We’ve discussed metabolic syndrome at length, talking about how it’s a rising concern among Americans. Other than heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, diabetes too, is a severe repercussion of the condition.

The body fails to manage the glucose levels in the blood. With type 2 diabetes, the cells do not acknowledge the presence of insulin produced by the pancreas, which leads to a malfunction (insulin resistance). So instead of converting the glucose received from food into energy, the glucose stays in the blood. This is often associated with childhood obesity and weighty issues (particularly belly fat), which contribute to the problem and metabolic syndrome.

Yoga Fix
The practice can be used to stimulate and massage the internal organs in the body. This directly effects the functioning of metabolic activities carried out in our systems, and enhances communication among cells to operate in complete balance and harmony. Any wonder why yoga comes highly recommended for patients suffering from diabetes?

A combination of yoga asanas and pranayamas or breathing exercises performed for 40-60 minutes, ideally twice a day, can bring about a vast change. Here are three poses to condition the abdomen, which in turn regulates hormonal secretions, pushes more insulin, and keeps your waistline in check.

Vrikshasana, Or Tree Pose

Step 1: Stand up on your mat with your feet placed together. Fix a point of concentration at eye level. Do not change your gaze.
Step 2: Lock your left knee and contract your left thigh, pulling you knee cap upwards. Make sure you are confident with your balance.
Step 3: Now, lift your right leg up and place the right foot sole on the inside of your left thigh as high as possible.
Step 4: Make sure you stand up tall so your spine is straight, chest lifted. Gently push your right knee down to the right if it is sticking out of line with your hips.
Step 5: Next, gently push your pelvis forward and your upper body back. Shoulders and hips should be in one line.
Step 6: Bring your hands together in prayer. Stay for five breaths.
Step 7: If comfortable extend your arms up above your head upwards towards the sky. Hold here for five breaths. Gently exit and repeat on the other side.

Dhanurasana, Or Bow Pose
Step 1:
Lie down on your stomach. Keep your feet at hip-width distance, arms relaxed by your sides.
Step 2: Bend your knees and grab the outside of your feet, about two inches below your toes. Place your thumbs on the outside and the remaining fingers on the inside.
Step 3: Inhale, as your gaze up at the ceiling and lift your upper body and legs.
Step 4: Be sure to kick your legs up and use your glute muscles without break. Toes should be kept pointed.
Step 5: Be conscious of your legs not spreading too far apart from one another. Bring your knees in closer to one another to prevent that.
Step 6: Tilt your body slightly forward. Continue to breathe normally through your nose. Hold for 5-8 counts and gently exit. Do a minimum of two sets.

Halasana, Or Plough Pose
Step 1:
Lie down on your back, arms by your sides in a relaxed position, with your palms facing down. Legs together.
Step 2: Inhale as you bend your knees and lift your hips up off the ground with the support of your core strength.
Step 3: Now, slowly extend your legs up straight at a 90 degree angle and place your hands on the sides of your lower back. Gaze at your belly button. (This is a shoulder stand).
Step 4: Next, slowly lower your legs up over your head until your toes touch the floor. You can keep the toes curled in or keep the feet flat on the floor, depending on what is more comfortable for you.
Step 5: Hold for 5-10 breaths. Exhale and gently bring legs down to the starting position.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of these asanas for those with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Indulging in a yoga routine, twice a day, can help one decrease the amount of sugar in the blood, along with eliminating all the usual symptoms associated with this disease such as fat accumulation around the waist, stress, high blood pressure, liver and kidney complications, and high cholesterol.

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PS: Here’s your one-stop guide to Yoga Asanas For Weight Loss.
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Nisha Gulati is a fitness expert and model originally hailing from New Jersey, USA. She is a certified Bikram Hot Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa Instructor, health and fitness columnist for Hyderabad’s widely read B Positive Magazine, a trained Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Bhangra, and giddha dancer. She also has trained in Kalaripayattu a martial arts form in Kerala. Yoga has been a source of great discipline, inspiration and positivity for Nisha who has been teaching at studios in Mumbai India, Phuket Thailand, Marina Dubai and Vancouver Canada.