Diabetes Mellitus or commonly named Diabetes is a rising condition, particularly in communities of African descent all over the world. In Africa it is a quiet and gradual epidemic. The International Diabetes Federation estimated from the year 2000 7.5 million people have been diagnosed. In 2011 this figure must be higher. The World Health Organisation as done various studies and the IDF (International Diabetes Federation) estimate that the diabetes population will double in Africa over the next twenty five years to a figure of 18,234,000.
In 2000, according to the World Health Organization, at least 171 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. Its incidence is increasing rapidly, and it is estimated that by 2030, this number will almost double. Diabetes mellitus occurs throughout the world, but is more common (especially type 2) in the more developed countries. The greatest increase in prevalence is, however, expected to occur in Asia and Africa, where most patients will probably be found by 2030. The increase in incidence of diabetes in developing countries follows the trend of urbanization and lifestyle changes, perhaps most importantly a “Western-style” diet.
For at least 20 years, diabetes rates in North America have been increasing substantially. In 2010 nearly 26 million people have diabetes in the United States alone, from those 7 million people remain undiagnosed. Another 57 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes.
Diabetes is a dysfunction of the body to regulate the blood sugar levels, a disease of the pancreas. The body has enough sugar yet does not acknowledge it.
Other glands and organs are effected such as the kidneys, the liver the brain and the heart.
Type 1 Diabetes results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin. Type 2 Diabetes results from insulin resistance a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.
Diabetes is mostly caused by white sugar, bleached white flour which is a concentrated drug. A concentrated drug is an isolated substance taken from nature, white sugar is concentrated from sugar cane or sugar beetes. The nutrients from the natural food that the body needs are taken out in the process of getting white sugar. Some of these are; Glutamine (controls behaviour), Taurine (controls temper tantrums), Tyrosine (deals with stress), vitamin B6 (Also used for stress, and carpal-tunnel syndrome) Phenylalanine (for cravings and depression), Melatonin (for growth and development and resting the body), Lysine (for infection and rhythm of the body), Glycine (for anti anxiety).
Without these nutrients the body is placed in a crisis condition, making the body and the mind fearful causing mood and thought disorders. This can also cause children to have nightmares at night.
Other forms of acceleration of diabetes are: fast burning processed carbohydrates, fried food creating elevated cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and lack of regular exercise.
A high sugar and fat diet will also cause nerve damage, stress the arteries, hardening them which will lead to stroke and heart attacks, kidney disease, obesity, reproductive and vision problems.
If you are reading this and have been diagnosed with diabetes or know someone who has diabetes, artificial sweeteners or white sugar substitutes are dangerous such as Nutrisweet (Aspartme) and Sweet n’ low (Aspartme) and is found to be carcinogenic meaning cancer causing. The management of diabetes would be to keep the blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible, without causing hypoglycemia. This can be achieved through diet, exercise, medications such as insulin, oral medications and herbal treatment. Herbal remedies include: Bilberry, wild Yam, Kelp, Horse Radish, Licorice, Milk thistle, and Stevia. We can reverse the epidemic and yogic practice is a wonderful driver to health and wellbeing.
4 Powerful Afrikan Yoga Postures for Diabetics
Stage one of healing – Hudu
The first phase is Hudu movement (elemental awareness African tai chi). Stand upright with the legs wide apart and outstretch one arm further than the other. Twist the body side to side throwing one arm behind you and as you twist around lean back.
Once you have done this a few times using deep breathing, begin to sweep the floor lightly with both hands still twisting the torso in rhythmic movement building momentum.
The second phase is to continue sweeping the floor and now to rise up after each sweep twisting the torso, leaning back and throwing your arms back over your shoulder. This is an enactment of an Afrikan story of planting and harvesting where as you sweep you are picking vegetation and placing it in the basket on your back.
Hudu heats up the body bringing sekhemic energy the life force to the fore stimulating the bodies healing power.
Stage 2 release tension – Neck rolls
Humans carry a lot of tension in their necks, shoulders and upper back. Applying neck rolls before beginning Sayunaat/postures will help release the tension and blocked energy trapped in the neck, shoulders and upper back. You may do this either sitting in easy pose or standing erect where the body’s weight is evenly distributed.
1. Geb/Spinal Twist
This Sanuy/posture is another wonderful posture that works the entire spine.
Begin by sitting on the mat legs outstretched in front of you, feet together. Bend or double up the right leg and bring your feet alongside your left knee, let the anklebone touch the outside of the knee. The right foot is flat on the ground and parallel with the left leg. Now place the right arm back and lean back slightly (only a touch) with the right hand flat on the floor fingers spread wide apart. Allow the hand to take your weight. Now draw your body up towards your thigh, as your back should be upright as much as possible. Now place your left arm across your torso and lever it around the right knee making it parallel with the outstretched left leg. Now with this outstretched arm, turn the palm facing upwards.
The left arm is inducing the shoulders to turn and therefore create the twist in the spine without offering any resistance. The head now turns looking over the right shoulder at the same time stretching the neck completing Geb spinal twist’. Hold for 9 breaths.
The Sanuy/posture is also practised on the other leg where the left leg is bent and the left arm and hand is placed on the floor etc.
Concentrate on the relaxation of the spinal structure and the shoulders and follow mentally the twist from the sacrum up to the skull.
The benefits of this Sanuy/posture include:
1. Stretches and lengthens the spine and all the muscles and ligaments in the spinal vertebrae.
2. Tones up the muscles in the back through the rush of blood flow.
3. Tones up the entire organism of the body as it works the nerves of the spinal chord
4. Stimulate and has a great effect on the nervous system commonly called the immune system which is strengthened by the spinal twist
5. Increases the flexibility of the spine
6. Removes and relieves muscular problems in the back
7. Massages the abdominals
8. Positively effects on the spleen, gall bladder, kidneys, liver and bowels
9. Develops the sekhemic energy
10. Promotes peace of mind and stability.
2. Sitting Nut/Forward Bend
Sit with legs extended. Inhale and press your hands down into the floor to lengthen your spine, bring your lower back in and upward making the back tall.
Inhale and bring your arms over head. Exhale, bend forward and grasp your toes or alternatively grasp your big toes with your index and middle fingers.
Inhale and extend your belly up through to the top of your head. Tilt your pelvis forward and draw your lower back in. Anchor your thighs down and exhale widening your elbows out and draw your torso forward towards your feet. Keep the legs engaged and straight. Bend the waist like a hinge and lead with the heart, bring the head forward moving towards the feet.
Repeat this stretch 3 times and hold each time for 9 breaths 19 for the more advance.
The benefits of this sanuy/posture include:
1. Stretches the spine, hamstring and calves,
2. Improves digestion
3. Stimulates the lymph and reproductive systems,
4. Helps relieve menstrual and menopause discomfort,
5. Improves liver, kidney and colon function
6. Massages the abdominal organs.
7. Increases elasticity in the joints.
8. Alleviates high blood pressure and infertility.
9. Keeps you youthful.
10. Reduces fatigue and insomnia
11. Soothes the nervous system
12. Relieves stress, anxiety and mild depression
13. Develops concentration and sekhem energy
14. Assists in meditation.
Lower back injury, asthma
Pregnancy (use variations).
3. Khepri/ Dub/scarab
Sit on your heels with your shoulders nice and even. Bow forward and gently place your torso and upper body on your thighs, bring your arms forward and lengthen the arm reaching forward. Stretch the sides of your body from your hips to your shoulders.
Now allow the arms to go limp and relax palms facing down.
As an option you may draw the arms back towards your feet and let the shoulders widen turn the palms upward alongside your feet.
The benefits of this Sanuy/posture include:
1. Alleviates the head, neck and chest
2. Opens the pelvis hips and lower back
3. Stretches the ankles knees and hips
4. Opens up the upper-back relieving tension in the shoulder
1. Calms the mind
2. Reduces stress and lessens fatigue
Do not do this if you have an ankle, knee or hip injury
If pregnant keep the knees apart and do not put too much pressure on your abdominals a cushion or thick layer of blankets can be used between the abdominal region and thighs for support.
4. Asar/Karast (Mummy)
Lie flat on your back, eyes closed, legs slightly apart, with hands by your sides, palms facing upwards. Stay in this position for a minute or two. Concentrate on the breath. Take a long slow inhalation inviting the breath into your lungs and filling the upper body by applying mid and lower breathing. Hold the breath for a count of 3; as you count pull the sekhem in to every cell of your being. Exhale with complete control nice and slow. Continue with this line of breathing up to 9 breaths expanding the ribs cage and pushing the stomach up towards the ceiling. You can continue to breathe deeply but as normally as you can for a complete 10 min. This sanuy integrates the benefits of your yoga practise and allows the body to gather energy. The focus is on nurturing and centring yourself. You do this so that you may continue to nurture others in the world, sharing your peace, tranquillity and calm.
The benefits of the Sanuy/posture include:
1. Increases lung capacity
2. Increases internal muscle control
3. Oxygenates the blood
4. Alkalises the body
5. Detoxifies the body
6. Lowers blood pressure
7. Reduces fatigue
8. Triggers relaxation throughout the entire nervous system
1. Calms the mind
2. Promotes tranquillity and ease
3. Produces a feeling of being nurtured
4. Rejuvenates the mind
Want to know more about the health benefits of Afrikan Yoga do join me in one of my classes, workshops and master classes, come along and feel the benefits first hand.
Resource: Dr Llaila Afrika ‘Eating to Die’ DVD
Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days (EU) DVD Starring Anthony Robbins, Reverend Michael Beckwith, Morgan Spurlock, Gabriel Cousens M.D. : Woody Harrelson (DVD)