Pranayama Advice 70 Years Old Diabetic And Hypertensive

by Krishnamurthy Goturu
(Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)

I am 70 years old, diabetic and hypertensive (under control o/a regular consultation of Doctor and use of prescribed medicine) and also had hernia operation on both sides and so can not squat on padmasana or any pose. I am doing pranayama for some time past but I feel I am not doing according to how it should be done. I am doing this by sitting on a chair. Please tell me if I can now start afresh doing pranayama (only as I can not do any asanas now) which you prescribe for people above 60 years?

Cosidering your age and your are having diabetes, hypertension and physical limitations due to hernia operation. It is advisable to learn yoga personally from a teacher and take advice of your doctor too. In India, it is not difficult to
find a teacher or a free yoga class.

1. If you want to start on your own, read more about yoga. While doing the breathing ensure that you sit erect and your back bone and neck are in a straight line. You can start with just these exercises and see if there is any positive effect.

~ Alom vilom for 5 minutes or more as long as you feel comfortable
~ Rhythmic breathing
~ Om recitation (20-30 times)
~ Shavasana (5-10 minutes)
~ Yoganidra (practice 2-3 times a week)

Alom vilom and shavasana can provide you the required rest and relaxation. While doing pranayama do not be in a hurry. Increase the repetitions of alom vilom gradually. Any time you feel uncomfortable, stop pranayama and take rest in shavasana.

2. Eat as per yogic diet principles. Eat plenty of fresh fruits(as permitted for diabetes), fresh vegetables, nuts, sprouts, lemon and low-fat and high-fibre vegetarian diet. Avoid fried foods, red meat, egg yolk, refined sugars, maida, tea, coffee etc. Avoid fried foods, sugar, red meat, tea, salt, soft drinks or any other junk food.

3. Regarding yoga poses, it is advisable to meet a yoga teacher and decide the yoga poses you can do.

4. Avoid any smoking or drinking.

5. You can benefit a lot by practicing meditation. You can select a mantra of your choice or just do 'Aum recitation'.

6. Depending on your health, you can also start walking or cycling for at least 30 minutes a day.

7. Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep of 6 to 8 hours.

8. Preferably practice yoga early in the morning.

You can read the book "Light on Life" by BKS Iyengar to understand the basic concept of yoga. It will help you in applying yoga in your life.

Hope this helps.

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Mar 15, 2010
Pranayama Advice
by: Krishnamurthy Goturu


It is really very very relieving, reading your simple, sincere and elderly advice. Every thing I was doing upto now was erratic, except, shavasana, walking (cycling I can't do, because I get pain in the right groin). I shall restrict to the timings suggested by you and slowly increase it when I find going is easy. Thanks again for the suggestions.

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