stress these days. In reality, stress and anxiety cause many ailments and medical conditions. Indeed, stress and anxiety are only two of the many factors that affect health.
Why Should I Bother?
On the positive side, when diabetics take action they often experience wonderful results. On the negative side, doing nothing is a path of pain. We want to point out the power of taking action. Sometimes, Yoga sessions are designed to focus on cardiovascular disease prevention and management. It is important to realize that Yoga for diabetes classes exists. With this in mind, teachers can design them or diabetics can practice by video.
Statistics and A1c Levels
To be sure of your health situation it is important to consult with your physician. People are taking more responsibility than ever. With this in mind, you want to learn as much as you can. That is to say, you must learn everything you can about diabetes.
About Lowering Cortisol
One point often overlooked is Yoga can improve blood sugar levels by lowering the production of cortisol. Cortisol has been identified as a contributor to prediabetes and diabetes. Slowing the production of this hormone takes the pressure off the pancreas, preventing it from producing too many insulin spikes. Additionally, Yoga is known for its effectiveness in relieving emotional stress that can sometimes lead to poor eating habits and excess sugar intake.
What are the Best Postures?
As we mentioned before, movement-based Yoga will lower blood sugar levels. Even if you hold postures, blood sugar levels are lowered. Finger sticks, Dexcom, and Libre devices will verify that gentle exercise can help diabetics. Therefore, flowing sequences such as Sun Salutations, Dancing Warrior Series, and Moon Salutations are helpful for stabilizing blood sugar levels. All of these sequences can be modified for a Chair Yoga class.
Side Note for Teachers
One way to test demand for specialized classes is to run a workshop. In this case, one “Yoga for Diabetes Worskhop” will serve as a test to see whether there is demand in your area. Making people aware that they can take action is a big step. Make local physicians and medical facilities aware of your workshop. Sometimes, one workshop expands into a viable community program. On the other hand, this could be a once a year community workshop during the spring or fall. You will never know until you try.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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