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YOGA & DIABETES + DIABETES DURING PREGNANCY

By Ankita Goel

Diabetes is a disease of disturbed carbohydrate metabolism. It may be caused by various factors like low pancreatic activity, hypothyroidism or lack of exercises, or excessive intake of carbohydrate etc.

To treat it naturally, you need to go under detoxification plan for 10-15 days after each 45 days. Secondly consult a dietician for a diet chart. Walk for 30 min and do yogic exercises along with pranayam (breathing exercises), relaxation, and meditation.

The program mentioned should be used in conjunction with the usual medical treatment and for benefits to show should be followed for 3-6 months. Many of the asans are experienced level ones since they work deepest on the pancreas. Beginners should work through all the simpler asans for some months first, before attempting the experienced asans.

Cleansing techniques

These may be learnt by an experienced yoga practitioner. These techniques free the body of all morbid matter, the birth place of disease. The practices useful in diabetes are:

  • Kunjal (stomach wash)
  • Laghoo Shankaprakshalan (Washing of intestinal tract)

Yoga Asans (positions) to manage diabetes

It is important not to feel strained during the asans. Do bending and stretching, only to the limit your body allows. With the regular practice of asans the body shall become supple and you shall be able to perform the asnas properly. Also it is important to relax in between asans by doing corpse pose. One should be ware of his breathing throughout the practice of asans.

  • For the beginners:

All pawanmuktasans-Toe bending, Ankle bending, Ankle rotation, Ankle crank, Knee bending, Half butterfly, Hip rotation, Full butterfly, Hand clenching, Wrist bending, Wrist rotation, Shoulder rotation, Neck series, Leg raising, Leg cycling, Leg lock pose, Boat pose, Shoulder pose -I, Side twists, Universal spinal twist, Rowing the boat pose, Churning the mill pose, Squat and rise pose, Salute pose, Air releasing pose, Thunderbolt pose, Tiger pose, Child pose(sitting).

  • For the experienced:

Shoulder pose -II, Camel pose, Sun salutation done slowly, Back stretching pose, Cobra pose, Bow pose, Cow's face pose, Half spinal twist, Plough pose.

Pranayam (Breathing exercises)

The breathing exercises which should be followed after the practice of asans. The exercises to be done are:

  • Alternate nostril breathing
  • Humming breath
  • Bellows breath and
  • Full yogic breathing
Relaxation & Meditation

Yoga nidra should be done daily. Also you should practice meditation (chanting of "OM").

Diet For Diabetics

It is important for diabetics to do some lifestyle changes. Snacking between meals and excessive intake of sugar should be limited. A practice of high quality diet with regular balanced meals should be developed. For guidance about the diet, you should consult a dietician who will be able to make a food plan suited to your tastes and the availability of vegetables and other foods in your local area.

An example of a diet plan for diabetes is as follows:

  • UPON RISING: A glass of lukewarm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • BREAKFAST: Any fresh fruit juice (except banana, chiku, and mango) a small quantity of whole meal bread with butter and 1 cup of fresh milk.

  • LUNCH:
    1. Bread or chapati (made of wheat, bengal gram, soyabean, barley, or maize)

    2. Salads consisting of carrots, cucumber, radish or cabbage.

    3. Boiled Vegetables: Except potato, arbi, zimitcand, and jackfruit.

    4. 50-100gm of cheese.
  • TEA( 4-5PM): A glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice.

  • DINNER: As of lunch.

  • AT BED TIME: A glass of warm milk.

AVOID: Sweets, excess spicy, tinned or processed food, cold drink, alcohols, rice.

PREGNANCY AND DIABETES

Diabetes can pose a serious problem for a pregnant woman. The risks could vary from premature labour to urinary tract infection, elevated blood pressure to possibility of delivery by caesarean section. The risks to the baby can be that he is extraordinarily large and fat leading to a difficult birthing, increased risk of congenital abnormality, low blood sugar at birth or prolonged jaundice.

In the second and third trimesters of pregnancy the insulin requirement of the mother increases by 2 to 3 times. Most of the women can fulfill this need, however if unable to do so, leads to what is known as gestational diabetes.

When pregnant, those with Diabetes Mellitus or those with Gestational Diabetes, must pay more attention to a quality an a balanced diet. To keep blood sugar levels manageable, diabetics sometimes need to eat top up foods in -between meals. This is not to be confused with snacking for reasons of fluctuating appetite, emotional needs or just the result of a disordered life.

These in - between meals should be high quality, easily assimilated ingredients and should be well balanced for your need as well as the baby's. Yogis therapeutic management of diabetes over many years has shown that, in conjunction with specific yoga practices, the more a diabetic can regularize their meals and their energy output, the less in-between meals will be required. The same principle applies to the pregnant woman, with or without gestational diabetes.

The program (general) mentioned above is valid for those pregnant women who had diabetes pre-existent to pregnancy.

Yogic program for pregnant women with gestational diabetes is as follows:
  • Yogis positions (Asans):

    Toe bending, Ankle bending, Ankle rotation, Ankle crank, Knee bending, Half butterfly, Hip rotation, Full butterfly, Hand clenching, Wrist bending, Wrist rotation, Shoulder rotation, Neck series, Leg raising, Leg cycling, Cat stretch pose, Shoulder pose, Lion pose, Universal spinal twist.

  • Pranayam(Breathing exercises)

    Full yogic breathing, Humming breath, Alter nostril breathing (stages 1&2).

  • Relaxation

    Yoga nidra should be practiced daily. Also meditation (Om Chanting) should be done.

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