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Yoga For Diabetes


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About the Author

Rachel Zinman was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008. It took six years for her to accept her diagnosis of type 1 LADA diabetes. She started yoga in high school when she was 17 and by the age of 19 she was hooked. Rachel is passionate about the deeper aspects of yoga and its ability to heal and inspire. She has spent the last 30 years practicing enthusiastically as well as teaching nationally (in Australia) and internationally since 1992. Rachel was a professional dancer from a young age and trained as a Waldorf educator teaching in both Australia and New York City.


"I love the raw honesty that Rachel gives the reader on how diabetes has impacted her life and how she survives it. 'This disease sucks!' are the words that resonated with me, being a Type 1 diabetic, I get these words she is saying, but then she comes back with 'And if it weren't for my daily yoga and meditation practice, I don't think I'd cope.' And this is where I find myself wanting to read more and why I can't put this book down.

Yoga for Diabetes shows us that yoga does not cure diabetes but tells us how it can relieve the daily grind and stresses that this disease can have on one's mind and body. An excellent read for those wanting to explore ways to reconnect with theirs and find mental balance." --Jackie Stevens, Yoga Australia

"Your story is heart-wrenching. Thank you for giving everyone the gift of your sharing, honesty, vulnerability. You are so amazing, so brave, so courageous. What you are giving is a priceless gift, and not just to diabetics, but to anyone grappling with a chronic health condition. I love how Yoga for Diabetes gains momentum into the deepest and most complex issues related to diabetes and then simplifies this information and makes it accessible to everyone no matter what stage they're in." --Lisa Fitzpatrick, bestselling author & owner of Sacred Women's Business, www.lisafitzpatrick.com.au

"Yoga for Diabetes is both a beautifully written and laid out book, as well as a life and health-changing concept if brought to reality through action. Rachel does a wonderful job using her own story of turning adversity into advantage in order to illustrate that the lessons we learn through practicing yoga regarding remaining calm, breathing deeply, standing strong, and being proactive versus reactive are all directly related to our willingness to choose to make our diabetes management practices a top priority." --Daniele Hargenrader, bestselling author of Unleash Your Inner Diabetes Dominator, Certified Health Coach, Nutritionist, and Personal Trainer, www.diabetesdominator.com

"For many people, yoga provides a way to stay fit, find balance in their lives on and off the mat, and (hopefully) connect with themselves on the deepest level. For others, it's a mere fad that they've sampled and abandoned when the next 'new' thing came along. Rachel Zinman, on the other hand, has devoted her life to the study and practice not only of yoga but of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian 'science of life', healing techniques that go way beyond any Western definition of medicine. It was only natural that when, despite a life of extraordinarily healthy practice and diet, Rachel was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she would turn to yoga and Ayurveda for tools to supplement insulin injections and other modern ways of treating her disease. This book offers a unique lens not only into how yoga and Ayurveda can help diabetics of all types live more easily with this disease, but how even the sources and manifestations of diabetes arise from the type of person we each are and the lifestyle choices we have made. Throughout, Rachel's artful prose and compelling honesty make this a page-turner even for those never touched by diabetes. Rachel writes with clarity, candour and authenticity that will inspire anyone's life with diabetes, and may well prod others to seek out yoga and/or Ayurveda in coping with other diseases. It's clear from the first sentence that she's one of us!" --Lois Nesbitt Ph.D., E-RYT, author of Hip Op: Beyond Recovery!, www.loisnesbittyoga.com

"With great compassion and clarity, Rachel Zinman introduces people with diabetes to the benefits of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda, specific to each individual's nature. Rachel's lifelong passion for yoga, melded with her coming to terms with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes as an adult, provides a profound service to those of us with diabetes. Yes, we must take our meds (including exogenous insulin for those of us with type 1 diabetes) and follow our treatment protocols, but we can also find some peace and space amidst the challenge of diabetes. Rachel shows us how." --Melitta Rorty, yoga practitioner and blogger on adult-onset type 1 diabetes, www.adultt1diabetes.blogspot.com

"As a fellow Diabetic and someone who practices Yoga regularly, I found Yoga for Diabetes to be incredibly insightful and informative. Rachel breaks down different practices and their benefits and she not only offers facts and insights but also more practical "how-to" information, so that even someone who has perhaps never practiced before would feel comfortable diving into yoga, using this book as a guideline. I understand first hand the importance of maintaining a healthy routine and yoga has helped me tremendously with managing this disease. Rachel's story is touching; her voice calming and I hope her book helps others discover and enhance their yoga practice." --Sam Talbot (co- founder of BEYOND TYPE 1)

"This book provides a look at Diabetes treatment through the twin lenses of Yoga and Ayurveda. It is stunningly beautiful in its presentation and is equally matched by both the depth of the material presented and the accessibility of the recommendations to the readers' lives.

Rachel is skilled at presenting this material in a way that is both personal and professional. She shares her own story of the initial diagnosis of her condition and then takes us along on the journey she took to uncover more natural and traditional ways of addressing her condition. Already a yogi, it was natural that her study led her to Ayurveda where she plumbed the depths of this science to address all phases of her life that may have supported the formation of Diabetes. She then applied these principles to change her life to embrace optimal health.

She has a solid foundation in the principles of Ayurveda and introduces these in a way that is understandable to the reader. She takes these, often esoteric, principles and breaks them down in such a way that the reader not only understands them, but can clearly see themselves in the descriptions.

Through the course of the book she clearly introduces different approaches for bringing more Ayurveda and yoga into the reader's life. While intended for those who are dealing with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, this book will be appreciated and enjoyed by others as well. Students of Ayurveda will benefit from Rachel's clear explanations of Ayurvedic principles and how they apply in this condition. Practitioners will benefit from Rachel's thorough research into the condition and the correlations she draws between the Yoga, Ayurveda and approach to treatment of Diabetes. Friends and family members will appreciate that it is easy to read, easy to understand and fun to put the exercises into place so that everyone will reach a more balanced state of health." --Mary Thompson, lecturer of Ayurveda at California College of Ayurveda, www.marythompsonayurveda.com

"Yoga for Diabetes is a comprehensive and thoroughly beautiful book. Rachel's personal story is heart wrenching, deeply authentic and joyfully uplifting, and you're sure to be as moved and inspired by her journey as I was.

This landmark book guides you gracefully through the sister-sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga in a very practical and user-friendly way. From discovering your own dosha (constitution) to practices for breathing, moving, meditating and cultivating gratitude, this book is a full and wholehearted guide to living and thriving with diabetes.

A must read for anyone living with, or supporting someone with diabetes." --Dr. Lauren Tober, Clinical Psychologist, Yoga Teacher and founder of Capturing Gratitude, www.laurentober.com

"Your book is completely beautiful. When I was 20 and travelling a LOT Richard Hittleman's 28-day-yoga book was my bible, and although of course yours is vastly superior in terms of how you've written it and how beautiful it is - it has that kind of 'yoga bible' vibe to it. I can imagine taking it everywhere with me!" --Candida Baker, Author and editor Verandah Magazine

"Thank you, Rachel, for this wonderful offering! So often the medical world treats diabetes, and all chronic disease, from a purely mechanistic, reductive framework, ignoring the complex reality of how disease affects body, mind and spirit. Rachel does a beautiful job of integrating western physiology, yoga and Ayurveda into a fluid practice that can be tailored to our individual needs. Most importantly, she shows the importance of caring for ourselves with a balance of mindful effort, self-compassion, and ease. I will share this book with all of my patients living with diabetes." --Lisa Nelson MD, Family Practice Associates, Director of Medical Education, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health Medical Director, The Nutrition Center

"Rachel overcame her shocking diagnosis through her dedication to the healing path of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. Let her beauty, inspiration and fortitude guide you on your path." --Annie B. Kay MS RDN RYT500, Award-winning author, Every Bite Is Divine and Yoga & Diabetes www.anniebkay.com

"We who live with Diabetes know aside from taking our medication, if required: we must change our eating habits, and we must exercise daily. I can think of no better way to control your diabetes than what Rachel Zinman has given us in her book Yoga for Diabetes. Easy read, and an easy path to wellness. If you are living with diabetes this is a must. What is so impressive about this book is that you do not have to have diabetes to benefit from it... this is for all. Enjoy the new you. Namaste," --Ben Vereen, Tony award-winning actor, singer, dancer, www.benvereen.info

"I loved reading this beautifully presented book. I am particularly impressed by the sound theoretical background that informs the yoga practices for those with various types of Diabetes. Further, the information is comprehensible and warmly written. The instructions and appropriate modifications are similarly clear as is the need for any precautions or medical assistance. In spite of Rachel's own profound benefits derived from yoga with her experience of Diabetes, she does not preach rather inspires others to seek a pathway with the varied practices of yoga. I admire her for making such information available in such a beautiful format." --Annette Loudon, MMed Sc, Yoga therapist

"I have known Rachel since she came to teach for me at Be Yoga in Manhattan in 2000. A passionate student, it wasn't long before she became an integral member of my team. Her dedication and devotion to yoga showed up in every aspect of her life. But there were also challenges. Rachel and I worked together over years to help her manage her overall health and wellbeing. I am so pleased that she has brought to life the many things I shared with her in how to approach yoga for the individual. No matter what type of diabetes you have, knowing how to meet your needs through the various practices of posture, breath and meditation can make a world of difference. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to manage their health and experience the profound healing nature of yoga. Rachel truly shares from her heart." --Alan Finger, Ishta Yoga founder, www.ishtayoga.com

"Rachel Zinman is a gifted writer. Becoming a diabetic created a crisis in her life, a journey that she writes about with great vulnerability. Instead of succumbing to despair, Rachel has committed herself to sharing her experiences of healing through this book, online and in workshops. In Yoga for Diabetes, Rachel weaves together all she has learned in 30 years of yoga practice with newfound knowledge and skills. She presents these in a thoroughly interesting and available way that is suitable for an audience ranging from beginners to yoga teachers, and other health practitioners. This is a lifestyle book for people with diabetes. Yoga for Diabetes offers information on how to support one's health in the most holistic way. In simple terms, Rachel explains the Ayurvedic approach to managing diabetes with diet, breathing exercises, physical yoga and meditation. These complement a protocol of medication, diet and exercise, and offer the best opportunity for a person living with diabetes to enjoy a healthy, balanced life. No matter what stresses life throws up." --Eve Grzybowski, founder of Sydney Yoga Centre www.eveyoga.com

"I have not seen anything like this. Exquisite. The vibrancy of the photos, the mood of the tonal shots, the intimacy of your story and the wealth of information are all going to make this book a best seller. I love it. " --Sharron Toop, Lover of yoga and online book shop owner

"Rachel's passion for both yoga and her wellbeing as a person with diabetes is what makes this book come alive. It reminds me how much yoga changed my own life as a person with diabetes. She is a real person who faces the challenges we all face with diabetes, but yoga lit a light in her that makes the burden of type 1 diabetes so much lighter. And she's sharing that light with her readers. If you're looking for the inspiration to feel more connected and appreciative of your body, and what it's capable of, rather than feeling defeated and frustrated, Rachel and her yoga education will support you in that journey!" --Ginger Vieira, author & editorial director, www.diabetesdaily.com

"Beyond inspiring! Rachel's generous gift to the diabetes community is her thoughtful and practical book Yoga for Diabetes. Rich in information and practical advice, this easy to navigate guide for living well springs to life with beautiful photography that motivates. Rachel invites us all to join her in seeking a more balanced existence, living beyond that which challenges us." --Sarah Lucas CEO, Co-founder Beyond Type 1, and yogi

"Rachel Zinman has produced a book that is compassionate, factual and inspiring: Yoga for Diabetes is a wonderful offering for the millions who have diabetes. It is an essential roadmap full of vital insights for diabetics and how they can benefit from the treasures of yoga, meditation and breath work. Skillfully guiding readers toward greater health and well being, Rachel dishes out invaluable information about Ayurveda and how it can best support you. Best of all, her kind and informative guidance will be easy to apply and benefit from, regardless of your previous exposure to yoga and Ayurveda." --Yogarupa Rod Stryker, founder of ParaYoga and author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life, of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom

"Our teacher Krishnamacharya was a master physician as well as yoga master. He perfected the skill of adapting yoga to individual needs including healing illness. Rachel has studied yoga diligently, practiced and overcome illness in her personal life. I urge you to read this book and find out how easy it is to implement a powerful healing yoga practice in your life." --Mark Whitwell, author Yoga of Heart and The Promise, www.heartofyoga.com

"This is far beyond a 'Yoga for Diabetes' book. This book is an absolute treasure. From her openness about her own journey and struggles, to her invaluable tools to help guide others, Rachel's book will not only touch your heart, it will help you find healing and balance in your own life. Whether you have diabetes or not, seek to practice yoga and/or Ayerveda or not, this book offers precious gifts everyone can grow from." --Zippora Karz, author of The Sugarless Plum, Ballerina Dreams, and former NYCB soloist

"When faced with a health condition such as diabetes it is time to have a soul to soul conversation to answer some of the bigger questions that raise their heads with such a condition. When I was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 23, I dove into my Yoga Practice with a new conviction that has sustained me to this day. This incredible book Yoga For Diabetes provides you, the reader, with just the kind of Soul Talk necessary to cope, grow and transform at times like these.

The expert guidance of longtime yogini Rachel Zinman-Jeanes soothed me to the core as I read through her story of the highs and lows of living with diabetes. Zinman-Jeanes walks you through yoga, breathing, meditation and lifestyle practices to suit all kinds of people living with diabetes, with a triad of solutions to suit your personal make-up.

When you are living with less stress, better coping mechanisms and are connected to your self in a profound way, your diabetes management will be easier, your health will be stronger and your relationships more joyful. I already love my yoga practice and the nourishment it provides on so many levels, yet when I saw the gorgeous pictures of the different types of people practicing yoga in such beautiful nature settings, I fell in love with it again. Yoga is a wonderful practice to heal you physically and connect you with your soul. This brings the disease itself into perspective. You are not your diabetes. You are a healthy, balanced, spiritual person living with a disease that takes a good amount self-care. I have a feeling that whether you are living with diabetes personally or are reading this book to help support a loved one, you may also be inspired by this book and take up the practice of Yoga too. " --Sarah Tomlinson, Author of Nine Designs for Inner Peace(Destiny Books)

"Rachel's book is a self-care book in the best sense of the word, and in the true spirit of yoga as 'therapy.'

With respect to diabetes, the book does not pretend to offer a miracle 'cure' through yoga, nor deny the necessity of medical care or responsible adherence to treatment protocols. Instead, it is written by someone who has grappled emotionally and physically with this challenging and persistent condition, and has gone through phases of denial, magical thinking and self-blame familiar to many who have been diagnosed with a condition despite their best efforts to be healthy. And she has arrived at a truly therapeutic place of self-awareness, self-care and compassion, both for herself and for others.

What she offers, through a very broad and comprehensive understanding of yoga combined with Ayurveda, are the vital components for that stance of self-awareness and self-care. Ayurveda offers the tools, via an understanding of the 'doshas, ' for grasping and appreciating the particulars -- emotionally as well as physically -- of one's own individual condition, which Rachel explains quite clearly and insightfully.

She then matches this Ayurvedic self-understanding to the yogic practices of breath, meditation and movement, never failing to address specifically the connection to one's own condition as a diabetic. At the same time, she manages to keep this approach relevant and meaningful to those who are not diabetic. It is truly a book that has something to offer to all, while staying true to its central mission without oversimplification.

No pose or practice is offered as a magical or simplistic 'cure, ' but rather a fully informed tool for self-care that addresses daily and in-the-moment where you are emotionally, mentally and physically -- offering yourself the kind of care that is needed, which only you can provide, to remain well and healthy and happy even in the presence of a disease that remains as a obstinate guest in the house of one's body. It is that quality of self-awareness -- not self-diagnosis -- that makes the practices she offers both 'yogic' and therapeutic, fitting self-awareness to practice.

This is yoga as therapy in the truest sense, which addresses a condition such as diabetes as a vital compliment to necessary medical care and treatment, while reaching the personal aspects of one's condition that medicine cannot. Such a yoga is also a vital complement to one's life, even in the absence of any specific health condition. In the big picture, the 'condition' is life itself, which is to be met wisely, enthusiastically, and with the tools of self-care.

That is yoga.

And, by the way, Rachel is a fully engaging and infectiously readable author, making this an accessible, enjoyable and entirely worthwhile book!" --Doug Keller, author of The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga

"International yoga teacher and writer Zinman was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 42. Her struggle to accept this chronic disease led to a wellness journey that is the basis of this book. Zinman shares her story briefly before delving into Ayurveda, an ancient medical system from India. Readers will optimally navigate the contents with knowledge of their Ayurvedic body type. This is explained in layperson's terms with a quick quiz that breaks the information down easily. Readers should not be deterred by this component as it becomes a useful wellness tool, even for those not living with diabetes. In writing that is insightful and holistic, the author dedicates chapters to the mind, breath, meditation, and the appropriate time, day, and approach of the yoga practice. Yoga postures and sequences are included, complete with soothing, outdoor photographs and helpful asana descriptions. With a detailed appendix, a pose index, and resource pages for further reading. VERDICT While tailored to persons with diabetes, this is a useful resource for any beginning yoga practitioner, especially one with an interest in Ayurveda." --Angela Forret, Library Journal

"I wish I had this book when I was diagnosed with type one diabetes 25 years ago! My journey with yoga and Ayurveda as a path to self-healing is right in line with the teachings offered in Yoga for Diabetes by learned yogini Rachel Zinman (check out her blog!). Yoga has been a life-saver for me, emotionally, physically and as a steady, consistent way to connect to spirit every single day.

"Reading this fun and real book will make it easy for you to live better, healthier and longer and perhaps with a more gentle, loving and compassionate attitude than before. Whether you are living with diabetes or you are a caregiver for someone in your family, this is a sweet book (no pun intended).The theme of this book is: What does one do when faced with a lifelong illness that will need to be managed rather than cured? Rachel tells it like it is. She describes what it is like to live with diabetes and how to integrate daily yoga and meditation. Rachel also discusses how to incorporate the Ayurvedic lifestyle practices that are right for you. This is ambitious. In reality, it's a book about at least four subjects. Yet Rachel gracefully guides us through and leads us gently to the practices. The offerings conveyed in each chapter will be up to you, the reader, to try.

"Since Ayurveda is an underlying theme here, Rachel reminds us of the importance of understanding our uniqueness. This is true even among people with a similar diagnosis. In the book, she encourages each person to discover their own approach to managing moods, diet, and connection to spirit through food, yoga postures, mantras, breathing practices, lifestyle balancing habits, and meditations. Her discussion of asana includes inviting color photos of three different yoga students taken in three breathtaking nature settings in Australia. The kapha-stimulating section is set on the beach with the aqua blue ocean behind. The pitta-cooling, calming section is set in a leafy jungle. For the third dosha, the vata-grounding section is set in the sandy mountains. Rachel offers an A-Z guide to yoga asana with instructions on how to move in and out of poses safely while discovering their many benefits. She can make the sound of taking some full breaths or doing a lunge very appealing.

This book is a fun companion to the world of yoga. I recommend it for everyone from beginners to experienced practitioners. The stress of living with a chronic condition like diabetes requires you to dig deep and keep some self-care tools handy. Your nervous system will thank you if you follow these practices. In addition, you may notice increased cooperation from your physical response to insulin, food intake, and glandular balance. In closing, I suggest this book to anyone who is on the fence about giving yoga a go." --Sarah Tomlinson, LA Yoga

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