Book Review: Yoga for Diabetes by Rachel Zinman

In the diabetes world there are people who inspire with their unique diabetes journey and Rachel Zinman can add her name to this special list. ‘Yoga for Diabetes’ was written by Rachel to share her 30 plus year journey with yoga, a central tenet of her life. Rachel has used yoga and Ayurveda to help her to come to terms with her diagnosis of type 1 Latent Autoimmune Diabetes (LADA) and its daily management. This book is suitable for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and possibly those with gestational diabetes (check with your doctor first). You are introduced to the lifestyle of yoga and Ayurveda, the science of life, including a pared back explanation of different doshas, which describe how the elements of nature (space, air, fire, water, earth) are distributed in your physiology. A questionnaire in the book will help you identify your dosha ratios and the yoga routine to suit your unique make-up and diabetes care. A chapter on breathing, routine, contemplation and creating a place to practice your yoga sequence provides a great entry level approach to yoga for people with diabetes. The more advanced yoga practitioner will equally find this book engaging because of its focus on the role of yoga in diabetes care. As someone who has been to a yoga class only a couple of times in her life, I was interested to see how I would connect with this book. I need not have been concerned. Rachel had me from the moment she shared how she was diagnosed and why Yoga and Ayurveda practices were a natural way for her to manage her condition. I really enjoyed the plentiful photos that illustrate this book because it made it easy to understand how to replicate the stances, especially when trying to do the routines at home. Rachel has included photos of herself doing modified versions of the poses, making this book more accessible to people who are overweight, not used to moving their body regularly and with conditions like arthritis that would otherwise prevent some people from being able to replicate the exercises. Who would enjoy reading Yoga for Diabetes?
  • People with type 1 or 2 diabetes, their friends and families.
  • People with other autoimmune or chronic health issues and diseases.
  • Health professionals working with people with diabetes like Credentialled Diabetes Educators, dietitians, endocrinologists, exercise physiologists, general practitioners, primary care nurses, psychologists, social workers and other health professionals who see people with diabetes.
  • Yoga instructors and those practising yoga from novice to expert.
Rachel asserts in the book there is a need ‘give back to myself on a daily basis’ to regenerate the mind, body and spirit that can become depleted by the daily rigours of caring for your diabetes. This book will help people with diabetes to do just that, especially when you take some time out to read the book and practice its content. Personally, I think it would make a great coffee table book in the home of people with diabetes and waiting rooms of diabetes health professionals. The engaging photo of Rachel looking calm, healthy and happy invites you to open the book and and look inside to find out how you can “Have some of what she’s having!” This book would make a great gift for someone with diabetes hitting the spot as a really positive way to help them with their diabetes management and general wellbeing. An engaging and inspiring book from front to back! Want to read what others have said about the book? Click here. The book can be ordered via Amazon or Booktopia for around $40 – $43 as the price varies depending on postage). Rachel also has blog which you can read by clicking here.

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