Better welfare does not necessary mean better health. We are living in times that we can afford not to have a disciplined daily routine, we don’t need to do a lot of physical work and a large variety of food is available in the supermarkets throughout the year. We have a roof over our head, we have money coming in and there is a healthcare system in case something happens.

In spite of all this many people have health issues and suffer from stress. Lifestyle diseases are very common. Examples are heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
This article is useful for anyone who has type 2 diabetes, has family members with diabetes or who believes they need a change of lifestyle.

The genius system which is the human body

Every cell in our body is renewed constantly. The energy that is required for this process comes from burning glucose, which is taken from food and transported in our blood. Several organs in our body are involved by storing glucose or releasing hormones to maintain the glucose levels in our blood.
We can easily say that our body is a genius system, that is excellent in taking care of itself. Our body is capable of correcting our mistakes, in order to constantly maintain balance, so that we can live and do what we do.

Our body ís a genius system, however there is a point that even our body is not capable of restoring the balance anymore without help. This can happen when our digestive system gets affected by waste material, when our organs get overloaded, or when some of our nerves get blocked.
Our system gets impaired and it affects other systems, leading to chronical diseases with multiple  symptoms.

The cause of type 2 diabetes

The main disturbance of type 2 diabetes is that the body is no longer capable of detecting and/or correction high glucose levels in the blood. If you catch this on time you should consider yourself a blessed person, because now it is a necessity for you to take control of your lifestyle. It does require effort, but if you manage to find a way to live with it, you can become a healthier person then many others and live longer.

Inheritance plays a role in who has diabetes and who does not, but pay attention, inheritance is not the trigger, you can live in a family with diabetes, yet never have any symptoms.

There are 2 main causes for diabetes and often they are both involved. The first one is mental Stress. The second one is an unhealthy or tamasic lifestyle.

The effect of stress

Stress is our incapability to deal with a situation. When a specific event occurs, our mind gets short-circuited. We do not know what to do, or we do not like what we need to do. We keep thinking and thinking, blowing up the situation in our head, when in reality nothing has actually happened. We suffer a lot and the longer we postpone action or confrontation, the bigger our stress, the bigger our suffering is. This results in tightening of muscles, narrowing arteries, increased blood pressure, blockage of nerves and release of hormones which in long-term have a toxic effect. Though we think we are very intelligent, our mind is capable to ‘run away’ with us. The truth is our minds are limited, but host a great power over our body and we need to recognize this and regain control.

The cause of stress

The kind of stress that we are talking about does not come accidentally. There is a reason why we react this way to a situation. In most cases it comes from our past. Something happened when we were young or growing up that has been traumatizing or that has taught us to react in a certain way, for example because of our role in our family. When something happens that reminds us of that situation, we get scared or start playing the same role again.
Through self-study or psychology you can find out what the root cause of your illness is, but it is difficult to control the mind in order to fix the body, therefore Yoga’s approach is to control the body in order to fix the mind.

To fix the root cause which is planted in our mind Yoga suggests 3 steps:

  1. Get a healthy Routine
  2. Adjust to healthy Eating
  3. Balance your Breath

The result of an unhealthy or Tamasic Diet

Body and mind work as one. If one of them gets disturbed, so does the other. Negative thoughts lead to stress and mental disorders. Unhealthy lifestyle and eating lead to negative thoughts. This brings you in a cycle of self-destruction. Therefore lifestyle and diet are everything.
A Tamasic diet consists of that which is dead, old, heavy or toxic. In general this is meat, fish, poultry, eggs, stale food, processed food, food with added chemicals, fast food, reheated food, alcohol, tobacco and drugs. This type of food makes you tired, unmotivated, unaware and depressed.
Again, when our body is healthy it can take a lot, but if you take any of this in your regular diet, in the end your body will lose, resulting in physical disturbances, disease or ultimately, death.

How to live with diabetes according to Yoga

You can live a happy and healthy life when you have diabetes. Any doctor will give you the advice to adjust your daily routine. When you are on insulin or other medication, do consult your doctor before making drastic changes to your lifestyle.  Have discipline and at least follow the below pointers:

  1. Sleep early, wake up early, DO NOT sleep during the day.
  2. Eat at fixed times, no more than 3 meals a day, preferably 4 hour gaps between meals.
  3. Sit down for your meals, in a peaceful environment with attention and positive thoughts.
  4. Do not eat more then to feel hungry again the next meal. Eat dinner early, do not eat after dinner.
  5. Eat vegetarian Sattvic food only (fresh, nutritious, easy to digest, low on spices or extreme flavors)
  6. Eat at least 30 grams of fibers every day (plant food such as cereals, rice, beans, vegetables, fruits)
  7. Implement a daily exercise schedule existing of aerobic exercises. (Asana’s, walking, swimming, cycling) Do not exert your body!
  8. Yoga Asana’s that are recommended are Talasana, Bhadrasana, Utkatasana, Paschimottanasana, Matsyendrasana, Dhanurvakrasana and Shalabasana.
  9. Do Breathing exercises and Pranayama.
  10. Have a positive mental state at all times. Yoga teaches the 4 positive Bhavas, which can be trained by implementing them in your Kriya’s, Asana’s, Pranayama’s, Mudra’s and Meditation practices.

Treating diabetes with Ayurveda

Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand. A lot of the Yogic lifestyle suggestions actually come from Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the oldest medicine in the world and the goal is not to kill the pain, but to treat the cause of the disease.

Ayurveda has different purification techniques that can clear disturbances in your body. Depending on how far the disease has grown and the physical and mental state of the patient a treatment can be prescribed for diabetic. In order to remove toxics from the body and unblock channels responsible for transporting fatty tissue a treatment called Vamana could be effective.
Vamana is a treatment in which after a few days of diet, massage and intaking medicated oil or Ghee, the insides of your stomach are vomited out.

After the treatment is completed and the body has regained strength herbal medicine is prescribed to bring your body back to its natural state, however if you do not adjust your lifestyle, this is just a temporary solution.

From Ayurveda come a few additional suggestions for Diabetic:

  1. Avoid products such as Sugar, Rice, Potatoes, Bananas, Grains containing a lot of sugar and fats.
  2. Take bitter vegetables (for example drink juice of Karela, also called Sopropo or Bitter Gourd)
  3. After every meal take turmeric. Use the root or boil the powder in a bit of water.
  4. Take naturally ripened honey (directly from the beekeeper), but never heat it.
  5. Use Ayurvedic medicines (in consultation with doctor) with ingredients such as Triphala or Pippali.

Yoga as a way of life at Centre Lothlorien

Sitting behind a computer or smartphone reading, does not cure you. You need to take action and you need help. Centre Lothlorien, the Yoga Institute France does not just teach about Yoga and Ayurveda, but live it, as a way of life. Again, you do not learn from reading, you need experience in order to understand something and actually make a change to your lifestyle.
Are you curious about what this could mean for you? Join one of our activities.

14-day Yoga and Ayurveda retreat
From August 8 to 21 we organize a 14-day Yoga and Ayurveda retreat to give yourself a complete reset. You can also choose just to come for one week.

1 month Yoga Teacher Training Course
From September 18 to October 17 we organize a one month Teacher Training Course. This course does not focus on teaching you a lot of Asana’s, but gives you the practice and the theory to integrate Yoga in your live and have a happy and healthy lifestyle.
We hope to see you soon!

Do not wait for the course with becoming healthy. Start today with what you know. To help you out we have prepared a video with a small morning exercise routine with Asana’s and Pranayama. Watch our video.