A large number of people suffering from diabetes are practicing regular yoga training in an effort to improve overall quality of life and keep their condition under control. Many health experts believe yoga can help lower blood pressure, enhance mobility, reduce levels of stress and improve overall wellbeing.
It is also well known that besides improving diabetes, yoga can also protect against other related complications such as heart disease. Moreover, people who undergo yoga training on a regular basis experience significant improvements in their physical and mental health.
The Benefits of Regular Yoga training include:
- Reduced depression and anxiety
- Relief from various chronic illnesses
- Improved strength, flexibility and posture
- Enhanced energy levels and concentration
- Better sleep
- Improved immunity, circulation and digestion.
- Feelings of wellbeing
- Enhanced efficiency of endocrine, neurological and respiratory organs.
How Does Yoga Treat Diabetes or Prevent it from Developing?
- Exercising the muscles
Yoga increases the uptake of glucose by muscular cells which helps improve circulation, lower blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
- Rejuvenating pancreatic cells
Yoga postures stretch the pancreas and aid relaxation which stimulates the production of beta cells which are responsible for producing insulin.
- Promoting weight loss
Regular yoga practice can improve weight control and help you reduce weight both of which are vital for protecting against various chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and type II diabetes, as well as the management of diabetes.
- Improving your mental attitude (makes you feel good)
Practicing yoga on a regular basis can help improve mental focus and create the right approach to dealing with conditions such as diabetes. Yoga stretches your muscles, helps you breathe more deeply, shifts your attitude and helps you feel better. Yoga eases the body into recovery mode and helps to release chronic stress. Remember, breathing is both involuntary and voluntary. This basically means that we can choose to change the way we breathe but we don’t stop breathing if we stop paying attention to it. This is why most people who practice yoga consider it a vehicle between our body and mind. Calming your breath can help you calm your mind (it helps you shift from a fight or flight pattern to a more balanced pattern which facilitates complex reasoning).
Stress management (controlling mental stress) is one of the key factors of treatment of diabetes. Blood sugar levels increase when we’re stressed and high blood glucose levels increase the chances of developing various related complications including heart disease. This is one of the main reasons why it’s particularly important to practice yoga, controlled breathing techniques and other mindfulness-based techniques to invoke a relaxation response.
This relaxation response helps regulate stress hormones such as cortisol which increase blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It is essential to understand that both play a key role in the development of type II diabetes and other related complications.
Yoga is a cost-effective and promising option in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Data from several clinical studies suggest that mind-body therapies such as yoga can improve blood glucose control and reduce stress-related hyperglycemia. However, it is essential to consult with your physician and diabetes healthcare team before starting yoga classes.