I wrote the book because 24 years into my yoga career I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was a total shock and completely floored me because I didn’t think someone who was healthy and fit like me could get diabetes. I didn’t know that there were two types or that diabetes is a disease which affects over 380 million people worldwide. Out of the 380 million people about 10% of the population have Type 1 and 85 % have Type 2, the remaining 5% have gestational diabetes which most often resolves on giving birth.
Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the insulin producing cells attack the pancreas. The pancreas doesn’t stop functioning but the cells which produce insulin slowly die off until they are no longer able to support the body in regulating the amount of sugar in the blood. The source and trigger of this autoimmune attack is unknown and it can strike at any age.
Type 2 diabetes is thought of as a lifestyle disease and therefore preventable, curable and or reversible. Rather than the immune system attacking itself the cells either produce less insulin, the insulin is not working effectively or the cells resist the insulin, called “insulin resistance”.
In the book I share that no matter what type of diabetes the person has yoga can and does help. You don’t need to be fit or flexible either. Yoga is so much more than stretching. It’s a system that empowers us to understand that peace, joy and love are the nature of who we are! No matter what life throws at us. We live with a disease; we can never BE the disease.
Another empowering aspect of the book is understanding the sister science of yoga, Ayurveda and how Ayurveda has been treating diabetes for over 4,000 years. In Ayurveda diabetes is classified into 20 different types and identifies how the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space combine to create our individual constitution.
Depending on the type of diabetes one has and the mix of elements in the system there is a type and style of yoga that fits like a glove.
Decreased cortisol levels
Increased insulin sensitivity
Stable Blood Glucose levels
Besides supporting someone living with diabetes to live well with yoga, the tour is also about spreading awareness and advocating for a cure. It takes incredible courage and discipline to live with this disease and YES it is possible to thrive and live a healthy normal and happy life!
Check out Rachel’s favourite Design the Courageous Freedom Legskin Tights here.