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mardi 28 décembre 2010

Yoga and Prevention of Obesity, Pre Diabetes and Diabetes

When you are a Culturally Sensitive and Competent Physician or Researcher, the comparative knowledge highlights that which is good about the various cultures. It is not borrowing from one another but arriving at the same level of knowledge over the course of time. I was surprised that the Pleiades's story was very similar among the Lakota in the plains of the Dakotas as well as the Jung/Wasi of Tsumkwe in Namibia. They both have arrived at the same story over the course of time by similar observations.
So when you think of Kuala Lumpur, an urban spread somewhat in disarray, you are not thinking of the ancient philosophy of Yoga. But it was here that my introduction to Yoga began. The first teacher was Vandana Y from the Yoga Institute in Santa Cruz in Bombay and Pranayama was taught to me by MLY at Seri Kembangan in KL. Also a good correspondence with a teacher of Yoga currently working in UAE kept the flames up.
It is nice to be able to observe Yoga from various points of view, one is the cross cultural view of course, since I am involved in the lives of some north american indian tribes. When Miss Y was teaching the basic philosophy of Yoga I was struck by many similarities between the American Indian world view and Yoga.
Secondly, being an Endocrinologist, I want to know whether there are physiological benefits to some of the specific actions which are common to both cultures: Yog and American Indians.
The first question I asked myself : when is the best time to do Yoga?
The American Indian point of view would be: First thing in the morning, in an empty stomach, as the sun is rising, preferably after attending to your bodily functions and in a clean and natural environment.
Yoga and its philosophy is not about Exercise but there is an element of exercising of the body included in the Asanas or Pranayamas. So it came as no surprise that after a short research I could find that: exercising early in the morning in the fasting state has beneficial effects upon the metabolism of the hormone, Insulin. In fact in Pre Diabetes, this hormone is elevated and Pranayama alone can bring it down to normal levels.

As the Lakota would say: Mitakuye Oyasin, we are all related and looking through a broad spectrum, we can also say, things are related to one another.

As my Meskwakia teacher told me earlier on, things have a meaning and relationship, only that the students are not clever enough to understand it. It was a good lesson in humility for a recently qualified Endocrinologist!