Sudarshan Kriya - Steps And Benefits

Sudarshan Kriya is an intense rhythmic breathing pattern that brings about social, emotional, mental, and physical well being. It is well known for its effectiveness in reducing stress.

Just like nature has its different cycles and rhythms, our emotions, mind, and bodies also have biological rhythms.

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Sudarshan Kriya - A Stress Buster
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When they are in sync, we feel a sense of well being and harmony. When illness or stress disturbs these rhythms, we feel unhappy, upset, and discontent. The meaning of ‘su’ is proper, ‘darshan’ is vision, and ‘kriya’ is a ‘practice that is purifying’. The Sudarshan Kriya is hence a purifying practice.

Sudarshan Kriya steps

  1. To perform the Sudarshan Kriya you should first come to Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).
  2. Kneel on a yoga mat or rug and make sure that the top part of your feet and your shins are touching the floor. Sit on your heels and relax your body.
  3. Next, move your buttocks toward the ground, so that you can rest it on the floor. Your ankles should touch the outer part of your hips once you are in position.
  4. Make sure that you sit up as straight as possible, but keep your body relaxed. If you experience too much pressure on your hips or knees, you can remain seated on your heels; basically, in the Vajrasana position.
  5. Throughout the entire kriya, you should keep your breathing relaxed. A three part breath cycle is used in the Sudarshan Kriya, which will need a bit of practice to perform properly. In the first cycle, you need to breathe in and out in a relaxed manner with the breaths being of equal duration.
  6. In the second cycle, your exhalations should be twice the duration of the inhalation.
  7. In the third cycle, your inhalations should be twice the duration of the exhalation.

A typical session of a short Sudarshan Kriya should last around 45 minutes. Also, you can practice this at any time of the day, except soon after having your meals.

Ideally, you should leave a gap of at least two hours after eating your meals before attempting the Sudarshan Kriya.

Sudarshan Kriya benefits

Some of the Sudarshan Kriya physical health benefits are as follows:

  • Reduced cholesterol levels
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Increased energy
  • Improved wellbeing and health

Mental health benefits

It is now accepted, even in the West, that traditional practices like Pranayama and yoga improve mental health. Depression and anxiety have been found to worsen the progress of serious diseases like cardiovascular ailments, asthma, HIV, and cancer. Sudarshan Kriya and other breathing exercises are now known to provide excellent therapeutic benefits. The technique of breathing exercises are considered to have more advantages than other treatment options because there are no side effects, they are much cheaper, and they are easy to practice.

Some of the Sudarshan Kriya mental health benefits are as follows:

  • Increased capacity to deal with challenging situations
  • Enhanced functions of the brain
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved clarity of mind
  • Greater creativity

Psychological benefits

The psychological benefits of Sudarshan Kriya are such that it is considered equipotent with antianxiety drugs and antidepressants in dealing with patients with a serious depression. Sudarshan Kriya also plays a major role in bringing about a healthy lifestyle. It has also been found that Sudarshan Kriya improves the overall quality of life. Individuals who practiced it experienced better adjustment in home, occupational, social and personal aspects.

Some of the Sudarshan Kriya psychological benefits are as follows:

  • Eased anxiety and depression
  • Reduced stress

Spiritual benefits

The Sudarshan Kriya Spiritual benefits are as follows:

  • Enhanced meditation and yoga practice
  • Inner peace

Improved interpersonal relations with Sudarshan Kriya

In Sudarshan Kriya, the rhythmic breathing pattern helps harmonize the rhythms of the emotions and body and syncs them with nature’s rhythm. The breath connects the mind and body. Just as our patterns of breathing are affected by our emotions, we can change our behavioral and mental patterns by changing the rhythm of our breathing. It eliminates worry, anxiety, and anger and leaves the mind energized and relaxed. Some of the ways in which improved interpersonal relations with Sudarshan Kriya are brought about are

  • Providing more harmony, joy, and ease in work and personal relationships
  • Build community feeling
  • Increased awareness of surroundings and self
  • Increased patience
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence

Sudarshan Kriya: Side effects

There are no known Sudarshan Kriya side effects, and this is one of the advantages of practicing this technique. This technique, patented by the Art of Living foundation, has been scientifically scrutinized. Moreover, the effectiveness of what is practiced and taught has been assessed and documented independently. The conclusion is that the Sudarshan Kriya brings about biologically beneficial changes to the body without any side effects. However, it is recommended that you consult a yoga practitioner before you begin any new practice or routine.

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