In today’s stress-laden world, the prevalence of diabetes has surged, making it a pressing health concern. Don’t worry; there’s a transformative and holistic approach that can work wonders for those battling diabetes – yoga!

Yoga, an ancient practice originating from India, encompasses a blend of physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), and meditation techniques. It is renowned and practiced worldwide for its ability to cultivate balance, flexibility, and strength while nurturing the mind-body connection. 

Beyond the physical benefits, practicing yoga provides relaxation, nurtures emotional resilience, reduces stress, and promotes a mindful approach to life. By incorporating yoga into your routine, you embark on a journey of self-discovery and mindfulness.

Today, we’re here to introduce you to 10 yoga poses that can do wonders for those suffering from diabetes. We’re certain that you must be familiar with some of them, but do you know them all? Stick with us till the end to find out!

Surya Namaskar – सूर्य नमस्कार (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namaskar is a series of dynamic yoga postures that invigorate the body, improve blood circulation, and enhance overall energy levels. It’s also one of the yoga poses that activate the pancreas, promoting insulin secretion and regulating blood sugar levels, thus aiding in diabetes management.

Furthermore, sun salutations are also a great way to warm up before your yoga routine or going for a walk. 

How to do it:

Step 1: Stand tall at the edge of your mat with your feet together. Slowly relax your shoulders and expand your chest.

Step 2: Inhale deeply, raise your arms overhead, and gently arch your back. Keep your biceps near your ears, and try to stretch your body from your toes to your fingertips. 

Step 3: As you exhale, bring your palms together before your chest, similar to a praying position. Now, slowly fold forward, and exhale completely as you place your hands beside your feet.

Step 4: Slowly inhaling, push your right leg back as far as possible into a lunge position. Step your left leg back to a plank pose as you exhale, then lower down to the floor.

Step 5: Inhale and lift your chest into a gentle backbend (cobra pose). As you exhale, lift your hips and come into a downward-facing dog.

Step 6: Now slowly inhale and bring your right foot forward, followed by your left foot. Exhale, fold forward, and return to the standing position.

Step 7: Repeat the sequence, leading with the left leg.

Dhanurasana – धनुरासन (Bow Pose) 

A renowned asana that boosts your flexibility, the Dhanurasana can enhance digestion by stimulating the pancreas. This is particularly beneficial for diabetics as stimulating the pancreas can lead to enhanced insulin production and improved insulin sensitivity.

How to do it: 

Step 1: On your yoga mat, lie on your stomach, with your feet placed hip-width apart and arms beside your body.

Step 2: Bend your knees and slowly try to reach back with your hands to grasp your ankles.

Step 3: Inhaling deeply, lift your chest and thighs off the ground, creating a bow-like shape with your body.

Step 4: Keep your gaze before you and hold the pose for a few breaths.

Step 5: Exhale slowly as you release your ankles and lower your chest and thighs to the ground.

Step 6: Repeat the pose for a few rounds and gradually increase the hold duration. 

Ardha Matsyendrasana – अर्ध मत्स्येन्द्रासन (Half Spinal Twist)

Ardha Matsyendrasana (or the Lord of the Fishes pose) stimulates the pancreas while improving spinal flexibility. It can potentially reduce stress, rejuvenate the abdominal organs, aiding in better insulin secretion, all of which contribute to diabetes management and improved overall well-being.

How to do it:

Step 1: Sit on your yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you.

Step 2: Bend your right knee, cross your right foot over the left leg, and place it beside your left knee.

Step 3: Inhale as you lengthen your spine while raising your left arm overhead.

Step 4: Exhale, twist your torso towards the right, and place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee.

Step 5: Gently gaze over your right shoulder and hold the pose for a couple of breaths.

Step 6: Inhale, release the twist, and repeat on the opposite side.

Paschimottanasana – पश्चिमोत्तानासन (Seated Forward Bend)

Paschimottanasana stimulates the abdominal organs and the pancreas, which can potentially lead to better diabetes management. It also stretches the hamstrings and lower back, promoting flexibility and relaxation.

How to do it: 

Step 1: Sit on your mat with your legs extended in front of you. Now inhale, lengthen your spine, and raise your arms overhead.

Step 2: Exhale, hinge forward from the hips, reaching for your feet or ankles. Keep your spine long and straight, and gently fold deeper with each exhale.

Step 3: Hold the pose for a few breaths and fall the stretch in the back of your legs.

Step 4: Inhale, slowly reach a seated position, maintaining the length of your spine.

Salabhasana – शलभासन  (Locust Pose)

Salabhasana strengthens the back muscles, improves digestion, and stimulates the sciatic nerves. Commonly referred to as the locust pose, this asana can also help in relieving mild backache. And of course, this pose also stimulates the core and abdominal regions, including the pancreas, which enhances insulin production and is advantageous for diabetics.

How to do it:

Step 1: Lie on your yoga mat on your stomach with your arms beside your body and forehead resting on the ground.

Step 2: Inhale as you lift your chest, head, arms, and legs off the ground simultaneously.

Step 3: Keep your gaze forward and your neck aligned with your spine. Hold the pose for a few breaths, engaging your back muscles.

Step 4: Exhale, gently release the pose, and lower your body to the ground.

Vrikshasana – वृक्षासन (Tree Pose)

Vrikshasana improves balance, strengthens the legs, and enhances concentration. While practicing this pose, you will activate your leg muscles and stimulate the pancreas for better insulin production, aiding diabetes care.

How to do it:

Step 1: Start by standing tall with your feet and arms at your sides. Shift your weight onto your left foot and place the sole of your right foot against your inner left thigh or calf, whichever feels comfortable on the first try. 

Step 2: Find your balance and bring your hands together at your heart center. Now, fix your gaze on a stable point and hold the pose for a few breaths.

Step 3: Inhale, release the pose, and repeat on the other side.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama – अनुलोम-विलोम प्राणायाम (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Anulom Vilom Pranayama is a powerful breathing technique that can help calm your mind, reduce stress, and enhance respiratory function.

But why is it on the list of yoga poses for diabetes, you wonder? Well, this might come as a surprise to many, but the regular practice of this pranayama also improves oxygenation, aids in blood sugar regulation and diabetes management, and balances the body’s energy.

How to do it:

Step 1: Find a comfortable seated position with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.

Step 2: Close your right nostril with your right thumb, inhaling deeply through your left nostril.

Step 3: Close your left nostril with your right ring finger, release your thumb from your right nostril, and exhale.

Step 4: Inhale through your right nostril, close it with your thumb, release your ring finger, and exhale through your left nostril.

Step 5: Repeat the cycle, alternating nostrils with each breath. Aim for a smooth and controlled breath, with equal duration for inhalation and exhalation.

Continue practicing Anulom Vilom Pranayama for several minutes, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable.

Bhujangasana – भुजंगासन (Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana strengthens the back muscles, improves spinal flexibility, and stimulates the abdominal organs. This gentle backbend helps in regulating blood sugar levels and boosts energy.

How to do it:

Step 1: On your yoga mat, lie on your stomach with your legs extended and your feet tops pressed into the floor.

Step 2: Place your palms beside your shoulders, and elbows close to your body.

Step 3: Inhale, press through your palms, and slowly lift your chest off the ground. Keep your lower body relaxed and your gaze forward.

Step 4: Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the gentle stretch in your abdomen.

Step 5: Exhale, slowly release the pose, and lower your chest to the ground.

Setu Bandhasana – सेतु बंधासन (Bridge Pose)

Setu Bandhasana strengthens the back and legs, stretches the chest and neck, and stimulates the abdominal organs. Also known as the bridge pose, this asana improves digestion, relieves stress, and promotes relaxation. All these benefits can also contribute to diabetes self-management, which is why we’ve added this pranayama on our list of yoga poses for diabetes.

How to do it:

Step 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart, heels close to your buttocks.

Step 2: Place your arms alongside your body, palms facing down.

Step 3: Inhale, press through your feet, and lift your hips off the ground. Roll your shoulders back, allowing your chest to open.

Step 4: Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the stretch in your chest and the activation of your abdominal area.

Step 5: Exhale and lower your spine back down to the ground.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Wondering why Shavasana is on our list of yoga poses for diabetes? Because it is a deeply relaxing asana that promotes complete surrender and rejuvenation. To add to that, it also indirectly helps diabetes self-management by reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and restoring balance to the body and mind.

How to do it:

Step 1: Lie on your yoga mat on your back with your legs extended and arms relaxed by your sides.

Step 2: Close your eyes and allow your body to completely relax into the ground. Release any tension in your muscles and surrender to the present moment. Focus on your breath, allowing it to become calm and steady.

Step 3: Remain in Shavasana for several minutes, embracing stillness and tranquility.

We’d advise consulting your healthcare provider before incorporating new yoga postures into your regimen. Doing so is particularly important if you have pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes. 

Their guidance will ensure your yoga practice is safe and tailored to your needs.

Final thoughts 

These ten yoga poses we’ve talked about today have the potential to work wonders for individuals with diabetes. Incorporating the said poses into your routine can improve your physical well-being, reduce stress, and enhance overall health. 

If this blog pushed you to start doing yoga for better health and diabetes control/prevention, we’re glad to be of help. If you have any questions for us, we’re here for you in the comments below!