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Yoga benefits diabetes and mood disorders

Diabetes affects so many areas of our body and our minds. There has long been a recognized link between depression and diabetes. The extreme highs and lows in blood sugar levels (BSL) play havoc on our moods as well as our bodies. Uncontrolled diabetes does make other complications – including depression – worse. So the key is better management of your own diabetes.

Management is not just counting carbs, taking your BSL daily and testing your A1C levels. Management has to be a whole body effort. Yoga and Pilates are a great help in this area. It relaxes the body and clears the mind. Yoga has been studied by many for years for its role in the management of several chronic diseases. It has therapeutic benefits and reduces stress.

Several studies show that yoga is effective in managing BSL, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). One such study shows that after just four months of practicing yoga, fasting glucose levels fell significantly (from 144 to 119 mg dl). The study looked at adults with type 2 diabetes specifically. The Yoga Health Foundation also found that diabetics, who practiced yoga for 40 minutes every day for 40 days, showed an improved nerve impulse in their hands.

Yoga should not replace your cardio exercise. It should be in addition to your regular routine, cautions the Joslin Diabetes Center.

Diabetes is not the only chronic illness associated with depression or other mood disorders that yoga also benefits. Chances are you know someone who suffers depression or ADHD, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or anxiety.

West End Yoga is hosting a workshop that will discuss what causes mood disorders and how to bring balance to your life. Attendees will learn some yoga postures to help with balance and simple journaling exercises.

Yoga instructor Jaclyn Downs will present the workshop. Downs is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach and a Kripalu Certified yoga instructor. Her sire is

The three hour workshop is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, 9 March. The registration fee is $45. Those registering before 2 March need only pay $40. You can register by calling 717-466-9642 or emailing

West End Yoga is located at 221 West Walnut Street. For more information on the studio, visit


This article is not intended to replace the medical advice of your physician. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of diabetes, make an appointment with your physician.

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