One of the cornerstones of controlling one’s blood sugar is regular and holistic exercise, and yoga is one such ancient, holistic way.
All thanks to our changing lifestyle which has brought us to the brink of becoming the diabetes capital of the world. With a rising number of people being diagnosed with diabetes, it is no wonder scientists are looking for newer methods to treat the disease. With small changes in lifestyle, along with practising yoga regularly, blood sugar levels can be tamed because it has shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
Breathing in deeply and breathing out helps oxygenate your blood, and improves circulation. It also calms the mind and gives your rattled nerves some much needed rest. Sit on a yoga mat on the floor. Fold your legs in either padmasana or sit cross-legged. Now straighten your back, keep your chin parallel to the floor, place your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards and close your eyes. Breathe in deep and hold your breath for five counts. Exhale slowly. Repeat this process at least ten times. Once you are done, rub your palms together till they are warm and place them on your eyes. Now slowly open them and smile.
This pose not only helps keep one’s blood pressure in control it also helps to relax the mind, improves digestion, relieves the symptoms of menopause in women and stretches the neck and spine. Lie flat on your yoga mat, with your feet flat on the floor. Now exhale and push up, and off the floor with your feet. Raise your body up such that your neck and head are flat on the mat and the rest of your body is in the air. You can use your hands to push down for added support. If you are flexible you can even clasp your fingers just below your raised back for that added stretch. The key here is to not overexert or hurt yourself while doing this pose. Tip: Avoid doing this pose if you have a neck or back injury.
Known quite aptly as the child’s pose this is a great stress buster. It is also a great remedy for that lower back pain you might have from long hours of sitting. Sit on the floor with your weight on your knees. Now flatten your feet onto the floor and sit on your heels. Spread your thighs apart a little. Exhale and bend forward from your waist. Let your stomach rest on your thighs and extend your back. Now stretch out your arms in front of you to elongate the back. You can also rest your forehead on the floor. This may require flexibility, so don’t push your body beyond its limit. You will get better with time. This is a resting pose so you should ideally breathe at a normal pace. You can stay in this pose for as long as three minutes or as little as five counts. Tip: If you are pregnant, have a knee injury or have diarrhoea do not do this pose.
This is a simple pose that is great to relax the mind, improve digestion and massages the kanda. According to Ayurvedic principles, kanda is a spot about 12 inches above the anus that is the point of convergence for over 72,000 nerves. All you need to do is place a yoga mat on the floor. Kneel on the mat, and let the top surface of your feet touch the mat, such that your heels are pointing upwards. Now gently place your buttocks on your heels. It is important to note that your heels are on either side of your anus. Now place both your palms on your knees, facing downwards. Close your eye and breath in deeply at a steady rate.
Lie on a yoga mat with your legs extending outwards. Now slowly raise your legs either by first folding them at the knees or by lifting them straight. Place your palms along your back and hips to support it, and raise your body while pointing your toes to the ceiling. All your weight should be on your shoulders. Make sure you breathe slowly and lock your chin into your chest. Your elbows should be touching the floor and your back should be supported. Hold this pose for as long as you are comfortable. To return to the lying position, slowly lower your body. Do not fall back to the lying position. Tips to keep in mind: Do not do this pose if you suffer from any neck or spinal injuries. If you do have high blood pressure, perform this exercise only under supervision.
This pose helps the blood rush to your head and face, improves digestion and keeps the hormonal levels in check. Lie flat on the floor with your feet flat stretched out. Place your arms by your side and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Now, slowly raise your legs from the hips. Place your hands on your hips as you raise them and use your hands as support. Now slowly bend your legs at the hips and try to touch the floor behind your head with your toes and straighten your hands so they are flat on the floor. Breathe out while going up. To return to the lying position, gently roll your back onto the floor, breathe in while you come down. Do not drop down suddenly. If you suffer from liver or spleen disorders, hypertension, have diarrhoea, are menstruating or have suffered a neck injury, avoid doing this pose.
Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by the side of your body. Fold your knees and hold your ankles. Breathing in, lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back. Look straight ahead with a smile on your face. Keep the pose stable while paying attention to your breath. Continue to take long deep breaths as you relax in this pose. But don’t get carried away! Do not overdo the stretch. After 15 -20 seconds, as you exhale, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground. Release the ankles and relax. Do not practice this pose if you have high or low blood pressure, hernia, neck injury, pain in the lower back, headache, migraine or a recent abdominal surgery or if you are pregnant.
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