Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Yoga for Diabetes: Yoga for Blood Sugar
Blood glucose is our main source of energy and comes from the food we eat and its subsequent digestion. Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose or blood sugar is either too high or too low. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from the food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes, your body doesn't make any/enough insulin or doesn't use it well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn't reach your cells. This leads to having excess glucose in your blood which causes various health problems.
There are various common kinds of diabetes:
Type 1: in which your body does not make enough insulin, the immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make the insulin.
Type 2: in which your body does not use the insulin well and glucose becomes an excess in the blood.
Type 3: also called Gestational diabetes which usually develops in some women when they are pregnant.
While diabetes may not have a complete cure, one can take steps to manage or control the blood sugar.
This yoga sequence for diabetes demonstrates the sequencing of various yoga poses to activate different muscles and nerves in the body, since the muscles and nerves in the body are affected the most due to high/low blood sugar levels, over a period of time. The digestive system plays a very important role here and hence, in this yoga sequence, the various yoga poses are mostly related to the digestive system. This is done to make sure there is improvement in digestion while keeping the other organs of the body in mind like the kidney, pancreas, liver, reproductive organs, nervous system, and circulatory system. Emphasis is placed on breathing correctly as the nervous system and the circulatory system get affected the most due to blood sugar.
Hence, various methods of pranayama are included and focus should be to stay longer with this practice. This helps to improve the flow of blood and the oxygen levels in the blood, which in turn helps to control the blood sugar levels.
Note: Patients with diabetes must take certain precautions such as keeping fruit juice or hard boiled candies handy. It is also essential to take help and guidance from a medical professional or a yoga therapist while practicing therapeutic yoga.
Yoga for Diabetes: Yoga for Blood Sugar: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A. Calming the body and the mind helps to understand the body better and also helps to watch the stretches in each pose, to make the experience a bliss!
B. Seated at the center of the mat, cross your legs as you feel comfortable and raise the spine while closing your eyes. Begin to work with the breath and the movement of the body.
C. Seated here in Sukhasana with palms close to the belly, watch the slow expansion and the contraction of the belly while inhaling and exhaling. Connect this movement and bring the mind to relax and ease the facial muscles.
D. Sit here taking about 12 breaths or more till one feels comfortable with both the breath and the body. One could sit on a cushion or a blanket to raise the spine for easy flow of prana.
A. Stretching the legs out in front of you, sit in Staff Pose or Dandasana taking the stretch to a comfortable pose.
B. Throwing the legs out, one could also move the ankles and the feet to ease the tightness around the joints and sit for about 4 breaths till comfortable.
C. To connect to the breath, while keeping the body at ease helps in the improvement of flow of blood and with the right amount of oxygen flow too. Relaxing the mind is very essential to keep one away from all kinds of aliments and given that blood sugar disease is very common, this practice becomes important.
A. Moving from Dandasana, inhale and stretch the arms above the head and as you exhale take the arms forward along with the torso in a forward bend in Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend Pose.
B. As you exhale, stretch forward reaching for the feet with your hands and settle the face on the thighs or the knees.
C. This pose begin with the releasing of unwanted indigestion, helps to also improve the functioning of the digestive system. Hence pressing the belly as close to the thighs requires some practice and this can be done using the breath intelligently.
D. Pulling yourself forward while interlocking the arms around the feet is a good way to start. But ensure not to go beyond your comfort zone.
E. Stay here for about 8 breaths, and with every exhalation, go deeper forward.
A. Releasing the body from Seated Forward Bend Pose, sit up and stretch the legs out. Inhale and bend the right leg at the knee while folding it and placing it on the floor.
B. Bring the right foot close to the perineum while stretching the left leg out completely. Inhale and raise the arms above your head and while exhaling bring them forward along with the torso and reach for the left foot, while resting the face close to the left thigh.
C. Seated here in Janu Sirsasana or Head to Knee Pose, for about 8 breaths making sure the stretch is felt both at the lower back and the hamstrings.
D. The idea of practicing this pose, is more for the digestive system and the abdominal organs, and hence don't push yourself to become flexible here.
E. This pose with the belly pressed towards the thighs, activates the pancreas inducing in the production of insulin.
F. Release and bring the left leg bent at the knees and repeat the same now as above with this leg.
G. The process of slowly maintaining the body in this pose for longer has better impact on the digestive system and make sure the idea here is to be there more out of comfort and not to push yourself.
A. From Janu Sirsasana, stretch the legs out completely and sit here in Dandasana taking a few breaths.
B. Then inhaling bend the left leg and bring the left thigh on the floor, while placing the sides of the left foot close to the right side of the hips on the floor.
C. Inhale and bring the right leg bending at the knee and placing the right foot on the floor close to the outside of the left knee while pressing the right thigh close to your chest while exhaling.
D. Seated here in this lovely posture of Ardha Matsyendrasana with arms close to the shine, exhale and take the torso in a twist towards the right side gazing behind.
E. Place the left elbow on the outside of the right knee and bring the hand on the right shin. Place the right hand on the floor behind you close to the hips, while taking the shoulders and the chest in a gentle twist in Half Lord Of the Fishes Pose.
F. Sit here for 4 breaths taking the twist deeper with every exhalation. Make the pose comfortable by breathing slow and deep and remain here closing the eyes. Release and stretch the legs while going into the pose with the other leg .
G. This pose with the pressure at the belly, induces the digestive system, while also using the abdominal muscles and the chest muscles to go deeper into the pose.
A. To continue activating the abdominal muscles, release from Ardha Matsyendrasana Pose, and sit with the legs stretched out in front of you.
B. From Dandasana, bring the legs bending at the knees and placing the feet behind you while sitting on the heels in simple Vajrasana.
C. Seated here in Vajrasana, take a few breaths and stretch the back upwards.
D. Inhale and interlock the arms behind your at the fingers and pull the arms downwards and stretch the chest out and the shoulders behind.
E. Inhale and raise the arms behind you and as you exhale take the torso forward pushing the belly and the chest close to the thighs while placing the forehead on the floor in Bowing Yoga Mudra.
F. Yoga Mudra has it's own advantages and going down here in the forward bend gives an extra advantage ensuring the digestive system with the various organs like the kidney, liver, pancreas, intestines etc are put to work.
G. The pulling of the arms helps to take the spine forward while also expanding the chest and heart ensuring the improvement in the circulatory system too.