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Yoga for Diabetes Mellitus

How do Yogasanas help in DM?

Yogasanas are techniques to bring about very deep rest to different parts of body. This is achieved by performing the postures as per the two major hints given by Patanjali. By definition yogasanas are postures that are maintained with ease and for some time (Sthira Sukham Asanam). In the first step of learning the final position of different postures, it is the surface (limb and trunk) muscles that are stretched or contracted to achieve the final posture. After getting to the final posture you move on to the second step wherein you relax all the unnecessary contractions by Prayatna Saithilya (release of effort) says Patanjali. In this phase when you pass your awareness to all parts of the body and check whether the muscles are all relaxed you may notice that many unnecessary muscles such as those of face, neck, back, arms and thighs were all tightened. Once you relax all these muscles except that set of muscles required to maintain the final posture, your practice will improve further. This reduces the energy expenditure and helps you to maintain for longer duration without exhaustion. At this stage, your attention has already shifted to the intra-abdominal organs. You may now move on to the third stage to experience Anantasamapatti (expanded awareness) at the point of stretch or pain. You may visualize a feeling of expansion, diffusion and 'let go' without changing the final posture. This is similar to moving from Dharana to Dhyana. In the first phase your attention is completely focused on to the point of pain (Dharana) and in the next phase you defocus or expand or merge in surrounding space and become one with the three dimensional awareness of the entire body resulting in effortless free flow of a single thought attention on the stretched zone (Dhyana).

In DM we use those asanas which need to bring deep rest to the pancreas and release the prana blocks. Hence the asanas used under special techniques for DM either stretch, compress, or twist the abdominal area, so that you may bring your awareness to the pancreatic area, focus and then defocus to give very deep rest to pancreas.


Sthiti: Tadasana


  • Stretch the arms straight above the head with the palms facing forward.

  • Inhale and bend backwards with arms stretched above the head.

  • While exhaling bend forward as much as possible.

  • While inhaling come up and bend backwards and go on rapidly to forward bending with exhalation.

  • Repeat 20 times with increasing speed.

  • Gradually slow down and ultimately stop the practice.


  • Start slowly and gradually increase the speed within your limits.

  • You may also practice this while standing with legs apart when the arms will be moving between the legs.

  • While bending forward do not let the hands touch the ground; swing them in the air backwards.

  • Always bend from the lower waist.

  • Make the movements free, easy and flowing.


  • Reduces the fat from west, back, specially abdominal region and thus tones up that area.

  • Increased flexibility of spine gives the generalized feeling of well being

This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
and Arogyadhama

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