Yoga and Diabetes – How to Keep Diabetes in Control with Yoga?

how yoga controls diabetes

An increasing number of diabetics are now turning to yoga, to keep diabetes in control and improve their overall quality of life. While yoga is already known to reduce blood pressure, enhance mobility, alleviate stress and improve overall wellbeing, it is still not as popular for naturally managing diabetes. There are various yoga poses to manage diabetes. Let’s know more.

Nowadays, many health experts believe that yoga can help in diabetes management and significantly reduce risk of all the related complications. Read-on to know what magic yoga can bring in your life, that is otherwise in clutches of an intimidating life-long illness.

Table of Contents:

Yoga and Its Types

Yoga is a series of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines that originated in India, around 5000 years ago. Few people believe it to be even older than that. Yoga focuses on coordinating the breath, body and mind to induce a sense of calmness and inner peace. It involves myriad of postures and exercises which are known as asanas. These asanas along with meditation and breathing techniques promote mental composure and physical comfort.


Yoga can be classified into four major types

1. Viniyoga, Kripalu And Integral Yoga:

These yoga styles are generally recommended for anyone who wants to practice it in a gentle way. If you are unsure of which yoga style to pursue, you can choose any one of these styles.

2. Iyengar And Anusara Yoga:

These yoga styles are more active and focus greatly on body alignment.
Iyengar yoga emphasizes on precision, detail and alignment while performing any asana. So, if you are healthy and reasonably strong, you can begin with any one of these styles.

3. Ashtanga, Bikram, Power And Vinyasa Yoga:

These yoga styles are quite vigorous and are generally practised by people who are more athletic. Active and healthy young people, most commonly, prefer any one or more of these styles.

4. Restorative Yoga:

This yoga style is specifically designed for stress reduction and works effectively for all ability levels. It is advised to consult your doctor before you start on with any of these yoga types. Generally, diabetics can start with lighter yoga exercises such as breathing (pranayama). Keep reading to know various health benefits of yoga and about some exclusive yoga poses to manage diabetes.

Back To Top

Health Benefits of Yoga

Most of the people who indulge in yoga regularly, experience improvements in their physical and mental health. These health benefits include:

We believe all these health benefits would encourage you to start practicing yoga or at-least start looking out for a yoga class near-by. Let’s learn how can yoga help you in both preventing and managing diabetes.

Back To Top

How Can Yoga Help in Preventing and Managing Diabetes?

Yoga is now considered a cost-effective and promising treatment for diabetes prevention and maintenance. Various studies have shown that yoga can provide relief in stress-related hyperglycemia and has a rather positive effect on blood glucose levels.

Stress management is one of the main aspects of managing diabetes. When we are constantly under stress, it increases our blood sugar. This increase in blood sugar can make a person more vulnerable to various health conditions including heart diseases.

Yoga and other breathing techniques including meditation help a person in invoking a relaxation response. This response in-turn regulates stress hormones including cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for increasing blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Both these health conditions play a major role in development of diabetes and its associated complications.

Besides treating diabetes, it can also help in preventing type-2 diabetes altogether. Let’s know how.


Rejuvenation of Pancreatic Cell:

Yoga asanas rejuvenate the pancreatic cells by gently stretching the pancreas. This in-turn can improve insulin’s production by stimulating insulin-producing beta cells.

Exercising Your Muscles:

Like all other forms of physical exercises, yoga can increase glucose uptake by the body’s muscular cells. This in-turn would reduce blood sugar level, improve blood circulation and reduce risk of various cardiovascular diseases.

Promoting Weight Loss:

Yoga helps in losing excess pounds and maintaining your weight thereafter. Keeping your weight in normal ranges can protect you against myriad of health conditions including cancer, type-2 diabetes and heart diseases.

Improving Your Mental Attitude:

Practicing yoga regularly can actually improve your focus. This would eventually help you in dealing with diabetes in a better way.

Above all, it can make you feel good!
While so many studies have actually proved yoga to be beneficial for diabetes, but it would be best to consult your doctor before you start on with your yoga journey. With this, we can discuss how to begin with yoga if you are a diabetic.

Back To Top

How to Begin with Yoga, If You Have Diabetes?

The best way to pick a yoga style for yourself, is to watch others and/or join a class. Before joining a yoga class, let your yoga teacher know about all your health concerns. During a class, stretch at your own comfort and pace. Don’t try any extreme movements and postures that you believe are beyond your abilities at that point of time. Pay attention to how you feel afterwards — light and refreshed or fatigued and weak. Obviously, latter is something you shouldn’t feel after a yoga class. If you feel really uncomfortable after a yoga session, you should know that particular yoga type isn’t a good idea for you.

If you are 45 or older, have lately been inactive, or have certain health concerns, you should start with Kripalu, Integral, Viniyoga or Restorative yoga.

Alternatively, you can start this healthy journey with help of online videos, health clubs, books, DVDs, magazines and friends. However, we advise you to practice yoga under guidance of an experienced, certified yoga trainer and after consultation with your doctor. Now that you are determined to start on with a healthy journey, let’s learn what to do and how.

Back To Top

Yoga Poses for Managing Diabetes:

Diabetes is generally caused when your body cells don’t respond to insulin. When you start practising yoga, your body starts responding to insulin. This in-turn helps in managing blood glucose levels. Yoga helps in improving blood circulation throughout the body especially arms and legs where issues are most encountered if you are a diabetic. Additionally, it helps in reducing stress at both physical and mental level which eventually helps in managing blood sugar.
Let’s get started with few amazing yoga poses to keep your diabetes in control.

1. Breathing (Pranayama):

Breathing in and out deeply can help in oxygenating your blood. It also improves blood circulation. Pranayama can help in soothing your rattled nerves and calms the mind. The most common pranayams are Anulom Vilom, Kapalbhati, Narishodan, and Bhastrika pranayama.

How to Do It:

Tip: Don’t practice it right after you have had your meal.

2. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana):

Apart from normalizing your blood pressure, this asana helps in relaxing the mind. Bridge pose stretches the spine and neck while simultaneously improving digestion. Ladies, it can also relieve menopause symptoms.

How to Do It:

Tip: Avoid this asana, if you have neck pain, knee pain or back pain.

3. Child’s Pose (Balasana):

Child’s pose or Bal asana effectively reduces stress and induces a feeling of calmness. It gently stretches your thighs, hips and ankles. Child’s pose reduces fatigue and stress. Practising child’s pose will help you in getting rid of back pain that you might have developed due to prolonged sitting. As it can combat stress, it is one of the best yoga poses for diabetics.

How to do it:

Tip: Avoid this pose, if you are pregnant, have diarrhea or a knee injury.

4. Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar):

Sun salutation is a simple yet effective asana that includes 12 easy yoga poses in sequence. Surya Namaskar is extremely beneficial for people with diabetes as it helps in improving the blood circulation of pancreas and increases utilization of insulin. Let’s learn how to perform perfect sun salutations.
How to Do It:

4.1. Prayer Pose (Pranamasana):

4.2. Raised Arms Pose (Hastauttanasana):

4.3. Standing Forward Bend (Hasta Padasana):

4.4. Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalan asana)

4.5. Staff Pose (Dandasana):

4.6. Eight-Limbed Pose (Ashtanga Namaskara):

4.7. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana):

4.8. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana):

4.9. Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalan asana):

4.10. Standing Forward Bend (Hasta Padasana):

4.11. Raised Arms Pose (Hastauttanasana):

4.12. Mountain Pose (Parvatasana):

Tip: Avoid sun salutation if you are menstruating, have hernia, intestinal tuberculosis, high blood pressure or coronary artery disease

These easy steps might encourage you to do sun salutation several times each day for improved health and controlled blood sugar levels.

5. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana):

The triangle pose or Trikonasana is a great yoga pose to lose all that excess weight you carry around your stomach and waist. This is really an amazing yoga pose for people who are obese or overweight. Trikonasana also improves digestion, this makes this pose a boon for all the diabetics.

How to Do It:

Tip: If you have high blood pressure, don’t gaze upwards. You can look downwards in this case. While, if you suffer from diarrhea, headaches or low blood pressure; avoid this yoga pose.

6. Diamond Pose (Vajrasana):

This is a simple pose which can calm your senses. It improves digestion, relaxes the mind and gently massages the kanda, which is a spot located around 12 inches above anus. Ayurveda believes in activation of kundalini, where the primal force of life resides according to Ayurveda. This kundalini can be activated by strengthening the kanda which lies at the bottom of our spine. It is a point where 72,000 nerves converge. Awakening kundalini stimulates the flow of energy in our body and keeps it in harmony. Vajrasana is indeed, a great pose for managing diabetes effectively.

How to Do It:

Tip: If you are suffering from joint pain or spinal cord issues, you must avoid this pose.

7. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana):

The tree pose or vrikshasana is one of the best asanas for diabetics. This yoga pose helps in improving the insulin secretion from the pancreas. So, get ready to pose like a tree leaving all your inhibitions behind.

How To Do It:

Tip: Avoid this pose, if you are suffering from insomnia or high blood pressure. In case you have high blood pressure, you should not keep your hands over your head for long time. Instead, hold your hands in “namaste” pose at the chest.

8. Plow Pose (Halasana):

The plow pose or Halasana stimulates the parathyroid glands, thyroid glands, abdominal organs and lungs, thereby helping the blood flow towards your head. It also improves digestion and normalizes the hormonal levels.

How to Do It:

Tip: If you are suffering from hypertension, spleen or liver disorders, diarrhea, had a neck injury or are menstruating, avoid this pose.

9. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana):

Bow pose or Dhanurasana can strengthen your spine and back. It also stimulates the reproductive organs, combats stress and reduces fatigue. Bow pose also relieves menstrual pain and relieves constipation. Another great yoga pose that can effectively reduce stress and help in managing diabetes.

How to Do It:

Tip: Avoid doing this pose, if you have high or low blood pressure, neck pain, pain in the lower back, migraine, are pregnant or had an abdominal surgery recently.

10. Reclining Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana):

Reclining Spinal Twist or Supta Matsyendrasana is great pose to stretch your spine and relax muscles of your back. Moreover, Supta Matsyendrasana also helps in relaxing the mind and combating the stress. It is indeed one of the best yoga asanas for diabetics.

How to Do It:

Tip: If you have any spinal injuries, avoid doing this pose.

11. Forward Bend Pose (Paschimotasana):

Paschimotasana is a forward bending pose which improves blood circulation towards the face. It also helps the stomach in functioning better. Forward bend pose also strengthens the thigh muscles and calms arms and back. Paschimotasana can help in reducing stress and is great for diebetics.

How To Do It:

Tip: Avoid this pose if you have any kind of trouble in your spine or back.

12. Fish Pose (Matsyasana):

The fish pose or matsy asana is yet another powerful pose for managing and controlling your diabetes. It stimulates the pancreas and improves insulin secretion.

How to Do It:

Tip: Avoid fish pose if you are having abnormal blood pressure, migraine, spondylitis, neck injury, back pain, are pregnant or have general heart conditions.

13. Shoulder Stand Pose (Sarvangasana):

Shoulder stand yoga pose goes improves the digestive system, strengthens immune system, boosts metabolism and prevents nerve damage. All of this will eventually help you in managing diabetes and preventing its related complications.

How To Do It:

Tip: Avoid this pose if you are suffering from any back problems or have high blood pressure.

14. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana):

Half Lord of the Fishes yoga posture is also commonly known as the half twist pose. By eliminating out toxins from all crucial body organs including pancreas, gall bladder, liver, intestines; this half twist pose helps a lot in controlling diabetes.

How to Do It:

Tip: Avoid this pose if you are pregnant or are suffering from any heart, brain or abdominal injury.

15. Corpse Pose (Shavasana):

Shavasana or the corpse pose relaxes your whole body and releases stress, tension and anxiety. It also calms the muscles, stimulates blood circulation, reduces blood pressure and cures insomnia. With all these health benefits, it is an efficient yoga pose which can help in managing your diabetes. This pose is usually done at the end of your yoga practice for relaxation and rejuvenation.

How to Do It:

Tip: Avoid this pose if you have backache or suffer from acid-reflux.

Having discussed all these yoga asanas, it is advisable to be extremely careful while you perform few of the above-mentioned poses. You need to be particularly careful when you are suffering from any kind of neck pain, shoulder pain, or any other health issue. Avoid poses which might, in any way, harm your body.

Back To Top


Yoga has been long known to both prevent and cure most of the illnesses. When yoga is practised regularly, it helps you in effectively controlling diabetes to a great extent. One of the primary causes of diabetes just like in the most other diseases is nothing but prolonged, excessive stress. Once you manage your stress, you would be in a better position to manage various debilitating conditions including diabetes.

Yoga calms the rattled nerves and senses of a person. It eventually creates a feeling of calmness and serenity. As a result, yoga is highly recommended by most of the medical experts all around the world. Yoga along with meditation can make you, a more confident person. Moreover, you can expect an almost normal life with diabetes.

You must now be aware of the various yoga poses which can help you in managing your diabetes. Even if you are a healthy person and not suffering from diabetes, it is advised that you adopt yoga as an integral part of your life. Did you enjoy reading our article?

Leave your comments and feedback below. We look forward to sharing many more yoga poses for a healthier and fitter you.

Back To Top

Exit mobile version