Vinaya is an RYT-500 and passionate yogini. Her teaching is a rounded balance of guided meditation techniques, pranayama for overall emotional and physical development, and Ayurveda. Greatly inspired by Bhramakumaris raja yoga and Yogananda’s kriya yoga, Vinaya uses the benefits of these teachings to encourage stability in handling life’s situations and helping others find ultimate health and transformation in their lives.
Vinaya shares her wisdom on how Yoga can help prevent, cure and possibly reverse Diabetes. She strongly believes in empowering your mind and spirit through meditation and Yoga, especially for people fighting this omnipresent dis-ease. Gems from this wonderful interaction:
1. Are there ways to prevent diabetes through meditation and yoga?
Yoga helps in keeping all seven layers of our body healthy.
Meditation will definitely help in bringing awareness to who we are and what our thoughts can do to our body. Yoga helps in keeping all seven layers of our body healthy. A happy and healthy body is achieved by a very calm and happy mind. We live in an ocean of thoughts and our cells are all alive and intelligent. They listen to us in every way we are: what we think, what we say, and what we do! It’s not just diet but also how we lead our life, how we adapt and overcome situations. Thought patterns that are created with every experience make us and our diseases. Surrendering to yoga and meditation can prevent onset of any diseases.
2. Which yoga asanas are recommended for diabetics?
Yoga asana practice must be incorporated into a holistic approach to life itself in order to be really effective. The following asanas rejuvenate the main gland involved in diabetes – the pancreas. But our endocrine system is like set of musicians performing an orchestra; other glands also are involved. Regular practice and recognizing the effect of stress on a physical, mental, and emotional level will help in optimal cure and prevention.
Image courtesy: http://www.satyaliveyoga.com.au/
Image courtesy: http://twistingpeacockyoga.com.au/
The diet should be filled with leafy greens, fresh vegetables, and bitter fruits and veggies instead of high carbs and dairy.
3. Are there specific cases where yoga is not recommended for someone with diabetes?
People with diabetes, especially, should make sure that their yoga-related goals are reasonable. Even though, in most cases, yoga is safe, poses must not be generalized or performed without a certified instructor. For example, shoulder stands could aggravate neck issues and back bends can bring up back or spine issues. It’s always better to take precautions before starting any kind of practice.
Beginners to yoga should not expect sudden improvement in their fitness level or diabetes control, or even expect classes to feel like a workout.
Only when yoga is done under proper instruction one can experience what it has to offer. Yoga is not for diabetics who have complications, additional chronic illness, amputation, or some other limitations. People with such needs should try restorative yoga, but again, always make sure to do it under proper guidance.
4. How does the spiritual aspect of yoga help in healing diabetes?
Yoga and meditation gives a psychophysiological coherence, which is mental and physical harmony that a person with diabetic needs.
Spiritually, the onset of diabetes is not just physical. It’s a role consciousness plays on the mind. On an emotional level, it is when a person refuses to accept the present as it is and desires something more than what is in the now. So they lose appreciation of life itself and base their happiness in the future assuming there will be something more and better than now. In other words, while creating thoughts about future happiness they lose their ability to enjoy the sweetness of the present, and develop a deep desire for more.
Thoughts of deep desire and greed create the onset of diabetes.
Initially, the idea of sitting quietly with your own thoughts and feelings can be intimidating. That initial discomfort does not last long, as breathing deeply increases the cells’ absorption of oxygen and nutrients. This results in quick tissue repair and elevates a sense of calmness in the nervous system. The relaxation response boosts the immune system, counters the negative effects of stress, and increases mental clarity and behavioral adaptability to day-to-day situations.
Everybody picks up from somewhere, but as a nation, it’s no longer a fight, it’s a utter negligence and ignorance.
Yoga and meditation offer people with diabetes an opportunity to dive into their own bodies with appreciation, acceptance, and gratitude and to experience healing. The desperate need to see the benefits from yoga right away could make you miss the real point of it. Yoga is never a substitute for medical care, but rather an integrative practice. It is about enjoying what is in the “now,” for this moment is all that we have!
5. What is the holistic approach that people should take to prevent lifestyle ailments like diabetes?
Everyone knows the statistic: As a nation, 20 million people struggle with diabetes, and 95% are type 2 diabetics. We are the sickest nation in the world. Today, type 2 diabetes is tripled. Diabetes has increased 700% in last 50 years. More than 50% of patients are not even aware they have diabetes. The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar. It is obviously not genetic.
Unless you take responsibility for everything you eat, no one else will. No one will take care of you as much as you can!
As a volunteer in my daughter’s school health center, for the first few days it was tough for me to see young kids who could not go to recess or play outside due to diabetes. I watched as young kids injected insulin, and all they ate was half a slice of pizza and a box of apple juice. Are we even fighting it anymore, or we have just given up? Are kids no more allowed to be kids? It’s appalling that so many must carry a big plastic box full of medicines along with their school supplies.
Why do we feed ourselves and our kids with drugs and mineral-deficient food? Why are we fighting diseases with SAD – the Standard American Diet?
We should stop volunteering as guinea pigs for our health care providers. Almost 80% of drugs have only side effects. Our kids are for enjoying and continuing generations for the future, not for feeding to diseases. Even our iPhones have better versions! Be responsible for what we eat and how we take care of ourselves so our future generations will have a healthy life and lifestyle. We need to aim to inspire and be an example. Why not try a natural approach?
It’s sad that many kids are not going to live up to their parents’ age.
Why not take responsibility for your own health? Do not put anything in your mouth if you do not know where it comes from. Diet and exercise plays a crucial role in preventing and curing diabetes. A plant-based diet with lots of vegetables which have lived and sustained on this planet for centuries is the answer.
There has been much research on eating plant-based food to reverse diseases. I ask my clients to simply stop eating from a box and follow these simple guidelines:
- Absolutely no high fructose corn syrup
- No diet products
- No painkillers
- Follow a plant-based organic diet for proper nutrition
- Take personal responsibility
- Do not go to doctors unnecessarily
- Exercise at least 120 minutes per week
- Get at least 6 hours of deep sleep every night