Yoga Teacher Training: Diabetes

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Yoga Teacher Training: Diabetes

yoga certificationBy Gopi Rao

If you are considering a yoga certification course, you may want to understand diabetes and many other ailments. For those of us who already teach classes, all of the progress we have seen against diseases and suffering do not count in the eyes of scientific research. Science only recognizes its testing, studies and research as factual. At first, we might resent science for throwing out thousands of years of yogic research and claiming it is all biased information. For us to prove yogic methods work, yoga schools have to open the doors to medical and scientific scrutiny. We also have to be prepared to deliver proof and name sources of studies.

One Sample Diabetes Study

Source: Hegde SV, Adhikari P, Kotian S, et al. Effect of 3-month yoga on oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes with or without complications: a controlled clinical trial. Diabetes Care. 34(10):2208-10, 2011.

In 2011, researchers announced links between yogic practices and improved health amongst diabetes patients. While most yoga instructors can give anecdotal evidence that yogic exercise relieves diabetes symptoms, the research helped bolster the link between the two.

The 2011 study followed 123 students who were middle aged or older, and who participated in gentle or restorative forms of yoga. Participants reduced their BMI (Body Mass Index) by an average of four points, many of them from the cusp of what is considered to be obese to that of a healthy adult.

These students were able to lose an average of two to five pounds within a three month period, and experienced a drop in their blood sugar levels. The students added yoga to their existing forms of care, including regular exercise and healthy eating.

While the researchers were quick to point out that the classes did not give students a large change in weight or hip circumference, they also stated that the participants who did not add posture practice (asana) to their care, experienced no additional benefits whatsoever. The fact that yoga training had an even slight effect on weight and blood sugar levels gave researchers enough confidence to suggest that diabetes patients add it to a regular exercise practice.

The researchers were also quick to point out that some forms of yogic movement should be avoided by students who were not already regular practitioners. Ashtanga and power styles had the highest risk of injury for students who were not experienced in practicing asanas. Regardless of the type of postures a student practiced, the more vigorous poses should be avoided by most diabetes patients due to the risk of injury if they were improperly performed.

Some studios and diabetes treatment centers responded to the study by starting yoga training sessions that were tailored to meet the weight management and the specific health needs of diabetes patients. While prospective students are always cautioned to consult with a doctor before starting a program, these classes give novices a safe place to begin a practice under a yoga instructor’s watchful eye.

While gentler forms of yogic exercise do not offer the blood glucose management effects that aerobic exercise provides, asana practice as been proven to be an efficient way for students to manage their diabetes. Students who chose to start a practice will find yogic methods to be additional tools to manage their health while improving their overall well being.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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