Ever since we started living a hectic life, traffic jams, busy schedules, working on our laptops all the time, overtimes, scrolling on social media, and eating fast food, these all things became our life partners. Which welcomed the unhealthy living and sleep-deprived life. In addition to this, we constantly cribble about headaches, backaches, stress, anxiety, insomnia and what not? Putting all these together, we all are already aware that our life is on the toss. So, what’s the solution for all the chaos?
We all know Yoga is great for your physical as well as mental health. Maybe you’ve even tried it. Yoga makes you sleep better, heal aches and pains, make you flexible, keeps sickness at bay, in short, you’re relaxed and living your life at ease. As it happens, Yoga provides concrete clues as to how it improves health and life. Once you understand how Yoga can be beneficial to us, you’ll get more motivated to put your feet on the mat. I have experienced yoga’s healing power on my PCOD. I used to feel lethargic all the time, was putting on lots of weight and had my mood-swings 24/7. So, my gynecologist advised me to incorporate my life with yoga and mindfulness. While I was nowhere near mindfulness, I finally gave in and tried Yoga! Don’t worry, I still have days when I’m bored to move my body. But, somehow I try to do yoga, and the negative thoughts go away in no time. It’s always about the state of mind and perspective.
While we’re talking about Yoga, let us introduce you to Yoga Guru and General Ayurved Physician – Dr. Leena Gehani. She is one of the best Ayurvedic Doctors in our country. She holds a degree in Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) and has been a successful Ayurvedic Doctor for the last 12 years. So, if you’re having a hard time doing yoga or feeling too lazy or diagnosed PCOD or Diabetes. Well, she is here to help us understand the benefits of Yoga for healthy living.
Here’s the bunch of Q & A we did with her for an easy understanding of her knowledge and experience.
Tell us about diabetes in brief?
Everyone knows about Insulin deficiency caused due to Diabetes. But, very few people are aware of what role insulin plays in our body and why it’s important to know. There’s a gland that is situated in the lower abdomen near to the liver. There are beta cells in the pancreas which secrete the insulin, so whatever carbohydrates or sugar we consume that is transferred into glucose and it is transported into other cells or muscles, then supplied to other organs of the body. This work is carried on by insulin!
So, what happens when there’s insulin deficiency?
The pancreatic cells fail to produce insulin or insulin becomes resistant less. At that time, excessive glucose doesn’t get transported to other cells. It gets stored into the blood, then passes to the kidney and goes through the urine. This increases blood sugar level, which leads to diabetic symptoms -Hyperglycemia (Excessive blood in sugar) that might damage your other organs commonly targets heart, obesity, weakness in muscles, eyes, fatigue, body ache, the list is never-ending. It’s the collectiveness of many diseases and makes your life complicated with life-time disorders. You might also get diabetes symptoms, due to genetics, metabolic.
Can yoga help to reduce the blood sugar level?
Diabetes is a lifetime disorder. Due to unhealthy food intake, busy routines, lack of exercise, laziness, and stress many people are prone to get diagnosed with diabetes. As I mentioned before, the cells of the pancreas are stimulated, they’re situated in the abdomen region that can bring about the dramatic change in blood sugar. Yoga is such a type of exercise that can balance blood sugar by stimulating pancreatic cells. Moreover, a diabetic person is always prone to be taken to the hospital due to stress. Stress is a major factor in increasing blood sugar. Yoga is a holistic healing theory, which not only helps your physical health but also enhances your mental health. It helps in lowering down the stress level and especially works on your organs as well. There are groups of asanas for diabetic people that work wonders on the organ to enhance the production of insulin. If the person constantly follows a healthy routine and diet, it will surely help anyone to lower down your blood sugar.
Yoga or HIIT workout, which is more beneficial in diabetes?
Great question, we always get a lot of queries regarding which workout is best and why to choose yoga for healthy living? As I told you earlier, Yoga is a holistic way of training yourself. It enhances your mental health which is very important in today’s hectic life. If you’re mentally fit and not stressed out all the time, any disease can get cured by itself. It all depends on your positive and calm state of mind. By practising different types of Dhyana, Asanas, Shavasana, and Pranayamas it helps in cooling down and releasing hormones to help you with the anxiety, depression and stress level. Speaking of which workout is best, hardcore workouts like HIIT or gyming, works especially on your muscles or bodybuilding but yoga works on the target organ. In the case of Diabetes, yoga helps in stimulation, metabolism and hormonal imbalance. Yoga is the only form that works on your hormonal function. According to expert researchers, Yoga has proved to be the most beneficial than other forms of workouts for diabetes.
What are the yogic purification techniques, Yoga asanas, and Pranayamas beneficial in diabetes?
There are groups of Asanas which stimulate your pancreas and other metabolic organic to enhance the insulin creations. The first one is Mandukasana, sit on your knees by pressing down the abdomen with your fist by bowing down and touching your nose on the ground, this not only works on pancreases but also works on obesity that is the major symptom of diabetes. Second is Bhujangasana where you lie down on your stomach by the support of the palm, lift yourself just to the level of the abdomen and elevate the neck and shoulder to the upper pose just like a cobra. In this asana, there’s the involvement of a group of muscles that stimulates abdomen organs, works for shoulder and arm muscles. Salabhasana and Dhanurasana work best for obesity and hormonal imbalance. In UstrAsana you sit down on your knees and back bend to touch your heels. It stimulates your endo glands which connect to the brain. This helps to cure diabetes, thyroid and hormonal imbalance. Any asanas that target the pelvic or abdomen region is very useful for diabetes.
For the purification procedure, Anulom pranayam and Kapalbhati is a must. Kapalbharti stimulates our whole body, works on our metabolism, and blood circulation. In breathing techniques, Bharpit Pranayam is practiced to lower down the stress level with deep breathing.
Can yoga permanently cure diabetes?
There are two types of Diabetes, Insulin-dependent and type 2 non-insulin-dependent. The first one can be diagnosed around the age of 21 where the pancreas fails to produce insulin in that case we need to have an external insulin supply like insulin injection. In this case, chronic disorders cannot be only cured by yoga, it is a collective effort where you need medicines and a healthy diet to modulate blood sugar level. For many people yoga alone helped to maintain the blood sugar level rather than medicines. Whereas in Type 2 diabetes, Allopathic medicines must be extended, but the doses can be reduced with yoga. Regularity is very important. It should be like a routine. Diabetes is a lifetime disorder. It’s never like 1-2 month yoga is more than enough if you’re feeling better than before. Along with yoga, a healthy diet is also very important. The intake of carbohydrates must be less, the more carbohydrates you consume the more pancreas gets loaded. As per research, yoga can reduce blood sugar too much extent, just be constant, take your medicines on time and of course, follow a diet. Never stop taking medicines for chronic disease. Everything should be well-balanced.
What is PCOD?
Nowadays it is the most prevailing lifestyle disorder among the reproductive age group is PCOD – Polycystic Ovarian Disease and PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The group of symptoms related to this disease originates from the ovary and it affects your whole body. Many times it remains undiagnosed. We don’t realize what is happening to our bodies until we realize there’s an issue with our menstrual cycle. Among 10 every 5 women are suffering from PCOD or PCOS. Since it is a lifetime disorder, junk food consumption, lack of exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle leads to an increase in PCOD cases. Normally, the menstrual cycle appears every month, when in an ovary one follicle matures, it turns into an ovulation egg and passes to the fallopian tube and enters the uterus. And if there’s fertilization, it turns into pregnancy or non-fertilization turns into menstruations. But in the case of PCOD, instead of one follicle, multiple follicles form like a garland of cyst on the ovary that is why it is called Ovarian Disease and Syndrome. The follicle does not get matured and it fails to ovulate. The ovulation does not occur, that is the major factor in PCOD and PCOS which is responsible for conditions like infertility. There are also many other symptoms caused by PCOD. This is a basic function that one should know about.
What are the symptoms of PCOD?
Foremost the major symptoms are the menstrual irregularity or scanty periods. I get a lot of patients, who have irregular menstruation, one month they get then after 2-3 periods they are getting their periods. In the scarcity of menstruation, they get less menstruation flow. This is the indication of PCOD, which is all about pituitary and hypothalamic dysfunction access in the brain. They endocrine all our hormonal activities and ovaries are handled by pituitary and hypothalamic. There are also other major symptoms like you get thick hair on upper lips and lower chin like masculine hair, excessive secretion end-organ, due to increase in male hormones, excessively oily skin, acne especially on the jawline, and obesity ( excess weight gain near the lower body, arms and chest). Sometimes you check thyroid due to confusion, thinking it might be the reason for weight gain but turns out to be PCOD. Although it is associated with thyroid and diabetes but not always. Here cholesterol level increases, with high blood pressure, which results in long term complications in PCOD. You have to go for a certain test to diagnose the PCOD.
How is PCOD diagnosed?
For PCOD there’s no singular blood test like thyroid. There are groups of tests including hormonal tests and ultrasonography. You can see in the sonography itself how cysts are formed in the garland shape around the ovary. Also, Clinical diagnosis is considered if the symptoms are matching with the reports. Sometimes in report hormones are shown normal and sonography also doesn’t show anything but if you have clinical symptoms then we say its clinical PCOD even if the laboratory doesn’t show anything on the report.
What is the effect of PCOD on fertility?
Many women go for diagnosis when they experience infertility. They face problems with conceiving since there’s no ovulation. Ovulation is very important for fertility. But everyone faces different symptoms. Some women get pregnant, but all the conditions are not favourable to them like overweight or hormonal changes.
Can yoga help to reduce PCOD?
Definitely yes, as PCOD is a lifetime disorder that is mainly caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Mainly the consumption of unhealthy food and lack of exercise leads to PCOD. Earlier, people used to focus on physical activity and these days people are always on the phone and busy working on their laptops. These days some parents are also concerned about sending their kids outside to play, which leads to a lack of physical activity. Everyone has found their comfort zone inside the home. Whenever you’re dealing with lifetime disorder physical activity is a must. There is no proper cure for PCOD or specific medicine since it’s a lifestyle disorder. Doctors usually give us hormonal pills to get periods regularly. So if you practice Yoga regularly, you don’t have to always depend on pills since yoga helps in balancing hormones. This also includes decreasing abnormal symptoms from acne to oily face. Yoga can help to keep those symptoms in control.
Which are the specific yoga aasan beneficial in PCOD?
Many asanas improve hormonal levels. The asanas for PCOD are similar to diabetes. Since it correlates with PCOD, unwanted cravings and metabolism. For example, forward bending Paschimottanasana, with your legs straight forward bending and touching your feet. Basically Paschimottanasana works on the group of muscles and is the best asana for the lower body part targeting pelvic. Butterfly pose – Hatha Yoga posture the heels and stimulates the pelvic region which results in stimulating ovaries, helps in ovulation, infertility and symptoms are reduced. Cobra and backbend pose helps here as well. Parayanam and Kapalbhati also work wonders. These breathing exercises help in releasing stress. Stress is the major factor responsible for many life disorders heart disease, diabetes, pcod, obesity and for that meditation is a must. Yoga is a collective group of asanas and purification methods to control PCOD. That can give benefits for the long term.