Let me share with you some scientific study-supported facts on the role of yoga for diabetes management and control.
In addition to breathing exercises or pranayama, eight forms of physical activities – (Yoga asana)- have been observed to benefit diabetic patients. These exercises were practiced each day for 45 minutes, followed by relaxation exercises like Shavasana (Deadman pose) and Makrasana (Crocodile pose).
The Yoga asana practiced were Dhanurasana (Bow pose), Ardha matsayendrasana (half spinal twist) helped control diabetes optimally. Halasana (plow pose), Vajrasana (sitting posture with feet under your hips, Bhujangasana (Cobra pose), Naukasana (boat pose) were effective.
Yoga mudra (sitting with one finger of the hand touching the thumb) and Shalabasana (locust pose) adversely affected people with diabetes and worsened their diabetes status. It is an interesting observation and indicates that the nature of exercise is also vital in diabetes management. Individually Dhanurasana (Bow pose) was found to be most effective in diabetes control. Yoga was useful for people with diabetes of all ages. (Sahay, B.K., 2007)
Individuals who practiced 30 to 40 minutes of yoga showed improved blood glucose and nerve function when compared to another group of individuals who followed a regime of light exercise along with medication. The yoga asanas included in this trial were: Suryanamskar (Sun salutation), Tadasana (Mountain pose), Konasan (Angel pose), Padmasan (sitting cross led Yoga sitting posture), Paschimottasan (Seating forward pose), Ardhamatsyendrasan (Half spinal twist pose), Pavanmuktasana, (Wind releasing pose), Sarpasan (snake pose) and Shavasana (Deadman pose). These individuals also practiced breathing exercises -Pranayamas. (Malhotra, V. et al., 2002)