Of course, this was just one session, and since it wasn't a controlled experiment, we have no way of knowing if other variables may have played a part in lowering his blood sugar. But even though we have no conclusive proof as yet that this sequence actually plays a direct role in lowering blood sugar, I still think that the results were encouraging enough to warrant my sharing this sequence here. If you know anybody who is diabetic, and is interested in yoga as a treatment modality, the following sequence may be a starting point. I emphasize starting point, because being the Ashtanga Fundamentalist that I am :-), I still think that ultimately, the Ashtanga Primary Series is probably the best thing to do to treat all diseases of the physical body. But not everybody is ready to do full primary from day one; and perhaps many people, for one reason or another, may not be ready to invest the time or effort to learn the primary series mysore style, posture by posture. This being the case, this sequence may also give one a taste of what one may encounter in Ashtanga, and will perhaps encourage the individual to seek out the Ashtanga Primary series. In any case, here's the sequence:
1. Surya Namaskar A (5x)
2. Surya Namaskar B (5x)
3. Utthita Trikonasana
4. Utthita Parsvakonasana
5. Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D
Prasarita Padottanasana A
Prasarita Padottanasana B
Prasarita Padottanasana C
Prasarita Padottanasana D
6. Standing wind-relieving posture
I don't have a picture for this posture. But it basically involves standing on one leg, bending the other knee, and bringing that knee to the chest (kind of like a standing version of Marichyasana A). Hold for five breaths, then repeat on the other side. The idea is to put pressure on and stimulate the abdominal organs, especially the pancreas.
7. Tree pose
8. Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana
This posture may be attempted if the individual in question has sufficient hip flexibility: The pressure of the half-lotus heel has a massaging/stimulating effect on the abdominal organs, including the pancreas. If the individual in question does not yet have sufficient hip flexibilty, skip this posture for the time being.
In order to enhance the pressure on the abdominal organs, a further variation of Vajrasana may be performed. Staying in Vajrasana, curl the hands into fists. Place the fists in the hip creases, and fold forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
11. Double Pigeon Posture
12. Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
As with Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana, this posture may be attempted if the individual in question has sufficient hip flexibility. Otherwise, skip this posture for the time being.
13. Ardha Matsyendrasana
This posture is useful for the pressure that it places on the abdominal organs, especially the pancreas.
15. Salamba Sarvangasana
If individual in question is not yet able to achieve the full expression of the posture with the body perpendicular to the ground, propping the body at a 45-degree angle off the ground (or whatever angle is attainable) works too.
If individual in question is as yet unable to do to full expression of the posture pictured above, he or she can try working with Sirsasana prep:
[Image taken from here]
Although the picture above shows an individual doing sirsasana prep against the wall, I personally do not recommend using the wall: It makes one too reliant on the wall for balance, and causes one to neglect cultivating the core strength needed to eventually do the full expression of the posture.
As an additional prep for Sirsasana, one can also use the following posture to build up strength in the upper body. This is sometimes called the dolphin pose:
Here are some directions for getting into dolphin. Start in downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Bring the elbows to the ground, keeping the legs extended. Try to gaze forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
18. Child's pose
[Image taken from here]
19. Wind-relieving posture
Hold the posture for 5 to 10 breaths, and then repeat on the other side. If you want to, you can also go on to do the posture with both knees bent towards the chest.
The traditional expression of this posture involves getting into full padmasana, binding one's hands behind one's back (as pictured above), and then folding forward. If the individual is as yet unable to perform padmasana, sitting in a cross-legged position, grabbing one's elbows behind one's back, and then folding forward also works.
So, this is the sequence in full. If any of you out there have any suggestions about how to improve the sequence and/or additional postures that have a stimulating effect on the pancreas, I'll love to hear from you. I'll also like to leave whoever's interested in trying this sequence with some unsolicited advice:
(1) If you do not see results immediately (i.e. after a day or two), do not give up. Give this sequence a try (i.e. do it everyday) for three weeks before you decide. As some wise guy once said, do your practice, and all is coming :-)
(2) When you get to the point where you are fairly proficent in all the postures in the sequence, you may also want to add vinyasas (chaturanga-updog-downdog) between all the seated postures. This will work your upper body more, and enable you to develop your practice in a more balanced fashion.
May the Force be with you.