Yoga 4 Diabetes_Rachels story

Unless you or someone close to you is diagnosed with diabetes it’s difficult to imagine the impact the disease has on your everyday life. That’s exactly how I felt until it happened to me.

Type 1 diabetes is usually thought of as a disease that strikes in childhood but that’s no longer the norm. Out of the 380 million people worldwide suffering with diabetes about 5% are diagnosed with LADA, latent autoimmune disease in adults. I was diagnosed at 42 after 25 years of practicing yoga and living a healthy lifestyle. Now, 8 years on from my diagnosis I take daily insulin injections to maintain my blood glucose levels .

In spite of my diagnosis I am adamant that yoga is the perfect compliment to managing the daily ups and downs of the disease and I’ve written a book to inspire people with diabetes to incorporate yoga into their management program

I want people to know that taking insulin or any medications does not necessarily make things easier. A person with diabetes literally has to think like a pancreas and work out how much to inject and when, to regulate their blood sugar. The stress associated with the unpredictably of the body’s response to insulin and other medications puts extra pressure on an already challenged pancreas. In my experience Yoga is the number one way to mitigate stress.

Rachel Portraits 2015-47 copyRachel Portraits 2015-15 copy

And this is the first yoga book ever written by a person living with diabetes for people who have diabetes. I’m not sure why anyone hasn’t written something like this before but I feel I have an insiders view and really want to share that. It’s so important with any chronic health condition that we can come out of isolation and know we aren’t alone. When I was first diagnosed I was in shock, I didn’t know anyone my age who had type 1 diabetes. Once I started Insulin I went online to see if I could find a support group and to my amazement discovered a huge online community on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I also really want people to know that it can happen to anyone at any age and early detection makes a big difference. My diagnosis happened during a regular check up before I was symptomatic. I’m so grateful my doctor picked it up, I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who experiences it so suddenly. You’re life changes dramatically after diagnosis. It’s a tough adjustment.

Supporting Rachels launch

For me, writing this book and sharing my 30 years of experience as a yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer with the diabetic community worldwide is a dream come true, but to make my dream a reality I need help. My plan is to self publish to make sure the book reaches a wide audience. And I’ve been working with type 1 diabetics to find out what postures and practices work best. The initial results have been encouraging. Participants have experienced, better sleep, more control over their blood sugars and increased fitness and focus.
In order to achieve my goal I’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign. Since telling people about the campaign, I’ve already been approached by several national diabetes organisations like Diabetes Australia, Diabetes NSW and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association to write for their magazines and present at conferences. I’ve also been published in several U.S based diabetic online magazines. I want to target people who need it most.

If you’d like to preorder the book there’s lots of great rewards on offer too, besides being a passionate yoga teacher, I’m an award winning musician and published poet and author. So you can choose anything from a signed copy of the book to one of my soothing devotional CD’s to a 6 week personalised yoga program.

For more info about the campaign go here yoga4diabetes or visit Rachel’s blog


Rachel Zinman

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