Yoga and Diabetes

An article published in “Today’s Dietitian,” sited clinical studies that provide evidence on yoga’s ability to decrease fasting blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and triglycerides, lower stress hormone levels, and even reduce the need for diabetes medication.

For many with diabetes, the word “Yoga” can be threatening, as yoga in our Western society brings to mind a physically fit individual in their 20’s doing pretzel poses. However, the inflexible benefit the most from yoga. Yoga increases flexibility and strength, improves balance and immune function, precipitates weight loss, relieves stress, and alleviates chronic pain.

There are more and more studies being published on yoga and diabetes. One of which found that 3 months of yoga along with standard care significantly reduced BMI and improved glycemic control compared with standard care alone. Adults at high risk of type 2 diabetes experienced improved weight, blood pressure, insulin control, and triglycerides following three months of yoga.


Kirsten Erickson, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT200, RYT500, iRest® Yoga Nidra Level 1 Teacher, Yoga Wellness North