Yoga and Diabetes

Dr Mrs Vrmila Jamdar

In this Jet Age the modern man is constantly exposed to various tensions. No doubt, he has numerous conveniences at his disposal to give him physical comfort and sensual enjoyment. He works in an office, sleeps on a thick foam mattress, travels everywhere in his car, and attends cinemas, night clubs and watches television for recreation. However, he has to use sleeping pills and all kinds of medicines in an attempt to get rest and peace to counteract the negative influence of the modern way of life. But instead of peace, rest and happiness he gets a lot of physical, mental and emotional tensions.

Men and women today cannot find any way to unburden themselves of the frustrations and anxieties in their personal lives, so ultimately they fall victim to a variety of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease etc. Is there any way to find relief? YES ! Through the process of 'Ashtanga Yoga'. Asana and other effective yoga kriyas release the strength and energy through which the problems of life can be faced and life made harmonious.

Diabetes is a universally accepted psychosomatic and metabolic disease caused by the insufficient production of insulin by the Islet of Langerhans situated in the pancreas. Harmonious functioning of the body depends mainly upon the efficiency of the endocrinal system.

Bihar School of Yoga has, after years of research programmes and special Diabetic Camps, greatly substantiated the yogic claim that various yoga techniques (especially yogasanas, the Hatha yoga shatkarmas and Yoga Nidra) restore and ensure sound nerve connections to these organs, including the endocrinal glands, Pranayama practices such as nadi shodhana, bhastrika, ujjayi etc., alternately stimulate and inhibit the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The endocrinal glands supplied by these nerves are therefore voluntarily relaxed arid activated. Since the glands are generally in a state of operation, these practices give them a needed rest, allowing them to function more efficiently.

The Hatha yoga practice of shankhaprakshalana relaxes the endocrinal system. In this process, when the entire alimentary canal has been completely washed, many of the endocrinal glands, especially those connected with digestion and metabolism, are able to rest for about an hour until food is again taken. This short rest is beneficial to the whole body and can work wonders in the case of diabetes. The endocrinal glands can start to function again even though they may have ceased to do so many years previously.

The psychic cause of diabetes can be managed with other powerful yoga practices like Ajapa Japa, Yoga Nidra and meditation. Last but not least, food restrictions must be followed.

In this modern age of scientific invention there are so many aids for comfort in life. It seems a contradiction, yet it is true that very few people are able to enjoy these luxuries. A great many people have wealth but they really live in poverty. The disease which accompanies modern civilisations deprives them of their strength and enjoyment of life. Yoga is a powerful way to rectify this situation. Yoga will enable people to start a new life with more vitality and mental stamina. Further, they will develop a broader outlook on life, understand their own and other peoples' problems and solve them more easily.

Modern drugs are limited and not without dangerous side-effects, whereas the systematic and gentle practice of yoga is both harmless and effective and leads to a happy, fruitful and fulfilling life.