Healthy lifestyle: Five yoga asanas that can help diabetes patients

Around the country, many people suffer from diabetes — type 1 and type 2 — which makes it all the more important for them to take care of their health, especially in the pandemic. People with co-morbidities are at a higher risk of getting severely infected. It is necessary that they make certain lifestyle changes in favour of their health, and what better than yoga to help them on this front?

Given the ongoing health scare, Himalayan Siddha Grand Master Akshar shares with that through certain yoga asanas, the body “gets stretched, twisted into different shapes. When this happens to the lumbar and thoracic regions, it impacts the pancreas.” Practising yoga regularly also results in increased efficiency of the endocrine system, he says.

He shares five yoga asanas for diabetic patients. Read on.

1. Marjariasana

Urdhva Mukhi Marjari Asana

– Come on your knees, place palms under shoulders and knees under hips.
– Inhale, curve your spine to look up.

2. Adho Mukhi Marjari Asana

– Exhale, round your back and drop your chin to your chest.
– Focus your gaze towards your navel region.

2. Paschimottanasana — Seated forward bend

Begin by stretching your legs forward; ensure that your knees are slightly bent while your legs are stretched out forward. Extend your arms upward and keep your spine erect. Exhale and bend forward at the hip placing your upper body on your lower body. Try to hold your big toes with your fingers; if not hold any part that is accessible.

Word of advice

* Pregnant women should refrain from practicing Paschimottanasana.
* Practitioners suffering from slip disc sciatica or asthma should avoid it.
* Ulcer patients should avoid this asana.

3. Adomukhi Svanasana — Downward Dog

Start on all fours, ensuring palms are under the shoulders and knees below hips. Lift the hips up, straighten the knees and elbows, and make your body in the shape of an inverted ‘V’. Now keep the hands shoulder-width apart, fingers pointing ahead. Keep your eye focused on your big toes.

Word of advice

* Don’t perform this posture in case you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and/or diarrhea.
* During the latter stages of pregnancy, don’t do this asana.
* In case of high blood pressure or headache, go slow.
* In case of chronic or recent injury to the arms, hips, shoulders and back, avoid this.

4. Balasana — Child’s Pose

Kneel down on the mat and sit on your heels. Inhale and raise your arms above your head, exhale and bend your upper body forward. Place your forehead on the floor resting your pelvis on the heels. Ensure that your back is not hunched.

5. Mandukasana — Frog Pose

Sit in Vajrasana, extend your arms in front of you. Fold your thumbs into your palms, wrap the remaining four fingers over it and ball your fist. Bend your arms at your elbows, place your balled fists over your navel. Bend your upper body and place it over your lower body. Stretch your neck and focus your gaze forward.

Word of advice

* Pregnant women should refrain from practising this asana.
* If experiencing pain in the ankle or have recently undergone an injury or surgery to the ankles/ligaments, one must avoid it.
* In case of ulcer issues, avoid this asana.
* In case of pain or injury to knees or back, please refrain from performing this asana.

“Pranayama techniques such as Anulom Vilom, Bhastrika etc., build immunity, cleanse the nadis in your body and relieve stress. Yoga also benefits the parasympathetic nervous system thereby reducing stress hormones. Stress is a major trigger for diabetes and yoga can help you prevent, manage and treat stress,” he says.

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