If you’ve read my past two articles on Podder Talk, it will not come as a surprise that I love yoga. I love how my body feels after I practice. I love the challenge of trying to stop all my thoughts and mind chatter and focus on my breath. I love the impact that yoga has had on my body, both inside and out.
Over the years, most of my doctors have commented on how well-managed my blood sugars are. My A1Cs are usually in the 5s. Whenever I hear one of these comments, I make it a point to tell the doctor that I feel that yoga and meditation have helped me manage my diabetes for the past 29 years. They never seem very interested – not one doctor has asked me additional questions. Not one has been curious as to how many times a week I meditate or practice yoga.
When I saw my ophthalmologist recently and he made that remark, I told him what I attributed it to. All he said was, “Keep on doing whatever you’re doing.” I just couldn’t believe it. I encouraged him to encourage others, not just people with diabetes, to incorporate yoga and meditation in order to maintain their health. He just smiled at me as he left the room. I tried to calm down my frustration with some deep breathing!
In addition to these practices, I test my blood sugar constantly throughout the day, see my doctors, follow a vegetarian diet, socialize with friends and do other things to keep myself happy. I have gone through periods of sadness, wondering why I have diabetes, but yoga helps me (as do other forms of exercise) to feel better.
Also, to me, yoga is more than just a downward dog – I immerse myself in it. I love reading about yoga and continuing my education. My yoga teacher training program had a Buddhist perspective. We discussed topics such as karma for hours. One teacher told us that if we are lucky, we each have about three unanswerable “whys” in our lives. Why was I diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 11? Maybe it’s karma, maybe it’s something else, but yoga helps me to accept the circumstances of diabetes and to make the best out of it.