Hatha-Yoga (Many flavors)


Yoga in the west has a particularly physical component, somehow a cross between blissful meditation and being bent into a pretzel whilst in a sauna!!!

Given the generic context most think of the practice(s) despite the fact there indeed are many other layers, components, facets. Anybody want to chat about Yoga as relates specifically to your diabetes???

I would think given that India was a part of the British Empire for over a century, as such exposed to Western Medicine, western scrutiny-examination… one would think it had been studied and documented pretty well as to its effects upon the body…research has to have been done at bare minimum since the 60’s!

Any Yogi/Yogini’s here…


Hey, Stuart,

I have recently discovered the benefits of yoga. I was surprised to learn that I was already using elements of yoga in my daily exercise with some of the stretches and calisthenics I was doing.

A formal class that I take on the weekends has turned out to be quite fun and gives me both a work out and a sense of relaxation at the same time. Go figure.

What’s really nice it the non-competitive nature of practicing. A big relief from the scene I sometimes get wrapped up in at the gym.

I cannot say what specific affect it has had on my diabetes, but I’m knew at it. The way I figure it, it can’t hurt. But I haven’t tried to measure its affects on my BGs in the same way I measure the affects of distance running, for instance. How about you?

Yogi Terry

Hello Terry:

Yoga is one of the activities where our mind must be involved in what we are doing… unless it is being taught by someone who took the “weekend certification class”, of course. In that case good blessed luc on all kinds of levels (Stuart shivering at that thought).

If our minds wander, the postures (asana) the breathing techniques any activity we are attempting will not be done correctly. How do you focus on the project at work while standing on one leg, trying to stay balanced and not fall, right? Gotta stay ONLY doing what we are attempting whether that be twisting, bending, balancing, etc.

If I cannot feel my feet, toes, edges all making contact in all the “right spots”, either neuropathy has set in or, or my mind is not focusing too well, not engagued! But I’ve always been very, very puzzled by my fellow yoga classmates, particularly those who are wearing the blissed out smiles, for whom the postures (asanas) are ridicilously, ridicilously easy. They do not sweat…

For me it means they are NOT doing them right, not even close. Even “relaxation poses” demand a strong mental focus, an active dynamic… concentration to scan ourselves and go ~…ut oh, left shoulder cut that out, let go, don’t tense, dont contract, not necessary…~

Yoga requires dynamic effort! I’ve noticed my body did several things after a class, most pretty subtle. Don’t remember who did it (Diabetic Athlete book maybe?) but the prediction was hatha-yoga should lower the BG, effect it similarly to walking.

If I’m doing a very active practice, I can easily pull 100 pts down no problem. Makes perfect sense given the activity directly effects organs, the respitory system, the circulatory system , and various organs by the twists, turns and so forth. Toss in the breathing practices…

No wonder it is a very popular business these days. And hey if it HURTS we’re doing something awfully wrong…


Hello Terry:

How goes the Yoga (sic hatha Yoga)?


Hey, Stuart,

The yoga goes well. I incorporate some every day in whatever activity I’m doing and in my morning routine. I only take a class once a week, on Saturday morning. I can’t say it’s a major part of my health regimen, but it is an integral part.

I am still unaware of any diabetic-specific benefits, but I haven’t really been looking for them. I use yoga as an escape, a means to gain flexibility, a means to relax and a means to maintain strength.

How goes it with you?



Going ok I guess, searching for a new instructor for a while unfortunately, the current batch have far too many weekend certifications, far too much youth and no skill at all teaching. Sigh. Even so, keeping my eyes open…

Someday soon, change will occur…

Sandskrit word “Yoga” meaning “… the union (of body and spirit).”


Hello Stuart,

I enjoy a Vinyasa style practice, but utilize other styles to correlate with what my body and soul require at the moment.

My experience with yoga in relation to diabetes is that when I have a regular asana and meditation practice, it helps to stabilize my BG, this could be from multiple factors i.e. the physical exercise of the asana practice, to the mindfulness it brings helping me stay in tune with my body and it’s needs, therefore aiding me in making good choices or noticing small changes to compensate for.

I would venture to say that a regular yoga practice could most definitely have a residual effect on BG due to it’s ability to lower stress levels in the body. The less stress hormones in the blood stream the more responsive we are to insulin. I know there are some studies being done on this correlation mostly geared towards type 2 diabetes. When I was teaching at the YMCA a few yrs ago, there were actually flyers going around asking for volunteers for a research study on this topic.

I would assume a strong meditation practice would also illicit this effect on its own as well. I believe any mind/body practice can greatly aid in diabetes management. From Yoga to Tai Chi, not only are there direct physical benefits, but emotionally it can help sustain you through the pressures and stresses that managing a chronic condition may present.

One of the great things that a person may gain from taking on a mind/body practice is increased body awareness and a stronger connecting to the body, its limits and its needs. This is invaluable in learning to properly manage your health.

That’s my two cents :wink:


Hello Trista:

Thank you for taking part… Your experience is quite elliquent, thank you for sharing it.

Think “big pharma” will pay for studies which explore non drug methods to treat our chronic illness -roflmao-??? Not gonna hold my breath…

So yoga found me last year and I have been enjoying the practice ever since. I usually find myself out of the studio this time of year (too crowded with all the New Year’s resolution people). However, since I was there last I have started on the omnipod. I would love any suggestions on placement of the infusion site and how to manipulate my basal rate for yoga.

btw, I am definitely still a newbie at this! I haven’t yet ventured out of the gentle and flow classes to the hot ones! One step at a time…

Hello Kate:

Thanks for sharing!

Your issues are the same which I was never able to resolve with my martial arts practice. Eventually I was forced to walk away from my pump. But hatha-yoga permits more pockets than “traditional” martial arts uniforms and had far less contact and physical explosiveness.

I don’t have Sheri Coleberg’s =sp.?= latest edition of “Diabetes Athlete” but, maybe, maybe you’ll find a newer/decent formula there for various asana, pranayama activities (I wouldn’t hold your breath though) [Cool a double entendre w/ a Yoga .twist =ggg=]

“Hot Yoga” had/has too many weekend certified teachers around here. Too many nubile kids with far too little teaching experience or any training… just yong and supple. Always needed the props (ie Iyengar) to be able to do it really easily. But always enjoyed it regardless…

Keep at it, maybe we’ll find someone over at the Yoga Journal who might have an idea or two re: specific formulas?.“Shining Skull” (kabhalabhati =sp,?= ) practice or ay of the “locks” (bhandi =sp.?=) are fairly different than a very simple, gentle asana… right?

One step at a time for sure…

Well I am off to a “easy” Friday class in T-49 minutes! It will be the first time with the pod on my back flank. will let you know how it goes. I will also look up the “Diabetes Athlete”. Thanks for the suggestion!

Hello Kate:

Looking forward to this discussion!!! There are many “asian” activities which have no relationship at all to the ~western~ view of physical exercise, physical health. True hatha-yoga, (not some weekend invention ) has a host of really fascinating practices which actively trigger, and engage the respiratory system, the adrenaline system, etc.

Wonder if/when someone’s going to really scrutinize postures (asana), breathing (pranayama), and figure out their effects on us. “Corpse pose” most yoga is not -wg-


hmmm, you lost me at “-wg”?

I’m not sure where this studio falls (or where I do for that matter!). I enjoy yoga and practice when I can, but I see it as a hybrid of my physical and mental exercise. The focus on breathing through the asanas crosses over to the rest of life and provides balance. I think adding diabetes and the pump (and soon the cgm) is another thing to try and balance.

Anyway, Friday’s class went super well! The instructor focused us on releasing our lower backs (where the pump was), so we never really lied down on our backs for class (and therefore the pump was out of the way!).

How long have you been participating in these non-western practices? What else do you do?

Hello Kate:

Lower case initials “wg” is an emoticon; a typed representation of a physical act by the typer.
So lower case initials “wg” means I’m wearing/using a “weak grin”. Whereas WG would mean a HUGE weak grin (capital letters increase emphasis)

I was fortunate, long ago to encounter some serious yoga people. They were very well trained as teachers of yoga. They junior most among them were 20, 25+ year folks. They did not discuss energy in mystical ways. They stuck to the body and helped folks carefully unwind, unknor them. They understood the dynamic breathing practices too… Ujaya, kobhala bhata (however either is spelled). It was a good experience which from time to time I have pursued…

Currently without any teachers at the moment… the yogini’s retired and went back to California, (most “weeping” in frustion at failing to unwind me for years, and years -LOL- I’ve secretly believed)

I make my living currently teaching martial arts (Okinawan karate). My other roles, husband, father, a guy trying to figure “it” out. Ugggggh, a math question -ggg- (that’s tiny grins btw) been doing this non western stuff for twenty-five years now. Sigh…

Like Yoga, but most is pretty “ouchy” when parts refuse to cooperate. One yoga teacher who I met at a talk had done it 50-60 years, and said she always hated the asanas, they “hurt” or were always, always uncomfortable. Then one day decades and decades later they finally stopped, POOF…

Looking forward to such a day myself…

Looking for a Yoga (hatha yoga) teacher what would be WARNING SIGNS of someone who is unskilled ???

Watched a young woman who was giving a quick demo at a community center, and all my alarms went off... she did a head stand, and gave no warnings, no instructions to the audience NOT to just do them, on their own with no supervision...

Technique is required to do it right. Shoulder stands are good idea to perfect BEFORE ever attenpting the harder head stand...

What kinds/types of things would be warning signs, of poor instruction... IYHO/IYE ???