Yoga may benefit people suffering from BP, sugar

Hong Kong: Suffering from increased blood pressure, high blood sugar? One year of yoga training may help, a new study led by an Indian-origin researcher suggests.

According to the researchers, including Rashmi Supriya from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, one year of yoga training decreased pro-inflammatory adipokines — signalling proteins released by fat tissue — and increased an anti-inflammatory adipokine in adults with metabolic syndrome and high-normal blood pressure.

The findings support the beneficial role of yoga in managing metabolic syndrome by favourably modulating adipokines, the researchers mentioned.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Here are five yoga postures that you can follow to keep a check on diabetes –

1. Padottanasana (Wide-Angle Standing Forward Bend)

This pose helps in stretching your back and the thighs while your legs are challenged to be strong. Padottanasana is known to calm the mind. It also relieves mild backache by stretching your spine, shoulder and chest. It’s therefore no surprise that this asana is often used as a balm for frayed or anxious nerves.

2. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)

This incredibly beneficial posture is both therapeutic and revitalising. In Uttanasana, your head is below your heart. This allows the unusual occasion for blood to rush to your head (rather than your feet), giving your cells a rejuvenating boost of oxygen. It strengthens the thighs and spine and provides flexibility. Uttanasana activates the abdominal muscle and improves digestion and eases symptoms of menopause, asthma, headaches and insomnia. It may lower high blood pressure and is therapeutic for infertility, osteoporosis, and sinusitis.

3. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

The Triangle Pose is very important for health and wellness. It has the ability to bring stability, strength and stamina in one’s life. Therapeutically, it is good for strengthening the core and legs. Trikosana helps in shedding extra fat from the various parts of the body i.e. stomach, hips, thighs and waist. It also eliminates aches and pains in the back, neck and the entire body. One of the great advantages of this yoga pose is that it can be practiced at any time or at any place.

4. Dandasana (Staff Pose)

Dandasana is also known as staff pose; it improves and teaches you to sit with correct posture. Practicing this regularly brings more flexibility in your hips and pelvis henceforth strengthening your spine and lower back.

Yoga asanas for high blood pressure:

The following yoga asanas can help lower high blood pressure. However, it would be best to practice them under the guidance of a trained specialist. Also, practice them at a relaxed and enjoyable pace.

Vajrasana (Diamond Pose) This pose can be done even after lunch or dinner. It helps to control obesity and increases blood flow to the lower abdomen.

Paschimottanasana (Forward Bend Pose) Helps reduce fatty deposits in the abdominal region, thus enabling weight loss. It also acts as an effective stress reliever and normalizes high blood pressure.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) Relieves stress, depression and fatigue. It helps the body relax and prepare for sound sleep. It also stimulates blood circulation.

For the study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, researchers investigated the effect of yoga on people suffering from metabolic syndrome with high-normal blood pressure by exploring modulations in pro-inflammatory adipokines (leptin, chemerin, visfatin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 or PAI-1) and an anti-inflammatory adipokine (adiponectin).

Participants in the yoga group underwent a yoga training programme with three one-hour yoga sessions weekly for a year.

The participants’ serum were harvested and assessed for adipokines.

Generalised estimating equation (GEE) was used to examine the interaction effect between one-year time (pre vs post) and intervention (control vs yoga).

GEE analyses revealed significant interaction effects between one-year time and yoga intervention for the decreases in leptin and chemerin and the increase in adiponectin concentration in the serum examined.

Yoga exercise might serve as an effective lifestyle intervention to reduce chronic inflammation and manage aspects of metabolic syndrome, the researchers noted.