What is Sudarshan Kriya Yoga?

Sudarshan Kriya is a straightforward breathing technique that makes use of certain natural rhythms of breathing. It is common for yoga practitioners to perform certain breathing exercises along with various physical postures and chants. It helps bring harmony to the mind, body, and emotions. The term “Sudarshan” means positive appearance whereas “Kriya” refers to the act of purification.

In this article, you can learn more about the types of Sudarshan Kriya yoga, how to practice it on a daily basis, its benefits, some beginner tips, how often one must practice it, and precautions to be taken.

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21 Dec 2021
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The Basics of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga

In addition to varied physical postures and chants, yoga often requires its practitioners to perform certain breathing techniques. Sudarshan Kriya is a straightforward breathing technique that makes use of certain natural rhythms of breathing. It helps bring harmony to the mind, body, and emotions. The term “Sudarshan” means positive appearance whereas “Kriya” refers to the act of purification.

Types of Sudarshan Kriya

Sudarshan Kriya exists in only one form which is made up of three different paces of breathing. That being said, there exist varied elements that constitute the broader practice of Sudarshan Kriya. These have been examined below.

  • Ujjayi

This form of breathing is often referred to as “Ocean Breath” and requires the practitioner to slowly inhale and exhale. Provided this breathing technique is correctly practised, the practitioner will feel the air move within his / her throat and hear a sound similar to that of the ocean.

  • Kanishtha, Madhyama and Jyeshta Pranayama

These breathing techniques help remove toxins from the lungs. They are performed by changing the placement of the hands while focusing on the breath.

  • Bhastrika Pranayam

This style of breath control requires the practitioner to forcefully inhale and exhale oxygen via their nostrils.

  • Chanting “Om”

When the word Om is chanted, it produces powerful vibrations. Here, you chant ‘Om’ thrice to connect yourself to the origin of the universe.

  • Sudarshan Kriya

Sudarshan Kriya involves the practitioner practising three different paces of breathing one after another. It begins with slow paced breathing which is then replaced by medium paced breathing and ultimately ends with rapid-paced breathing.

How to Do Sudarshan Kriya?

Follow the below-mentioned Sudarshan Kriya steps to reap its benefits.

Step 1: Practitioners begin by sitting down in the Vajrasana or thunderbolt pose.

 

Step 2: Next, practitioners start performing Ujjayi which requires them to take in longer breaths such that they can feel their breath touching their throat. They are required to take in 2 to 4 breaths each minute. Slow breathing helps practitioners gain control over their breath.

 

Step 3: After they finish performing Ujjayi, practitioners must perform Bhastrika pranayama which requires them to inhale and exhale air at a rapid, forceful pace. Ideally, practitioners must take in 30 breaths each minute. Each exhalation must take twice the amount of time that each inhalation takes.

 

Step 4: Next, practitioners must chant the word “Om” three times. After the first two times om is chanted, there should be silence such that a state of bliss can be experienced. This is followed by Om being chanted for the third time.

 

Step 5: Practitioners then perform Kriya which requires them to breathe at a slow, medium, and fast pace. These breaths must be cyclical and should follow a rhythm.

Benefits of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga

There are a number of Sudarshan Kriya benefits. These have been examined below:

  • Helps Bridge the Gap

Sudarshan Kriya helps fill the gap that exists between the mind and the external environment with the aid of regulated breathing.

  • Ideal for Those With Certain Mental Issues

Sudarshan Kriya has been found to be an effective tool for those diagnosed with mental health issues including PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

  • Improves the Quality of Sleep

People who practise Sudarshan Kriya on a regular basis can benefit from an improved quality of sleep.

  • Helps Calm the Mind

Sudarshan Kriya teaches practitioners to take a step back and observe what happens around them. It reduces the likelihood of angry outbursts.

  • Encourages Creativity

Sudarshan Kriya encourages creative thinking among its practitioners.

  • Helps Develop Patience

This breathing technique helps people become more patient.

Beginner’s Tip for Sudarshan Kriya

The entire process of Sudarshan Kriya takes close to 45 minutes. While it can be practised at any point of time during the day, it should not be done immediately after a meal.

How Often Should I Do Sudarshan Kriya?

While there are no Sudarshan Kriya side effects, it should not be practised more than once in a day. The short form of Sudarshan Kriya can be practised once a day while the long version of it should only be practised once a week.

Precautions to Take to Perform Sudarshan Kriya

Before attempting to perform Sudarshan Kriya, it is important to take into account the following considerations.

  • Sudarshan Kriya must be done under the guidance of a trained yoga expert. Else, it can be ineffective and potentially harmful.

  • Only practise Sudarshan Kriya if you are physically and mentally able to do so. Your physician and yoga instructor should first be consulted and give you the go-ahead.

  • Pregnant women are advised to abstain from practising Sudarshan Kriya.

  • You should not attempt to perform Sudarshan Kriya if you frequently consume alcohol or any kind of drugs.

  • People diagnosed with any extreme mental illness should abstain from attempting to practise Sudarshan Kriya.

Conclusion

Owing to the fact that Sudarshan Kriya provides its practitioners with several health benefits, many people attempt to practise this yoga sequence. However, while you might incorporate varied practices into your daily life in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, you could still end up falling sick. In order to protect yourself in the event that such a situation arises, consider buying a good health insurance plan. This way if you fall sick or sustain an injury, you can be protected with the coverage your health insurance plan provides. At Finserv MARKETS, we offer a wide range of health insurance plans that cover pre-hospitalisation, hospitalisation, and post-hospitalisation expenses for multiple diseases.

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FAQs on Sudarshan Kriya

  • ✔️What does the acronym SKY stand for?

    The acronym SKY stands for Sudarshan Kriya yoga.

  • ✔️Who is credited with the practise of Sudarshan Kriya?

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is credited with developing the practise of Sudarshan Kriya.

  • ✔️Mention 3 benefits associated with the practise of Sudarshan Kriya?

    Three benefits associated with the practise of Sudarshan Kriya include the following.

    1. Improves the Quality of Sleep – People who practise Sudarshan Kriya on a regular basis can benefit from an improved quality of sleep.

    2. Encourages Creativity – Sudarshan Kriya encourages creative thinking among its practitioners.

    3. Helps Develop Patience – This breathing technique helps people become more patient.

  • ✔️How often should you practise Sudarshan Kriya?

    The short version of Sudarshan Kriya can be performed once a day. The long version of Sudarshan Kriya should only be performed once a week. 

  • ✔️Can pregnant women perform Sudarshan Kriya?

    Pregnant women must abstain from performing Sudarshan Kriya.