Yoga for Obesity and Diabetes
- Ram Hari Thapa (Raunak)
Yoga is the sequence of physical, mental, and spiritual practices which helps to coordinate body, breath, and mind to enhance pleasure, develop mind-body awareness, and provide peace and contentment. It helps decrease levels of stress, improve mobility, manage blood pressure, and promote overall wellbeing.
Yoga helps to cure and prevent various diseases. Yoga has been utilized as a good treatment for diabetes and obesity. Diabetes is also known as lifestyle diseases spreading a huge mass of people. Allopathic medicine alone cannot help diabetes and obesity. Various forms of exercise and yoga can effectively control and prevent these diseases. The tensing, relaxing, stretching, and twisting of yoga asanas massages the pancreas and helps to produce sufficient insulin in order to heal diabetes. Various activities of yoga maintain the body mechanism in a correct order to decrease obesity. All the yogic activities are good for diabetes and obesity; however, the following Yoga-asanas are significant for them:
· Utthita Parsvakonasana: Stand straight. Step your right foot three to four feet on the mat, rotate the left foot little bit in. Inhaling lift hands horizontally and exhaling place your right hand on the outside of your right foot. Stretch and straighten the left arm in one line with your body and face far to the left fingers. Hold the pose minimum 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.· Parivrtta Parsvakonasana: Stand in Samasthiti. Step your right foot about 3 to 4 feet apart and keep back leg knee straight. Bent to the right leg twisting your body, keep your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, join your palms (Namaste) and then keep twisting more and more. (The front knee should not go beyond the ankle)
· Paschimottanasana: Sit down with legs extended. Hold the feet or big toes and keeping your back straight bend (from the hips) forward leading with your chest. Stay here for a minimum of 5 breaths.
· Janu sirshasana: Sit down. Bend your right knee and fix the right heel as close to the perineum as possible. Hold your left foot and bend forward from your hips, trying to touch the chest on the knee. Hold the asana for about 5 to 10 breaths.
· Makarasana: Lie down on your abdomen, lift your shoulders up and elbows directly under the respective shoulder. Keep palms on your cheek. Give the stretch to the back and chest. Stay hers for about 10 breaths.
· Dhanurasana: Lie flat on your abdomen. Bend the knees and hold with hands respective ankles. Lift your thigh and chest up as much as possible, balancing your weight stomach.
· Halasana: Lie down on the back. Lift both feet up bending from the hips to ninety degrees. Lift the buttock up, pressing your hands to the mat and try to place your feet at the beyond of your head. Stay here for about 10 breaths.
· Ardha-matsyendrasana – Sit down, bend your right knee, and keep the heel under the left hip bone. Bend your left knee and fix the left foot on the right side of the right knee. You intend to keep the sole of your left foot completely on the mat. After this, keep your left hand at the back of your left hip twist and place your right elbow on the inside of the right knee. Press the knee from inside with your right elbow and twist more and deeper as possible into the asana. Hold the pose for about 5 breaths. Do it another side as well.
· Shashankasana: Sit on feet, bending at the knee (Vajrasana). Bend forward and place your head and hands on the mat. Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
Along with these yoga asanas, there are many other asanas, pranayama (breathing strategy) and kriyas to maintain blood sugar level and weight. Thus, these will help to prevent, cure, and control diabetes and obesity. Among the pranayamas kapalbhati, bhastrika, nadi-sodhan, anulom-vilom are some important breathing strategies (pranayama) for these diseases.
Obesity and diabetes are diseases due to the wrong lifestyle. Junk food, unnatural diet poor diet, and little exercise, etc. cause the disease into an epidemic. Along with yoga, walking, running, dance, swimming, and other different forms of exercise are also supportive to stay in good health.
Diabetes has a deeper relationship with the mind. Stress is a major cause of diabetes. Yoga is against stress, in other words- yoga reduces and eliminates stress. Blood sugar levels increase as and when we are stressed. The practice of mastered breathing techniques, asanas, concentration (Dharana), and meditation (dhyana) will strengthen the body, enable you to relax and control your stress effectively. Yoga helps to balance cortisol, and other stress hormones, and manage the insulin.
Controlled weight according to height and body type is also important aspect linked with diabetes. Daily practice of yoga asana, pranayama, meditation plays a vital role to shed that extra weight. Yogic activities take the stress off your every organ; massage the internal and external organs. Yoga is very good to exercise and massage the pancreas, which helps to stimulate the production and proper management of insulin. The physical aspects of yoga; strengthens, stretches, and exercises the muscular system. It enhances the glucose uptake by muscular cells, thus decreases blood sugar levels, ameliorate circulation, and also alleviate the threat of cardiovascular disease.