“How to Control Diabetes through Yoga?” is a question that many ask.
Diabetes is a disorder that is normally caused by the incapability of the body to control the quantity of sugar in the blood. An individual who suffer from diabetes is not capable to use blood glucose due to inadequate amounts of insulin produced by the pancreas in the body. In simple terms, it can be defined as a problem of the metabolism that can damage the nerves, kidneys, and eyes. It can even cause gangrene, stroke, and heart disease.
Sun salutation is a very good exercise for people suffering from diabetes because it increases the blood supply to various parts of body and thus improves insulin administration in the body. All the benefits of Exercise are achieved if four rounds are practiced.
Asanas that are beneficial in treatment of diabetes:
(1) PASCHIMOTTANASANA (Posterior –stretching pose)
- Person should sit on the floor with buttocks supported on a folded blanket.
- Stretch the legs out in front, keeping them close to each other.
- Bend the trunk and head forward from the waist without bending the knees and clasp the big toes with the fingers of the hand.
- While holding the toes and without bending the knees, the person should rest his forehead on his knees.
- This final pose is hold for four seconds.
- Then the person should return to the starting position slowly and slowly.
Care must be taken that, the pregnant women and the people who suffer from low back pain and slipped disc should not perform this exercise.
- Person should take a clean Jalaneti pot.
- Pot is filled with warm slightly salted water.
- The person should stand erect and the head is tilted slightly to the right.
- Then the spout of the pot is inserted into the left nostril and the water is flowed into it.
- Person should inhale and exhale through the mouth, hence allowing the water to flow out through the right nostril.
- This procedure is reversed by tilting the head to the left and allowing the water to flow from the right to the left nostril.
Jalaneti is not as hard or uncomfortable as one may think at first. It is a very simple and effective method of health maintenance. Once, and individual learns the way to perform it, he can incorporate this exercise into his daily routine of body cleaning of the teeth. Mostly, patients should perform, Jalaneti only in the morning.
- Person should sit in a comfortable position with spine erect. Person can sit either cross-legged or in vajrasana or in any position that he/she feel comfortable.
- Breathe normally for above minute. Once composed, person can begin with the exercise.
- First of all, exercise the diaphragm by exhaling the air out from the lungs, suddenly and quickly through both nostrils, producing a “puffing” sound. Person should not focus on inhalation. It will be automatic and passive.
- The air is exhaled completely from the lungs with a sudden, vigorous stroke while simultaneously drawing in wards the abdominal muscles.
- The breath should be expelled fully. Inhaling is automatic the abdominal muscles will relax automatically.
- This exercise should be done in three rounds, each consisting of 11 strokes (for the beginner).
- Each round should take about a minute. A little rest can be taken in between the rounds according to persons convenience.
- Throughout the exercise the chest should be kept still without expansion or contraction. Only be diaphragm is used for breathing and not the upper chest.
It has been observed that the heat generated during this exercise has powerful effects on the respiratory system because it purifies the nasal passage and the lungs. In case of asthmatic patients, it removes spasm in bronchial tubes. Over a month the number of strokes per minutes can be gradually increased from 11 to about 30.
Regular practice of this exercise (once or twice a day) will truly show amazing results. It is really one of the only methods to clear the mind of toxins and negative emotions. This technique also increases in the lungs manifold. There is large-scale elimination of carbon dioxide and a huge absorption of oxygen. Hence, we can say, “Kapalbhatti” brings sparks, into one’s life.
Steps to be followed while practicing this technique
- Person should sit in a comfortable meditative pose keeping the head, neck and spine erect. Then he should tuck his index and middle finger into the nostrils, in order to close the nostrils. Person should place his thumb on his right nostril, while ring finger and little finger, should be placed on the left nostril. Then he should start inhaling through, the left nostril, by closing the right one to four.
- Person should hold his breath and should count up to sixteen.
- Then person should exhale through his right nostril, to the count of eight, while he closes his left nostril with the little fingers.
- To the count of four person should inhale through the right nostril, by keeping the left one closed.
- To the count of sixteen, patient should hold his breath by closing both nostrils.
- Then the person should exhale through the left nostril, to the count of eight while keeping the right nostril closed.
Care must be taken that the inhaling and exhaling should be done very slowly without making any sound. This exercise should be repeated 10 times.
- Bend the knees and holding them together sit down.
- Place the buttocks over both the soles.
- Keep the fingers closed.
- Hold the spinal cord and the neck straight.
- Place the palms over the knees.
- Relax and close the eyes.
- Remain conscious towards the physical balance and breathing.
- Do not allow the body to move forward or backward.
- Hold the big toes over each other provided the body is flexible enough.
- Practice this according to one’s time and comfort particularly just after the meal.
- During this period breathe from abdomen.
Vajrasana can be performed even after meals.
Practice of meditation is especially useful in management of stress. Initially meditation may be difficult, and one can practice Omkar chanting, concentration on breathing. Especially for diabetes, concentration on pancreas during the meditation practice has shown positive effects on sugar levels. One can even usually visualize the proper functioning of pancreas, proper, insulin administration, proper insulin administration in the body can help in treatment of diabetes.
Master cleansing or Shankha Prakshalana is recommended for diabetes, complete Shankha Prakshalana takes one day and is recommended once in 6 months, but smaller version of it can be done 3 months a week. This process cleanses the Gastro Intestinal tract completely. This process is done by drinking 2 glasses of warm, salty water and lemon juice is added to it. Then performing 6 different exercises speed up the peristaltic movements one needs to evacuate bowels. In 2 hours about 7 to 8 bowels are completed till the clear water is evacuated.
Caution: Check with your general physician if you can perform any or all of the above mentioned techniques.