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Yoga and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus


The number of people with diabetes has reached 4.7 million in the UK and world diabetes cases are expected to jump 55% by 2035.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is often associated with obesity and tends to be diagnosed in older people but potentially everyone is at risk of developing this disease.

Why is everyone at risk potentially of developing T2DM?

T2DM is associated with many imbalances and one of which is a decrease in heart rate variability (HRV) and there is increasing evidence that physiological and psychological stress contributes to a decrease in HRV.

What is HRV?

HRV is the variation between your faster heat beat and your slower heart beat. The faster heart beat is one branch of your autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the slower heart beat is the second branch. We need both and the higher the variation, the higher our HRV indicating a more balanced ANS.  A more balanced ANS meaning our bodies can function better in all respects.

If we have periods of prolonged perceived stress our heat rate is faster for a more prolonged period, our HRV is lower and the ANS is imbalanced.

Why does low HRV increase our risk of type T2DM?

Studies indicate that a low HRV impairs the body’s ability to process and store glucose. If our HRV is high and our ANS is balanced, the body will reduce the blood glucose levels by releasing insulin from the pancreas. If our HRV is low then there is lower insulin production and higher glucose in the blood as a result.

Practising yoga and the yoga4health programme is proven to increase HRV and therefore help those that are at risk of developing the disease.

How does yoga improve HRV?

More and more studies confirming that yoga heals and yoga reduces the risk factors for non-communicable diseases including T2DM.

Yoga improves your parasympathetic autonomic function which is one of the branches of your nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is responsible for reducing or slowing down your heart rate. Therefore improving your PNS function will increase your HRV and consequently the body will better regulate the level of glucose in the blood and your risk of developing T2DM is reduced. 

Are you ready for another approach to your health and well-being?

Yoga practitioners and those undertaking the Yoga4Health are feeling empowered as they understand more and improve their health and well-being with yoga.

The Yoga4Health protocol's content is all evidence-based and drawn from many randomised control trials and using the expertise of leading yoga for health practitioners including Professor Sat Bir Khalsa from Harvard, Dr Robin Monro and Heather Mason.

The Yoga4Health 10 week programme is available nationally. Find out more about up coming courses in Woking, Guildford and Brighton & Hove by emailling For other courses being run nationally email


The principal and practices of yoga in healthcare - handspring publishing

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