Improve Type II Diabetes with Yoga

Improve Type II Diabetes with Yoga


By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.


“Regular yoga practice can help reduce the level of sugar in the blood, along with lowering blood pressure, keeping a weight check, reducing the symptoms and slowing the rate of progression of diabetes, as well as lessening the severity of further complications.” – The Art of Living


Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States and nearly 600 million people worldwide have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type II Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Unlike Type I Diabetes, Type II does not require insulin injections. Instead, the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes focuses on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. A mindfulness practice that combines mindfulness with exercise is yoga and it has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes.


In today’s Research News article “Yoga as a therapeutic intervention for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at:;year=2018;volume=11;issue=2;spage=129;epage=138;aulast=Mondal ), Mondal and colleagues recruited older sedentary women (aged 55-70 years) with Type 2 Diabetes and randomly assigned them to either a yoga practice or a wait-list control group. Yoga practice occurred for 35-55 minutes, 3 days per week for 12 weeks and included postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and chanting. The women were measured before, mid-point, and after training for body size, fasting and after meal plasma glucose, total cholesterol, TG, low-density lipoprotein, very low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein.


They found that after 6 and 12 weeks of yoga practice there were significant improvements in the blood glucose and blood fat markers of Type 2 Diabetes including reductions in blood glucose, total blood fat, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and very low-density lipoprotein, and increases in high-density lipoprotein. Hence the group that practiced yoga showed significant improvements in these markers of Type II Diabetes. Although the women were not followed beyond the time frame of the study, these improvements would predict better overall health and longevity.


These are interesting results that are similar to previous reports that is yoga practice is helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes. They extend these findings to older sedentary women. Because the control condition did not contain any activities, it cannot be concluded that yoga practice per se was necessary for the improvements. It is possible that any form of exercise would have produced similar results in this sedentary group. Future research needs to include groups performing other forms of exercise to compare to yoga practice. But it is clear that yoga practice is beneficial for the health of these older women with Type II Diabetes


So, improve Type II Diabetes with yoga.


“For those wondering how to prevent diabetes or even relieve the condition, a number of studies have revealed that yoga can reduce contributing factors and help patients cope with diabetic symptoms. Although regular exercise can help, yoga for diabetes provides unique benefits that can effectively restore the body to a state of natural health and proper function.” – Yoga U


CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies


This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ and on Twitter @MindfulResearch


Study Summary


Mondal S, Kundu B, Saha S. Yoga as a therapeutic intervention for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int J Yoga 2018;11:129-38

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the effects of 12 weeks yogic intervention on blood sugar and lipid profile in elder women with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Subjects and Methods: Twenty elderly (age range 55–70 years) T2DM women were divided into two groups, namely, yogic intervention group (YIG: n = 10, age 64.70 ± 4.03, body mass index [BMI] 24.26 ± 3.40) and control group (CG: n = 10, age 64.40 ± 4.79, BMI 24.28 ± 2.36). YIG underwent yoga practice (Asanas, Kriyas, Pranayamas) for 12 weeks (3 sessions/week), while the CG continued their usual routine activities. Standing height, body weight, BMI, blood sugar, and lipid profile were measured before commencement and after 6 and 12 weeks of yogic intervention in both groups. Results: There was a significant (P < 0.01) decrease in fasting plasma glucose, postprandial blood sugar, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, and very low density lipoprotein, with a significant (P < 0.01) increase in high-density lipoprotein level from its initial value in YIG, while showing insignificant result in CG. Conclusion: It can be said that yogic intervention may have the beneficial effects on blood sugar and lipid profile in elderly women with T2DM.;year=2018;volume=11;issue=2;spage=129;epage=138;aulast=Mondal


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