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Yoga For Diabetes - Create Health

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-02-12 (Revised/Updated 2012-09-17) - When I had fallen away from yoga practice and was overcome by my thoughts and reactions I manifested stress in my body - Bradley Kapture.

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When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I began to analyze the causes of the disease and its management. I kept returning to one pivot point, stress. Yes, I had a strong heredity factor in my case (my father was a diabetic and died of a heart attack at the age of 47). However in the three years prior to my diagnosis I had fallen away from my yoga practice and was overcome by my thoughts and reactions to my life situation, in other words, I manifested stress in my body.

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I began to analyze the causes of the disease and its management. I kept returning to one pivot point, stress. Yes, I had a strong heredity factor in my case (my father was a diabetic and died of a heart attack at the age of 47). However in the three years prior to my diagnosis I had fallen away from my yoga practice and was overcome by my thoughts and reactions to my life situation, in other words, I manifested stress in my body.

The funny thing is stress does not really exist per say.

There is no tangible stress "out there". It's a manifestation of a fear based perception and interpretation of an event in our lives. Usually the reaction is not to "what is" in the moment but what may happen in the future. This perception triggers the sympathetic nervous system response of "fight or flight" in our physical body. When the "fight or flight" syndrome kicks in, the heart rate and blood pressure increase, and high levels of cortisol and adrenaline are released into the body. (High levels of cortisol are a strong risk factor in cardiovascular disease and known to be responsible for weight gain as well.) In addition this syndrome causes blood sugars to rise. This release of blood sugar is a double edge sword as the same stress cycle blocks the body from releasing insulin. The physiological reason is to prepare our body with the fuel for fight or flight. However today we no longer run or fight, we sit and simmer and our bodies are slowly destroyed and diseased by a mechanism initially designed to help us survive. The result is a type 2 diabetes train wreck making the management of stress one of the most important things you can do to preserve your health.

Well how does one do that

Looking at nature we can find some good examples. Use the analogy of a hunting cat in the wild or even that of a pet cat you can observe. A cat will patiently stalk its prey and, when the time is right, make its move. This strike may or may not be successful. But notice that if the cat misses its intended meal, it does not get angry, scream, yell, flip off other cats on the way home and then treat its family badly. It will shake it off, walk away and nap in the sun. Then, if the opportunity should arise for another meal, it will again patiently resume the hunt.

The second action in my yoga method is the practice of mantra meditation. If you commit to this practice you are well on the way to managing stress and getting that nap in the sun like that lucky lazy cat!

Mantra Meditation

The definition of mantra is "to free from the mind." Mantra in yoga refers to Sanskrit Mantra. In the language of Sanskrit, vibration is the primary effect and intellectual meaning is secondary. In other words, when a person utters Sanskrit sounds, the subtle energy system of the person's body reacts and aligns in relation to the sound. The benefits of the Sanskrit sounds used are two-fold-they quiet the mind as well as energize the "prana" or life force.

This powerful combination is what makes the practice of these sounds so profound. When you begin to recite the mantra, all other distractions fall away and the mind is stilled to the point of deep meditation and silence. Once you are in this state, the mantra actually subsides until thought begins to distract you once again. So, what is this space of silence? It's truth, nirvana, bliss, healing and that nap in the sun.

There are thousands of mantras to choose from. Some are long and melodic and others are short. I prefer to use and initiate students in what are called "Bija", or seed sounds mantras. A seed mantra is a one-syllable mantra that has no exact translation. The interpretation or exact result of using it is something you feel on an energy level-it cannot be "taught" in the mind. Because there is no definition for the mind to grasp, it becomes a tool of transformation, a vehicle to the space of silence.

Remember if it's in your mind it's in your body! Everyday you succumb to the residue of thought and your physical as well as your energetic body is left with residual stuff-stored negative energy, emotions and stress. It is essential for the purpose of your overall health that you take the time on a daily basis to "clean out."

So find yourself a good book or instructor and commit yourself to this practice! Start with once a day for 20 minutes. Remember to keep a journal of your blood sugar levels to track the benefits of this potent action!

Reference: Bradley Kapture, author, "The Sounds of Silence" and lecturer, is the founder of yoga4diabetes . Kapture is an expert in asana, mantra and meditation practices. In 2004 a turn in life circumstances forced him to close his yoga studios, leave his yoga practice and go to work in the world of corporate sales. After just 3 years he found himself overweight, filled with anxiety and with type 2 diabetes. He refused standard drug treatment and instead returned to yoga and developed a yoga method to address the causes of type 2 diabetes and to heal his body.

Within just three months his blood sugars had returned to normal levels. His doctor responded, "I agree with you on your diabetes control; the HGA1C is well below target at 6.5 so keep doing what you're doing. It's really a tremendous achievement to go from 7.7 to 6.5 in such a short time period without medication." These results inspired him to share his yoga method and help others with diabetes reduce or eliminate dependence on medication and help those with pre-diabetes from developing the disease.



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