World Diabetes Day 2019: Three yoga asanas to improve blood circulation and reduce stress

This World Diabetes Day, we bring you three poses that may alleviate some of the problems faced by diabetics and improve the quality of their life.

Myupchar November 14, 2019 07:30:30 IST
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World Diabetes Day 2019: Three yoga asanas to improve blood circulation and reduce stress
  • The body of a person living with type 2 diabetes either doesn't make enough insulin or has insulin-resistance so it can't use the insulin hormone properly to regulate blood sugar

  • This sugar coursing through the blood vessels reaches their eyes, heart, kidneys, brain, and even damages the nerves

  • We bring you three poses that may alleviate some of the problems faced by diabetics and improve the quality of their life

Diabetes affects every part of the body. The body of a person living with type 2 diabetes either doesn’t make enough insulin or has insulin-resistance so it can’t use the insulin hormone properly to regulate blood sugar. Now, this sugar coursing through the blood vessels reaches their eyes, heart, kidneys, brain, and even damages the nerves (patients often feel a tingling or numbness in their hands and feet).

Research shows that yoga poses that improve blood circulation and help reduce stress and weight may alleviate some of these problems and improve the quality of life of diabetics. This World Diabetes Day, we bring you three such poses. Practise these asanas in the presence of a trained instructor, for better health.

World Diabetes Day 2019 Three yoga asanas to improve blood circulation and reduce stress

Paschimottanasana or seated forward bend pose. Image source: Getty Images.

Viparita karani or legs-up-the-wall pose

A relaxing pose, viparita karani is said to improve circulation and relieve pain.

  • Place your mat at a right angle to the wall.
  • Lie down on the mat. Raise your legs.
  • Straighten your legs and try to touch your butt, thighs and calves to the wall.
  • Breathe normally, with your arms relaxed by your sides. Gaze softly at the ceiling or close your eyes. Make sure your head and neck are straight and comfortable.
  • Hold this position for 2-3 minutes.

Paschimottanasana or seated forward bend pose

Great for weight loss, this pose gently engages some of the biggest muscles in the body. The best part: you can increase the stretch at your own pace.

  • Sit on the mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Make sure you’re on your sitting bones. If you need to adjust your position, place your hands behind your buttocks, lift the hips, shift them back slightly and place your hips back down on the mat.
  • Now, roll the shoulders back. Raise your arms overhead.
  • Breathe in deeply. Try to relax the shoulders - your shoulder should be away from your ears.
  • Breathe out as you lengthen your spine and bend forward from the waist.
  • Place your hands as far as you can reach without rounding your back. Hold your shins, ankles, toes or feet, whichever is comfortable.
  • Relax your facial muscles and breathe deeply into the pose. Try to increase the stretch with every breath. Hold this pose for about a minute.
  • To come out of the pose, breathe in and lift your arms straight overhead. Gaze softly at the person or wall ahead of you.
  • Breathe out and bring your arms down.

Adho + Urdhva mukha svanasana or downward + upward-facing dog pose

A combination of downward-facing dog and upward-facing dog, this movement strengthens the muscles of the arms, back and legs, and improves blood circulation.

  • Lie down on a mat on your stomach with your feet slightly apart. Place your palms next to your shoulders and come into push-up or plank position, with your arms straight, and head, hips and heels in one straight line.
  • Now, lift your hips towards the ceiling to make an inverted “V” with your body (adjust the position of your feet, if you need to). Keeping the legs straight, try to bring your chest closer to the legs.
  • Come back into the plank position.
  • Now, keeping your arms straight, drop your pelvis close to the mat without actually touching it down. Arch your back slightly. This is the main pose you need to hold.
  • Fix your gaze straight ahead or look up slightly without straining your neck. Breathe normally as you hold the pose for up to 30 seconds.
  • To come out of the pose, return to plank position and gently lower the whole body back onto the mat.

End your practice with savasana. Lie down on the mat. Close your eyes. Let your feet flop to the sides. Rest your arms on the mat, palms facing up. Run through a mental checklist of every body part as you consciously relax the muscles. Start from your toes and slowly move up to your ankles, calves, hamstrings, hips… to the tips of the fingers and the top of your head. Feel the stress draining from your body. Breathe normally. To come up, turn to one side. Use your arms for support and come up slowly into a cross-legged position. Rub your palms together to generate heat and place them over your eyes. Open your eyes gently.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Ayurveda for Diabetes.

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