How often do we come across people with a health issue?
In this age of urbanization, the urban lifestyle gives you a lot of things but at the cost of your health. Intake of calorie-rich food, least exposure to nature, less space for exercise, and dependency on machines to get your work done. These are the things that make your body physically inactive. As some great mind has said, ‘a sound mind resides in a healthy body’, physical illness can further lead to mental problems, anxiety, and stress.
Diabetes and its types
The common disease in adults is diabetes and most common of this is type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease when the pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. There are three types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes, which can develop at any age, has not found any cure to date. Children and adolescents are more prone to be affected by it. The pancreas is not able to produce insulin in this type of diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes, most common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. In this type of diabetes, the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. And as a result, the blood glucose levels keep rising, releasing more insulin. People with type 2 diabetes can eventually exhaust the pancreas, resulting in the body produce in less and less insulin. This causes even higher blood sugar levels which is termed as hyperglycemia.
- Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that consists of high blood glucose during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child. The children from a GDM diagnosed mother are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Yoga as the solution
Do we have a solution to these problems? Yes, we have it, the Indians had it even before no one had heard about it. It is a 5000 years old concept in India and has been in practice since then. Yes, you got it right, we are talking about yoga. It has a diagnosis of many such diseases. Research has found yoga to have diagnosed a lot of sick people and it is now being recognized worldwide as a clinically viable treatment.
Yoga is based on the principle that the mind and body are intimately related. It improves flexibility, muscle strength, blood circulation, and oxygen uptake. Yoga provides many health benefits, it improves physical fitness, relaxation, and awareness of self. Various lifestyle disorders, including diabetes, can be effectively addressed by the practice of yoga. Since type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by a lack of physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and overweight, yoga is the best way to prevent it and even cure it.
Yoga Asanas to practise
The yogic exercises start with cleansing practices (shuddhi kriya).
- The practitioner needs to perform Kapalbhati (frontal brain purification) in five rounds and 120 strokes. The abdominal pressure created during exhalation improves the efficiency of β-cells of the pancreas. It helps in the production of insulin and controlling glucose levels in the blood.
- There are some others such as Agnisar Kriya (stimulating the digestive fire), Vaman Dhauti(stomach cleansing).
- Generally, people practice Surya Namaskar for five to ten minutes, three to seven rounds according to an individual’s capacity at slow speed. It stimulates insulin production through brain signaling.
Pranayama and other asanas
- Pranayama helps augment cerebral blood flow and oxygenation i.e. it increases the blood flow to the brain which helps in improving neuronal activities in the brain centers, including those present in the hypothalamus and medulla, and improve sympathovagal outflow.
- A study showed that yoga postures (asanas) had a positive impact on glucose utilization and fat redistribution in persons with type 2 diabetes. The study observed that patients achieved optimum control of diabetes by practicing dhanurasana and ardhamatyendrasana. People also found Bhujangasana, vajrasana, naukasana, halasana to be effective. Meditation and chanting Aum (Sudarshan Kriya) help to improve physical, psychological, and social domains and total quality of life in diabetes patients.
We have attached the YouTube video of our yogi Sunder Bishnoi. So, you can watch it to know what are the asanas necessary to practice and how to do them.
Stats to look at
According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th edition 2019, approximately 463 million adults, aged between 20 to 79 years, were living in diabetes. The scenario does not seem to improve but rather decline as there is a prediction of a rise in cases to 700 million by 2045. The proportion of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing in most countries and 374 million people are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
All these are very much helpful to keep yourself fit and healthy but at the same time. But you must keep in mind that you should perform yogic practices under the guidance of qualified professionals. Beginners should avoid extreme practices, and every individual should practice yoga as per their physical strengths. People should carefully observe and then practice every asanas (postures). Not only diabetes, practising yoga results in the reduction of fast blood sugars, reduction in body weight, maintaining body mass index (BMI), and many more.
So, we need to alter our daily ‘busy’ schedules and find a place for yoga in it. ‘Thirty minutes yoga a day, keeps the diseases away’.