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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yoga Poses for Diabetes Patients

Diabetes is a disease that results when the body does not produce sufficient hormones to break down the sugar that is ingested. This is a deficiency of the pancreas which normally produces a hormone called insulin. This hormone helps regulating the sugar in the blood by converting it into energy. When the insulin is not sufficient and the sugar does not get converted, it get accumulated in the blood causing a number of symptoms such as fatigue, unusual thirst, excessive urination, loss of weight and if it is not treated can cause coma and death.

Yoga and diabetes

Yoga is an ancient method of exercising body and mind for maintaining all its functions at their optimum level. Almost all the diseases known to man can be addressed by yoga – and diabetes can be controlled by it as well. There are many postures and breathing exercises in yoga which would induce the pancreas to produce enough insulin to regulate the sugar in the body. These asanas (postures) not only repairs the pancreatic cell but also induce them to secrete insulin. Some of the asanas that have proved beneficial for controlling and reversing diabetes are briefly described below:

Caution: Please do not attempt any of the asanas on your own unless you have been guided by a yoga guru or certified teacher. Practicing any of these postures in a wrong way can be detrimental to your health.

1. Pachimotasana (Forward Seated Bend posture) – this is a posture which promotes the function of the pancreas, liver and the kidneys. You will have to start by sitting on a mat with your legs stretched in front of you. Take in a deep breath. Then, slowly bend forward exhaling placing your head on your knees and reaching for your toes. Touch your toes and keep this posture for 2-3 breaths then return to the sitting position. This asana should be repeated two or three times.

2. Mayuryasana (Peacock posture) – this postures helps in digestion and tones up the liver, kidneys and the pancreas. Though this posture looks a little difficult with a little practice it can be mastered by most people. You will need to start by lying face down on your mat. Put your palms at your sides facing forward and then lift your whole body off the ground keeping it completely parallel to the ground.

3. Shalabhasana (Locus posture) – this posture is especially effective for treating acidity and indigestion. In combination with the other two asanas it helps the digestive system and support the liver and the pancreas toning up. You will need to start face down on your mat. Ensure that your feet are together. You would need to lift your legs off he floor from this position while inhaling. Close your hands into fists at the side of the body and use them for leverage while you lift your legs. Keep your legs in the air for a few seconds and then put them down. Relax and repeat 2-3 times.

These three posture are extremely beneficial and can be further complemented by Bahya Pranayama or external Kumbakha (retention of breath). What you have to do is very simple. Sit in the normal cross-legged position for yoga. Close your right nostril and breathe in counting 3; then close your left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Now count 12 before you inhale again. This is very simple to do yet it is very powerful in regulating the energy flow in the body and expelling the toxins from the body.

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