HbA1c, short for hemoglobin A1c, is a blood test that measures average blood sugar levels over a period of 2-3 months. It is an indicator of how well a person's diabetes is managed.
Hemoglobin carries oxygen to red blood cells. When blood sugar levels rise, glucose molecules bind to hemoglobin to form glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c.
The more glucose in the blood, the higher the HbA1c level. By measuring the HbA1c percentage, medical professionals can assess long-term glycemic control.
This is important for diabetics, as sustained high blood sugar levels can lead to complications such as heart disease, kidney damage, and neuropathy.
HbA1c is displayed as a percentage. In general, a lower percentage indicates better glycemic control.
Her target HbA1c level depends on factors such as the person's age, general health, and the presence or absence of other medical conditions. Providers use the HbA1c results to make treatment adjustments such as:
For example, changing medication and lifestyle recommendations to help individuals reach their goals and effectively manage their diabetes.
5 Yoga asanas to reduce HbA1c levels
Yoga can be a useful addition to your diabetes management routine. While it's important to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise or yoga program, here are 5 yoga asanas (poses) that may help lower your HbA1c levels.
1.Dhanurasana (Bow Pose):
This pose stimulates the pancreas, which is responsible for producing insulin. It also stretches the abdomen and improves digestion.
Steps to practice Dhanurasana (Bow Pose):
- Lie on your stomach (prone position) with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Relax your body and take a few deep breaths to prepare yourself.
- Bend your knees and bring your heels as close to your buttocks as possible, keeping them hip-width apart. Make sure your ankles and knees are in line.
- Extend your arms behind you and grab your ankles with your hands. If you can't reach your ankle, hold your foot sideways or wrap a yoga strap around your ankle and grab the strap.
- Take a deep breath and pull your heels away from your buttocks. Lift your chest, head, and torso off the floor at the same time. Concentrate on lengthening your spine and opening your chest.
- As you continue to inhale, lift your thighs off the floor and pull them back. Feel the stretch in your shoulders, chest, abdomen, and thighs.
- Continue to breathe evenly and hold the pose for 20-30 seconds or as long as you are comfortable. Keep a gentle smile and relax your facial muscles.
- To release the pose, exhale slowly and slowly lower your thighs, chest, and head to the floor. Release your ankles and return your legs and arms to the starting position.
- Lie on your stomach and take a few deep breaths to relax and rest.
2. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spine Twist Pose):
This asana massages the abdominal organs, including the pancreas, to improve their function. It also stimulates the digestive system and increases blood flow to the abdomen.
Steps to practice Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist Pose):
- Start by sitting on the floor with your legs expanding before you. Keep your spine straight and your shoulders loose.
- Twist your knees and put your feet level on the floor, keeping them hip-width separated.
- Slide your cleared-out foot beneath your right leg and put it on the exterior of your right hip. The sole of your cleared-out foot ought to be level on the floor.
- Twist your right knee and bring your right foot over your cleared-out leg. Put it on the floor, near your cleared-out knee. Your right knee ought to be indicating up towards the ceiling.
- Breathe in and stretch your spine, sitting tall. Make beyond any doubt both sitting bones are grounded on the floor.
- As you breathe out, turn your middle to the proper. Put your cleared-out hand on the floor behind you, near your tailbone, for back.
- Delicately embrace your right knee along with your cleared-out arm, wrapping it around the exterior of your right knee. You'll be able moreover to put your cleared-out elbow on the exterior of your right knee for a more profound bend.
- Breathe in and protract your spine once more, and as you breathe out, gradually bend your upper body to the proper. You'll be able to utilize your right hand to press against the floor or your right knee for use.
- Keep your neck adjusted along with your spine and look over your right bear, or if comfortable, turn your head and see back over your cleared-out bear.
- Hold the posture for 30 seconds to 1 diminutive while keeping up profound, indeed breaths.
- To discharge, tenderly loosen up the bend, coming back to the center. Expand both legs before you and rehash the posture on the other side.
3.Paschimottanasana(Seated Forward Bend):
This pose stretches the entire back of the body, including the hamstrings, spine, and shoulders. It stimulates the abdominal organs, improves digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Steps to practice Paskimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend):
- Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs amplified before you. Keep your spine erect and your legs together.
- Take a profound breath in, and as you breathe out, amplify your arms forward and reach for your feet. If you can't reach your feet, you'll be able to hold onto your shins or lower legs instep.
- Protract your spine and lock in your center muscles.
- On your other exhalation, start to pivot forward at your hips, driving along with your chest. Envision bringing your stomach button towards your thighs.
- Proceed to crease forward with each exhalation, keeping up a long spine and maintaining a strategic distance from adjusting your back.
- Reach your hands towards your feet and hold onto them wherever you'll be able comfortably to reach them. You'll hold onto your toes, lower legs, and shins, or wrap a strap around your feet and hold onto the strap.
- As you overlap forward, unwind your neck and shoulders. Allow the weight of your middle to direct you more profoundly to the extent.
- Hold the posture for a few breaths, permitting your body to unwind and extend into the extend. You'll remain in the ultimate position for 30 seconds to a few minutes, depending on your consolation level.
- To discharge the posture, gradually breathe in and lock in your center as you lift your middle back up to a situated position.
- Take a minute to rest and breathe sometime recently moving on to your other pose.
4.Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
This pose strengthens the abdominal muscles, improves digestion, and stimulates the pancreas. It also opens the chest, improves lung function, and promotes overall health.
Steps to practice Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):
- Begin by lying level on your stomach (inclined position) together with your legs together and the tops of your feet squeezing into the floor.
- Put your hands on the floor, somewhat underneath your shoulders, along with your fingers indicating forward.
- Lock in your center muscles and press the tops of your feet, thighs, and pubic bone immovably into the floor.
- Breathe in profoundly and start to lift your head, chest, and upper middle off the ground, utilizing the quality of your back muscles. Keep your elbows somewhat bowed and near to your body.
- Utilize your hands to back your lift, but dodge putting intemperate weight on them. Keep your shoulders loose and absent from your ears.
- Keep your look forward or somewhat upward, keeping up a delicate extend in your neck.
- Proceed to press the tops of your feet and thighs into the floor, and protract your spine as you lift your middle higher.
- Breathe profoundly and hold the posture for 15 to 30 seconds, or as long as you're comfortable. Feel the delicate opening and extend in your chest, shoulders, and guts.
- To discharge the posture, breathe out and gradually lower your torso back down to the ground, one vertebra at a time. Rest your head on the floor and unwind.
- You'll be able to repeat the Cobra Posture for many more rounds, steadily expanding the length of the hold as you construct quality and adaptability.
5.Viparita Karani (foot on wall pose):
This restful pose helps with relaxation and stress relief. It also improves blood circulation and lowers blood sugar levels.
Steps to practice Viparita Karani (foot on wall pose):
- Discover an open divider space and sit along with your right side against the divider, confronting sideways.
- Delicately swing your legs up onto the divider as you lower your upper body down onto the floor. Your sitting bones ought to be as near to the divider as conceivable.
- Keep your legs amplified and unwind your arms nearby your body, palms confronting up. Alter your position as required to guarantee you're comfortable.
- Permit your shoulders and head to rest on the floor, maintaining a natural bend in your neck. You'll be able t utilize a collapsed cover or a little pad to bolster your neck in case wanted.
- Mellow your facial muscles, near your eyes, and breathe profoundly. Unwind your whole body, letting go of any pressure or push.
- Remain in this posture for 5 to 15 minutes, or as long as you're comfortable. Center on your breath and permit yourself to completely yield and unwind.
- To come out of the posture, delicately twist your knees and roll onto one side, utilizing your arms for the back. Take many minutes to rest in a fetal position sometime recently gradually sitting up.
It is important to follow these precautions when practicing the above asanas.
Please consult your doctor: If you have a medical condition or injury, always consult your doctor before trying these poses. We can provide individual advice and modifications according to your individual needs.
Warm-up: Before attempting these asanas, it's best to warm up with gentle stretches or short yoga sequences. This helps prepare your muscles and joints for deeper stretches and movements.
Practice with an empty stomach: After a heavy meal, rest for at least 2-3 hours before doing yoga. Performing these asanas on a full stomach can cause discomfort or impair digestion.
Listen to your body: Respect your body's limits and respect any pain or discomfort. Do not exceed your current flexibility or strength level. Yoga should never cause pain or tension.
Step-by-step progress: If you are a beginner or have limited flexibility, start with modified versions of the asanas and progress gradually over time. It is important to build a solid foundation and gradually increase the depth and intensity of the poses.
Align Right: Pay attention to the correct positioning of each asana. Improper alignment can cause overload and injury. If you are unsure of proper alignment, consider practicing under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher.
Breathe: Maintain even and controlled breathing throughout the exercise. Do not hold your breath or strain while performing the asana. Breathing should be calm and natural.
Avoid Excessive Exercise: Do not force the pose. Respect your body's limits and take breaks as needed. It's important to find the balance between movement and relaxation in each pose.
Remember yoga is a journey of self-discovery and self-care. Everyone is unique, so it's important to have patience and self-compassion and to approach your practice with an awareness of your body's needs and limitations.
Question: What is the relationship between HbA1c and yoga?
Answer: Yoga can be a complementary exercise to control HbA1c levels. Regular yoga practice and a comprehensive diabetes management plan that includes diet, exercise, and prescription medications can help improve blood sugar control.
Question: Can Yoga Alone Lower HbA1c Levels?
Answer: Yoga can have a positive impact on overall health and well-being, but controlling HbA1c levels usually requires a holistic approach.
Yoga has a supportive effect, but it is important to combine it with proper medical care, medication (if prescribed), and a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Question: How often should I practice yoga to see the effect on my HbA1c level?
Answer: The frequency of yoga practice varies from person to person. Try to be consistent in your practice and find a routine that works for you.
A good approach is to start with 2-3 sessions per week and gradually increase the frequency. Note that the effects on HbA1c levels are variable.
Therefore, it is important to monitor your levels and seek individual advice from your doctor.