Managing your diabetes requires a strict workout and diet plan. While restricting your sugar intake is crucial in lowering your blood sugar levels, exercise and mental health are equally important in preventing sugar spikes in your bloodstream.
Yoga Asanas is an excellent way to keep your blood sugar levels steady by practicing various stretching exercises and poses. It induces a sense of calm and stability, improves your mood, and reduces mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
Health Benefits of Yoga Asanas
Yoga Asanas has been around since ancient times and practiced to attain physical and mental health benefits. Yoga can improve the quality of your life while helping you manage symptoms of various ailments.
Yoga Asanas consists of stretching and strengthening exercises by combining them with posture targeting specific muscle groups, breathing techniques, and meditation. The health benefits of yoga include muscle and body weight strengthening. Yoga can improve your balance and flexibility, reducing the chances of muscle sprain and injury due to falls. It enables efficient regulation of your blood sugar and increases lean mass.
Yoga enables one to be more mindful and encourages being present and living outside your thoughts. It promotes acceptance, boosting your self-confidence and body positivity. Yoga can help people suffering from nerve function issues and help manage hypertension.
Yoga is an excellent choice for people who suffer from joint issues and chronic illnesses such as arthritis that restricts them from applying pressure on their joints. For people suffering from Type 2 diabetes and restricted joints, yoga presents itself as a great alternative that is gentle on your joints and doesn’t leave you gasping for breath.
For those looking for strength training and high-intensity workouts, yoga can be modified into a full-fledged exercise that targets problematic areas promoting fat loss and muscle gain. Yoga can be used as a form of strength training where the body’s weight is used to build muscles and reduce fat.
When used as a resistance exercise, yoga boosts blood flow and circulation. It helps control blood glucose levels and aids in blood glucose conversion into energy by improving cellular insulin response.
Here is a list of yoga poses that have proven to reduce blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes and aids in preventing the early onset of diabetes in prediabetic people.
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)
Sun salutation or Surya Namaskar is often the first pose in your yoga routine. This pose is highly beneficial for diabetes patients while being easy on the limbs and joints. It is an excellent way to get your heart racing while relieving muscle sprain via stretching movements.
Sun salutations are often a part of your warm-up routine before you begin your asanas or start your cardio workout. Numerous variations can be found in sun salutations. This yoga pose improves blood sugar management, circulation, balance, and posture disorders.
- To master the sun salutation pose, stand straight on your yoga mat, keeping your abdominal muscles stretched and sucked in.
- Inhale as you join your palms together while extending your hands away from your body in a vertical position.
- Stretch your hands slightly behind your head and exhale as you bring your hands in line with your spine.
- Gradually move towards your toes, look down, and relax your neck.
- Inhale as you bring your right leg back, keeping your right knee on the floor, making an L shape. Keep your left knee at a 90degree angle in an inverted L position and lay your palms on the floor.
- Look straight ahead and hold this position for a couple of minutes while holding your breath.
- Move your left leg and lay flat on the yoga mat in a plank position.
- Keep your body in a straight line and inhale as you raise your abdomen and chest area while keeping your chin down. Raise your hips slowly to create an inverted V position and exhale as you lay your heels and palms flat on the yoga mat.
- While inhaling, take your right leg forward and move your left leg in front of your body as you exhale. Inhale as you raise your hands, stretch your back, and exhale while joining your palms together. Repeat this with your left side of the body.
It is ideal for practicing sun salutations for 4 to 8 rounds gradually to stretch your spine and relieve any muscle restriction. Practicing sun salutation during sunrise and sunsets enables one to sync with the natural cycle and act as a mood booster.
Lying Down Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
The lying down body twist or Supta Matsyendrasana is the second most popular asana that aids diabetes management. It targets internal organ massage and improves digestion relieving various gastrointestinal issues. This pose exerts internal pressure on abdominal organs and facilitates blood circulation resulting in lowered blood sugar levels.
It increases the flexibility of the spinal muscles along with increasing upper back and shoulder strength. Supine twist improves postural disorders by strengthening the hips, back, and ribs.
- To begin this pose, lay flat on your back with your arms extended sideways. Ensure your palms are facing down when raising your arms.
- Slowly bring your left knees up to level with your chest and slightly bend it over to the right side.
- Focus on bringing your knee to the level of your hip and hold the pose for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this with the opposite side and practice 2-3 times for maximized benefit.