Yoga for Diabetes

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Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes – the most misunderstood disease…!!!

Today the entire world is in the grip of Diabetes. It is very difficult to exactly explain how and why we become diabetic, but here is a small video by DiabetesUK that is quite easy to grasp:

It is majorly caused due to an increase in the level of Blood Sugar as a result of lack of insulin and/or resistance of our cells to insulin. Modern medicine is only able to provide control over it. As of today, there is no cure for this disease. It also leads to other ailments such as failure of Liver and Kidneys, Heart diseases, Muscular/Joint pain, Skin rashes, blurred vision and much more. There are millions of people suffering from Diabetes and it’s side effects. The only way to control Diabetes other than pharmaceutical is a complete change in lifestyle. On one side one must change what one eats. We’ve written a couple of articles on migrating to Raw food (Part 1, Part 2). On the other one must adopt Yoga to control it. As Baba Ramdev explains there are 5 ways to control Diabetes – Pranayama, Acupressure, Asanas, Household Remedies and finally if the disease has reached acute status, then Ayurvedic Treatment. In this Article, we will be covering the Sukshm Vyayam (small exercises) and Asanas.

The only way to control Diabetes other than pharmaceutical is a complete change in lifestyle.

So just like every other workout that we’ve covered in this category, one must start with half an hour of performing the 7 Pranayama as covered in the Great Breathing section. This is specifically very useful for people who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes. Pranayama also reduces the possibility of all the other ailments that accompany Diabetes. It not only relieves stress and tension but also activates Pancreas which is the body’s only natural source of insulin. Once you’ve finished with the Pranayamas and in case you feel a little tired, do take a small break and then start the following workout:

We start by doing 7 Sukshm Vyayam (small exercises). These small exercises will loosen up your joints and flex your muscles so that you can then undertake the Asanas.

Exercise 1: For the Ankles – Rotate your ankle back and forth. With great effort, your entire foot must extend and retract. This is very good for Arthritis and you’ll start feeling the release of tension from your feet.

Now rotate both ankles together clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat each of these at least 5 times.

Exercise 2: For the Hips – Butterfly is an exercise for the hips. Bend your knees and connect the bottom of your feet. Grab them with both hands by interlocking the fingers. Now make a butterfly wing-like action with your legs. You can repeat this exercise till you start feeling your hips loosening up and relaxing.

Exercise 3: For the Wrists – Make a fist with both hands with your thumb curled inside the fingers and then rotate them, first clockwise and then anti-clockwise.

Exercise 4: For the Shoulders – Bend your arms and place your fingers on your shoulders. Connect your elbows in front of your chest. Now, while breathing in, rotate your arms up and around your shoulders, all the way back as far as possible. Continue rotating your shoulders, while breathing out, till your elbows re-connect in front of your chest. First, do this clockwise and then anti-clockwise.

Exercise 5: For the Shoulders – Now stretch your arms above your head and grab each other at the wrists. While breathing in pull your left hand with your right hand behind your head. Make sure your neck is straight. Then, while breathing out, come back and pause in the middle. Do the same on the other side. Take caution and perform this exercise slowly if you suffer from cervical spondylitis or pain in the neck. All these ailments will subside with this exercise.

Exercise 6: For the Neck – Lift your right arm, place it on the side of your head and press against each other. The pressure will create a shiver in the neck muscles and strengthen them. Do the same for the other side, from the front and from the back.

Exercise 7: For the Shoulders – Place both your hands on your knees and rotate your shoulders clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat this at least 5 times each.

Now we will perform 9 Asanas.

Asana 1: Mandukasana (Frog Pose) – We start with the first exercise by sitting in Vajrasana (Diamond pose). Caution to all the people with backache is to not bend forwards and to all the people with Hernia is to not bend backwards. If you suffer from Heart Problems or have high Blood Pressure then it is advised that you do not perform the more difficult exercises of today. Also, make sure that you breathe in while bending backwards and breathe out while bending forwards. These are special instructions you must follow at any cost and make sure that you do not perform yogic exercises after eating a meal. If you must do it after a meal then make sure that there is a gap of at least 5 hours.

Now, make fists with both hands by curling your thumbs inside your palm and wrapping your fingers around them. Hold both the fists against each other in front of you, palms facing down. Take a deep breath, then exhale and compress your stomach as much as you can. Now press both hands towards your stomach right where your naval is. Maintaining this posture, bend down in front of you as much as your body will allow. Huge caution, people with back ache must never bend forwards. Hold this pose for a moment and then while inhaling get back up. This Asana is very good for Hernia and is known to prevent/reduce Diabetes, along with many stomach related ailments and all digestive problems.

The second method of performing this Asana is to do it with open palms instead of fists. Place your left hand on your navel and right hand over it. Now repeat the same process as explained above.

Asana 2: Shashankasana (Hare Pose) – Continue sitting in Vajrasana and extend both your hands and place them on your knees. While inhaling raise your hands and bend backwards as far as possible. Turn your head and look upwards. Now while exhaling bend forwards and place your extended hands in front of you, on the ground, along with your elbows and head. Hold this pose for a while. Then repeat at least a couple of times. When you’re finished bring your hands down from the sides. Again, take caution that if you have backache, never bend forwards.

Asana 3: Yoga Mudrasana (Psychic Union Pose) – This Asana is similar to Mandukasana, but instead of performing it in Vajrasana, we perform it in Padmasana. Those who find it difficult to sit in Padmasana may perform it while sitting in Sukhasana. Very beneficial for stomach related ailments and Diabetes. In the first pose, you will place your hands in front of your naval and while breathing out bend forwards. Hold this pose for a moment and while breathing in relax back to your initial pose.

The second method of performing this Asana involves holding your arms behind your back while bending forwards.

Asana 4: Ardha Matsyendrāsana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) – Again fold your left leg and place it under your hips so that you end up sitting on it. Then fold your right leg and place it over the left leg, so as to place your right foot on the ground next to your left leg. Now twist your waist towards your right and grab your right foot with your left hand. Make sure that your left arm is going around your right knee. Also, twist your right hand around your full body and try to touch your right thigh. Try to maintain your balance and at the same time look as far back as possible. Hold this pose for a while and breathe normally. After a moment or so relax your arms and legs and slowly come back to your initial pose.

Repeat the same from the other side.

Asana 5: Vakrasana (Twisted Pose) – People who might find it difficult to perform Ardha Matsyendrāsana may attempt an easier manner. Instead of crossing your legs, just fold your right leg and place it next to you left thigh and perform the Asana.

Repeat the same from the other side.

The following 3 Asanas are performed to reduce weight and balance out your weight evenly over your whole body.

Asana 6: Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose) – Lift your right leg up to 90 degrees and rotate it back down. Repeat for the other leg. This same exercise may also be performed with both legs together. Make sure your legs are straight at all times. You may repeat this exercise from 5 to 10 times. People with heart diseases, high blood pressure and Hernia may avoid doing this exercise.

Asana 7: Padvritasana – Again, keeping your legs straight, rotate them around your hips so as to make a complete circle. Place your hands firmly on your side, palms down, to balance yourself while performing this exercise. You may do this first with your right leg, then left leg and finally with both legs. First do it clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Repeat each one of these exercises 5 to 10 times.

Once you’ve done this Asana with individual legs, you may also perform the same with both legs.

Asana 8: Dwichakrikasana (Leg Rolling) – Lift both legs up together. Then bend them at the knees so as to touch your thighs to your chest and then straighten them back down. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Asana 9: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – This is also considered as the Asana for relaxation. Extend your feet as far back as possible; place both hands on the sides of your chest and chin on the ground. Slowly, while breathing in, raise your head up and look upwards. Take caution that if you have Hernia, do not perform this Asana and if you have heart-related ailments then don’t exert too much strength. Keep looking up, elbows must be a little bent and body must be uplifted till your naval. Hold this pose for some time and while exhaling come back down. Repeat at least a couple of times.

The second method of performing this Asana is to place your hands under your throat, right below your chin. Keep your left hand on the ground and right hand over it. Again, slowly, while inhaling, raise your head up and look upwards. Keep looking up, elbows must be a little bent and body must be uplifted till your naval. Hold this pose for some time and while exhaling come back down. Repeat at least a couple of times.

The third method of performing this Asana is to place your hands on the sides of your chest, chin on the ground and while breathing in, lift your head up along with your palms parallelly. Hold this pose for a moment and while breathing out lower yourself to the initial pose. Repeat at least couple of times.

The fourth method of performing this Asana is to place your hands on the sides of your chest, chin on the ground and spread your legs apart by approximately feet or so. Now, while breathing in, raise your head up, turn around over your right shoulder and try to look at your left heel. Hold this pose for a moment and while breathing out relax back to the initial pose. Repeat on the other side.

As we conclude the Yogic exercises, it is important to relax by lying down in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) for a while. Relax your legs and place your arms on your sides while slowly breathing. This will let your body calm down and your breathing will become normal and relaxed. Concentrate on your breathing and immerse yourself in the spirituality of your beliefs. Your mind and body will align and all psychological and physical ailments will leave you.

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