Diabetes is a non-communicable disease of affluence, the global impact of which has been compared to a tsunami1, rather than a mere pandemic. Its global significance to human health and happiness is additional to the financial burden it places on all countries. As of 2013, 382 million people were affected, with the number projected to rise to 592 million by 20352. In view of the magnitude of these figures, there is a paramount need for prevention, which requires accurate identification of risk factors, and public education programs in their avoidance. An example of such a program is SVYASA Yoga University’s ‘Stop Diabetes Movement’ (SDM), which is now entering its second phase of large demonstration projects on the efficacy of Yoga for prediabetes, and early stages of diabetes itself.
India’s traditional medical system of Ayurveda is increasingly recognised as of potential importance to modern healthcare3,4. No single system of healthcare can cater to all the needs of a nation5, and Ayurveda offers special insights into the nature of health and the various stages of etiology of disease, that complement the reductionist, biochemical approach of modern medicine in valuable ways6. In particular it suggests specific life-style factors that can cause long-term problems to health, such as eating at the wrong time of day.