By Jenny Park
Chances are a student has asked you about yoga for diabetes. You might want to create a handout for the most common health conditions, but you don’t have enough time. You look through your old papers and books to find that your yoga certification course didn’t cover diabetes. Let’s be honest, how many medical conditions can you cover in one yoga teacher training intensive? Don’t worry, below this line I’ve prepared a handout for your diabetic students and their friends.
Diabetes and Yoga
Diabetes affects more and more people each year. This is largely believed to be due to poor diet choices and obesity. However, this is not always the case and it is responsible for one of the highest percentages of death. Though it is true that it can be caused by genetic factors, in the majority of cases those suffering could afford to exercise for their own good. The good news is that it’s never too late to begin a healthy lifestyle. By decreasing glucose levels, we can reduce are stress level and in turn reduce our chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke due to Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Sadly, the majority of cases are undiagnosed. One way to prevent diabetes is to practice yoga. So whether you’ve been diagnosed or not, yogic exercise is certainly a beneficial activity to take up.
Symptoms of Diabetes
If by chance you are one of the millions of undiagnosed people who suffer from diabetes, there are certain symptoms to consider that may push you to begin a healthier lifestyle now. They include extreme thirst, constant hunger, frequent urination, irritability, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and blurry vision. Once diagnosed a doctor will prescribe anything from insulin shots to medication. Sometimes, people who have taken up a healthy lifestyle have actually come off their diabetes medications.
How Yoga Helps
By strengthening muscles and massaging the endocrine, nervous, and circulatory system, asana practice will ultimately decrease overall stress levels. It also helps the student gain control over their mind, body and spirit allowing them to make clear lifestyle choices, and lose weight. A wide array of poses (asanas) is wonderful for those suffering diabetes. Each has its own benefit, and should be practiced 3 to 5 days a week for maximum benefit.
It’s important to take a class that relaxes you, as stress is a huge factor in diabetes. Slow, controlled poses like Sun Salutation along with plenty of meditation are perfect. Studies have shown that asana practice releases cortisol, which is a known stress hormone. The end results show that yoga is more effective than most forms of exercise. Practice will be most beneficial with the help of a certified yoga instructor who can get students not only in the correct postures, but also help them travel to that mental place where they can strengthen not just their bodies but also their minds.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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