Sudarshan Kriya - A Stress Buster

Submitted by Bonnie Sedan on May 23, 2013

The Sudarshan Kriya in Yoga can be described as a rhythmic breathing technique, which has been based on the ancient Vedic traditions. There are three different components that make up this purifying action, which include -

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  • Ujayi Pranayama: A long and deep breathing technique, in which you have to inhale deeply, hold your breath, exhale completely and wait for a few seconds before you can repeat the cycle
  • Bhastrika Pranayma: The practice of forced inhalation and exhalation for around 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Cyclical Breathing: Slow, medium-paced and fast cycles of rhythmic breathing.

For best results, the Sudarshan Kriya should be followed up by the Yoga Nidra or deep relaxation technique for around 15 minutes or so.


The entire session, which consists of Sudarshan Kriya and Yoga Nidra should take you no more than 50 to 55 minutes.

The specific breathing rhythms and cycles are said to eliminate stress, transform overwhelming negative emotions and restore peace of mind. Therefore, if you are looking for a stress buster, what is better than the Sudarshan Kriya, which not only relieves mental and emotional stress, but also improves your health in many other ways? Given below are some of the common physical, mental, interpersonal, psychological and spiritual benefits you can experience with the regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya -

  • Better ability to take decisions and handle challenging situations
  • Boost in energy and stamina
  • Decline in the levels of bad cholesterol within the body
  • Deeper levels of inner peace
  • Enhancement of brain functions
  • Greater clarity of mind
  • Heightened creativity, concentration and focus
  • Higher awareness of the self as well as the surrounding
  • Improved sleeping patterns
  • Increased ease and harmony in personal and work relationships
  • Overall improvement of health and wellbeing
  • Reduction in the levels of stress
  • Relief from negative emotions like depression and anxiety
  • Strengthening of the immune system, which results in fewer health problems
  • Surge in patience, confidence and self-esteem

Yoga experts claim that Sudarshan Kriya can play a vital role in promoting a healthier lifestyle. Recent findings of a study (conducted by Bedi et al in 2010 and Shankar Ram et al in 2011) indicate that the regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya is a beneficial, low-cost and low risk addition in the treatment of –

  • Excessive stress
  • Depression (mild and moderate)
  • Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Substance abuse (caused by depression)

There are no known side effects associated with the practice of Sudarshan Kriya, yet, it is important to consult with a doctor before practicing this breathing technique.

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