By Atul Vyas
One of the prominent diseases of the gut is diabetes. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1, and Type 2. Type 1 is also called juvenile-onset diabetes in which islet cells in the pancreas that manufacture insulin are destroyed due to autoimmune destruction. People with Type 1 diabetes need the hormone from external sources which regulates blood sugar levels. Type 2 is called adult-onset diabetes. In such people, though the body manufactures insulin body becomes resistant to its effects leading to rising in blood sugar levels.
Many studies have found that yoga has a positive effect on the health of diabetics. Yoga through its unique property of stress reduction improves gut health and helps in diabetes as stress hormones tend to promote both overeating and accumulation of abdominal fat which leads to insulin resistance.
A study published in the journal of diabetes association of India in 1980 showed yoga reduces blood sugar levels and the amount of sugar in the urine of diabetics who did gentle yoga for 30 minutes a day for six months. Another study done by London’s yoga biomedical trust found that a practice of yoga done for 12 weeks significantly reduced fasting blood sugar.
One of the important yoga pose for treating diabetes is “Ardha Matsyendrasana,” a simple variation of Matsyendrasana. Sage Matsyendra Nath, the guru of Gorakhnath, was a great yogi who used to sit in this pose hence this asana is called Ardha Matsyendrasana.
- Sit extending both the legs together in front, hands by side, and palms on the ground
- Fold the right leg at the knee and put the heel at the perineum
- Fold the left leg, bring it above the right knee, and place the foot by the side of the right knee on the ground
- The knee of the left leg should be erect towards the sky
- Bring the right hand to the left side of the left knee and put it on ground
- Straighten the right hand and hold the toe or ankle of the left leg
- Twist the body to the left side and look backward while taking the left hand behind the back towards the right thigh
- Remain in the pose for a count of five breaths and then repeat the same process on the other side
- Useful for curing constipation and dyspepsia
- Stimulates pancreas and is beneficial for diabetics
- Makes liver and kidney healthy
- Stimulates gastric secretions
- Useful in intestinal disorders
- Enhances venous blood circulation
Note of Caution
This pose is forbidden for those suffering from myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy.
(The author likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist.” He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.)