The Sudarshan Kriya, a powerful rhythmic breathing technique that facilitates physical, mental, emotional and social well-being is an integral part of Art of Living programmes.
It is today universally acclaimed for its effectiveness in eliminating stress and bringing one completely into the present moment.
As H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar puts it, the Sudarshan Kriya came to him like an inspiration to bridge the gap between the worlds of inner silence and outer expression of life.
Nature is replete with various rhythms and cycles – day follows night, night follows day, seasons come and go. Similarly, there are biological rhythms to our bodies, minds and emotions. When these rhythms are in sync, we feel a sense of harmony and well-being. When stress or illness throws them out of order, we experience discomfort and discontent and feel upset and unhappy.
‘Su’ means proper, ‘darshan’ means vision, and ‘Kriya’ is a purifying practice. The Sudarshan Kriya is therefore a purifying practice, whereby one receives a proper vision of one’s true self. This unique breathing practice is a potent energizer.
Every cell becomes fully oxygenated and flooded with new life, bringing a sense of joy in the moment. And when we feel good about ourselves, love flows naturally in all our relationships with others.
The rhythmic breathing pattern of Sudarshan Kriya harmonizes the rhythms of the body and emotions and brings them in tune with the rhythms of nature. The breath connects the body and mind. Just as emotions affect our patterns of breathing, we can bring about changes in our mental and behavioral patterns by altering the rhythms of our breath. It flushes our anger, anxiety and worry; leaving the mind completely relaxed and energized.
- Studies have demonstrated significant falls in cortical levels, known as the ‘stress hormone’ among Sudarshan Kriya practitioners, suggesting greater levels of both, relaxation and resilience to stress.
- A study by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, concluded that regular practice of the Sudarshan Kriya invokes positive emotions, replacing anger, frustration and jealousy.
- It’s also found that it improves the blood cholesterol profile with significant drops in total cholesterol and LDL (harmful) cholesterol, as well as increases in HDL (beneficial) cholesterol.
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