DiaYogi Dialogues


In 2014 my life was at rock bottom. Diagnosed with prediabetes, not knowing I actually had latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) I was in complete denial. I had been living and breathing yoga since I was 19 with the mindset that yogis don’t get sick.  Obviously, I was wrong.

After tests confirmed an A1c of 10.7 and the beginnings of neuropathy in my hands and feet I was terrified. Not just terrified of the finality of the diagnosis but afraid of medication and being on it for life. It took quite a bit of convincing and a huge dose of courage to take the plunge and start insulin therapy.

That was my turning point. I took a stand and put myself first. It was also the moment I started to question and look beyond my limited belief system. Asking questions like: were there other yogis like me, adults who’d practiced yoga first before their diagnosis? And what about people living with diabetes? Did they practice yoga at all? Did it lead them to teach and share?

At first, through an online search not much came up. I found someone in Minneapolis,  and someone else in Vermont. When I asked my peers if they knew any yoga teachers living with diabetes they shrugged their shoulders.  I kept looking. I knew there were yogis with diabetes out there I just hadn’t found them … yet

Enter Beyond Type 1 and their #LiveBeyond Insta campaign.

Every time  I saw a post from a yogi, I cheered. Like a kid in a candy store, I ate up their stories and began reaching out. The more we connected the more I realised how each Diayogi (a yogi who lives with diabetes) had to offer. Not just to their local community but to the wider world.

That’s when the idea for the Diayogi Dialogues Summit came to life. A free interview summit with 11 yoga teachers living with diabetes. Yogis of all ages, from all over the world.

If you’re feeling isolated, frustrated, like giving up or simply looking to change your relationship to your diabetes, this summit is an invitation to come on a journey with us. Discover why yoga rocked our world, put us on the path to transformation, influenced our relationships, career paths and made us Diayogi warriors. Listen to our triumphs and challenges. Join us in the practices we do every day to stay balanced and joyful. Feel inspired to try yoga for the first time or to recommit to a daily practice.

No matter your age, background and stage of diagnosis I know you will love these heartfelt conversations. Each woman is a warrior, a carer and a leading light in the field of yoga and diabetes and I feel so honored to be able to share their stories. Together through the power of yoga we rise!

Our Summit launches October 1, 2018. I encourage you to preregister via our launch sign-up go in the draw to win a FREE yoga for diabetes book and for US subscribers a six-month subscription to the mySugr bundle which includes a six months’ worth of free test strips and a diabetes coach. Click here to sign up.

Meet the Diayogi tribe and their Instagram handles:

Episode 1: Sarah Macleod from @whatsarahsaid

Episode 2 :Sarah Parker Bristow from @Growing_grounded

Episode 3: Evan Soroka from @evan_soroka

Episode 4: Margaret Shippey from @margaretshippey

Epsidoe 5: Anna Elfving-Gomes @myyogal1fe_anna

Episode 6: Lauren Bongiorno @lauren_bongiorno

Episode 7: Sarah Tomlinson @sarahyantra

Episode 8: Anastasia Yatras @anastasiayogin

Episode 9: Karen Rose Tank @karenrosetank

Bonus Episode: Karo Sharma @trimurtiyoga

Bonus Episode: Synne Roisland @synnergyoga

Read more from Rachel Zinman-Jeanes.

WRITTEN BY Rachel Zinman-Jeanes, POSTED 09/25/18, UPDATED 10/30/22

Rachel was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008. At first the doctors weren’t sure whether it was type 1 or 2 as she wasn’t a typical candidate for either. It took nearly six years to get the right diagnosis. Now, she knows that she's a type 1 latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) diabetic. She started yoga in high school at 17 and by the age of 19, she was hooked. When she began yoga it was to help her dance career, but eventually as her practice progressed, she became passionate about the deeper aspects of yoga and its ability to heal and inspire. 30 odd years later, she still practices passionately and has been teaching nationally (in Australia) and internationally since 1992. She's also a mother, a musician, a writer and amateur film maker. All throughout her diagnosis she worked with the various aspects of yoga to try and cure herself, when she finally went on insulin, she realized that it was because of her years of yoga practice that she was able to preserve her remaining beta cells. Now that she's on insulin she uses the postures, breathing and meditation practices to keep calm in the face of the instability of this very challenging disease. She is absolutely sure that Yoga is for everybody and it's her mission to share what she's learned with the diabetes community as well as raising awareness about type 1 amongst yoga teachers both locally here in Australia and globally.