Yoga for Diabetes

We're always looking for more data to add to our index, so if you know of a yoga research study that you don't see here, pass it along to us. Send relevant scholarly articles to Yoga Alliance® supports the continued research on yoga’s benefits, and we will continue to update the page with more research on more health topics. 

Last updated: July 19, 2017

Yoga for Diabetes

Yoga Alliance recommends that any individuals with health concerns consult with a qualified health care practitioner to discuss whether yoga is right for them, but we are aware that yoga can be used in the medical treatment context by appropriately qualified and licensed healthcare practitioners. Yoga Alliance credentials do not serve as qualifications for the diagnosis or treatment of health conditions.

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“Adherence to yoga has an effect on the blood glucose parameters in diabetes. Hence, strategies to motivate participants to undergo 'lifestyle modification practices' including maximizing adherence to yoga should be the focus to experience any beneficial effects of yoga.”
–Angadi et al (2017), International Journal of Yoga


“Yoga practice enhances the subjective wellbeing, QOL [quality of life], improves mood and concentration, and facilitates achievement of adequate glycemic control among Type II diabetic patients.”
–Satish et al (2016), International Journal of Yoga



“Yoga asanas have a beneficial effect on glycaemic control and improve nerve function in mild to moderate Type 2 diabetes with sub-clinical neuropathy.”
– Malhotra et al (2002), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“These findings suggest that better glycaemic control and pulmonary functions can be obtained in NIDDM [Diabetes mellitus type 2] cases with yoga asanas and pranayama.”
– Malhotra et al (2002), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“The present study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of yoga in the management of dyslipidemia in patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus. . . After intervention with yoga for a period of 3 months the study group showed a decrease in total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL, with an improvement in HDL.”
– Shantakumari et al (2013), Indian Heart Journal



“The observations suggest that the performance of asanas led to increased sensitivity of the B cells of pancreas to the glucose signal. The increased sensitivity seems to be a sustained change resulting from a progressive long-term effect of asanas. The study is significant in that it has for the first time attempted to probe the mechanism by which yogasanas help diabetes mellitus.”
– Manjunatha et al (2005), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“Results of this study [Yoga-Nidra on blood glucose level in diabetic patients] suggest that subjects on Yoga-nidra with drug regimen had better control in their fluctuating blood glucose and symptoms associated with diabetes, compared to those were on oral hypoglycaemics alone.”
– Amita et al (2009), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“The results of the present study demonstrated that the yoga is effective in reducing the blood glucose levels in patients with [type 2 diabetes mellitus].”
– Chimkode et al (2015), Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research



“Among Indians with elevated fasting blood glucose,…an 8-week yoga intervention was feasible and resulted in greater weight loss and reduction in waist circumference when compared to a walking control. Yoga offers a promising lifestyle intervention for decreasing weight-related type 2 diabetes risk factors and potentially increasing psychological well-being”
– McDermott et al (2014), BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“Mindfulness eating and yoga exercise had health benefits on glycemic control in pregnant women with [gestational diabetes mellitus]. The intervention group showed significantly reduced [glucose levels] and glycosylated hemoglobin.“
– Youngwanichsetha (2014), Applied Nursing Research



“…We conclude that practice of yoga can regress early atherosclerosis in [metabolic syndrome, a strong risk factor for Coronary Heart Disease and type II Diabetes,] and has also beneficial effects on several metabolic parameters.“
– Manchanda SC et al (2013), Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy



"Yoga may improve risk profiles induced by stress in geriatric patients with type 2 diabetes and may have promise for the prevention or delay in diabetes complications. And at all stages of the disease a significant improvement can be achieved by yogic practice in geriatric diabetes."
– Rani (2013), International Journal of Yoga



"It is concluded that [chandra nadi pranayama] is effective in reducing [heart rate] and [systolic pressure] in hypertensive patients on regular standard medical management."
– Bhavanani et al (2012), International Journal of Yoga



"The findings conclude that Yogic exercises have enhanced the antioxidant defence mechanism in diabetics by reducing oxidative stress."
– Mahapure et al (2008), International Journal of Yoga


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