Yoga for Diabetes Prevention

We're happy to partner with Burke County Public Library's Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in bringing information and tools to our local family for the prevention of type 2 diabetes -- a long-standing health issue in Burke County and one that has grown to affect more than 300 million people worldwide. Our Library's DPP is aimed at people who are prediabetic with the goal of preventing progression of health factors that lead to full-blown diabetes.

Breathe instructors will provide two yoga classes in April for BCPL's Diabetes Prevention Program:

  • Tues Apr 25, 2017 at 10am, Waldensian Presbyterian Church in Valdese
  • Wed Apr 26, 2017 at 4pm, at J Iverson Riddle Center, Gymnasium

What is prediabetes and how can yoga help?

According to the Mayo Clinic, prediabetes means that a person's blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes are very likely to progress to type 2 diabetes. Changes in diet, stress, and other forms of self-care can help a person reduce their health factors that would lead to diabetes. Regarding the whole-person (the yogic perspective), these lifestyle changes will lead to ALL SORTS of positive prevention measures for a variety of diseases.

Researchers have theorized that "high inhibition", or the capacity to resist the temptation to engage in negative thoughts and unhealthy behaviors, reduces diabetes 2 risk. Studies also show that anxiety is significant risk factors for poor health. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, both are linked to a greater inflammatory response, which is a reliable predictor of diabetes onset and progression.

Emerging evidence shows that mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation stimulate the relaxation response, which counteracts anxiety. Also, brain studies suggest that mindfulness-based practices are linked to positive changes in our neurology which engage the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response) and reducing ruminative thoughts (habits of worry and negativity).

Yoga trials involving individuals with types 2 diabetes found that regular yoga practice improved sugar levels, decreased hypertension, and altered body weight and positively affected other health factors. One key study by Dr. K.E. Innes and Dr. T.K. Selfe, was published at PubMed called Risk indices associated with the insulin resistance syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and possible protection with yoga: a systematic review.

It's easy to understand why leading holistic wellness practices are recommending regular yoga practice to decrease inflammation, increase relaxation and mood, enhance wellbeing, and lower diabetes risk. These practices are also consistent with a healthy lifestyle, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and engaging in social activities.

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