Breathing is what every organ system relies upon. An essential process which starts with grasping the air and is something that happens from the first moment of life. Have you ever paid enough attention to your breath or have thought about its benefits? Well Sudharshan kriya is a yoga exercise that is a combination of breathing technique and pranayam that starts off with slow inhalation and exhalation and gradually progresses into a series of rapid breathing. Let us take a deep dive into this article and learn about Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, its benefits and correct way to perform this yoga exercise.
What is Sudarshan Kriya Yoga?
Yoga is known for its varied health benefits from losing weight to easing pain and even treating some illnesses. In the series of beneficial yoga exercises Sudarshan Kriya Yoga is something that concentrates upon your breath. It establishes a coordination between your body, mind and soul. A combination of breathing technique and pranayam, Sudarshan Kriya Yoga comes with many health benefits.
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Where the sanskrit word ‘sudarshan’ means outlook and ‘kriya’ means an act of purification, the term sudarshan kriya represents the act of purification that drives you towards positivity. The process of sudarshan kriya is based upon regulating the breaths in order to control the mind and improve the overall wellness of the body.
The princess of sudarshan kriya starts off with slow inhalation and exhalation and gradually progresses into a series of rapid breathing. There are various sudarshan kriya techniques namely- Ujjayi, Om Chanting, Bhastrika and Kriya. All these techniques focus upon the process of purification and helps you to gain control over your breathing pattern. As the exercise provides a balance to your mind body and soul let's take a look at the benefits of sudarshan kriya for all these parts-
Benefits of Sudarshan Kriya For Mind
Our mind is something through which our body functions and an organ which provides commands to all the other organ systems. Being one of the most important and vital parts of the human body, the brain needs proper care and a little attention of yours. Sudarshan kriya is an exercise which helps to strike a mental balance by combining pranayama and breathing techniques. This exercise has proven to cure issues like anxiety and depression by calming one’s mind. The benefits of sudarshan kriya for your mind are-
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- Promotes a sense of quietness to the brain by reducing the impact of overstimulation of frontal lobes.
- Helps to increase the Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia and relieve mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
- Improves sleep quality
- Reduces the effects of mental trauma
- Regulates the levels of stress hormones in the body.
- Controls the urge of substance abuse
- Makes a person calmer and reduces the instances of anger outburst.
- Helps with post-traumatic disorder
- Enhances the brain functioning and increases creativity
- Increases self confidence
Benefits of Sudarshan Kriya For Body
Your body is your temple and home to all your systems including your brain(mind) and even the soul. It is important to have a healthy and fit body that is disease free. Various researches have proved that practicing Sudarshan Kriya can help a person in regulating different functions of the body such as pulmonary functions, antioxidant factors, neuropsychological functioning, and the functioning of endocrine glands. With the help of controlled breathing, Sudarshan kriya can help you in many ways and has various health benefits for your body such as-
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- Improves overall health and well being
- Improves lung capacity and pulmonary functioning in people suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Reduces the cholesterol levels in the body
- Keeps your heart healthy
- Regulates neuropsychological functioning
- Increases the energy levels of the body
- Strengthens the immune system
- Is beneficial for lactation in breastfeeding mothers
- Improves the levels of antioxidants in the body
- Lowers the risk of coronary diseases
Benefits of Sudarshan Kriya For Soul
- Not just mental and physical well beings but yoga is an exercise that concentrates upon the well being of one’s soul as well. Sudarsan kriya is one such exercise that works towards a person’s spiritual awakening as well. It promotes the idea of holistic living by providing the sense of oneness with nature and helps a person to lead a balanced life. By practising Sudarshan Kriya a person’s soul can get benefited in the following ways-
- Increases the secretion of feel good hormones
- Reduces stress
- Provides mental peace
- Pushes away the negative thoughts and induces positivity
- Helps to identify the problems that have been holding a person back.
- Makes one aware of its surroundings
- Helps ease tension in personal relationships.
- Increases patience
- Creates a mellifluous flow of energy between mind, body and soul
How to perform Sudarshan Kriya
As by now we have learnt about what sudarshan kriya is, what are its benefits for your mind, body and soul. Let us take a step ahead and learn the correct process of performing this yoga exercise to reap its amazing benefits. Here are 3 different types of sudarshan kriya techniques that you can follow depending upon your goal.
Also known as the victorious breath or ocean breath, ujjayi is a sudarshan kriya technique which involves slow and deep controlled inhalation that contracts the diaphragm . As the diaphragm contracts, your lungs and belly get filled with air. In this exercise the movement of air can be felt by the practitioner through the throat. It will help you to gain control over your breathing, calms you down and keeps you alert. As the air rushes through the throat a sound is emitted by the glottis which is similar to the ocean’s sound. Here is how you can perform this breathing exercise.
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- Sit on the ground with your legs folded and spine straight.
- Take long conscious breath in a way that you can feel it going by placing fingers at your throat.
- Perform it in a relaxed manner so that you are inhaling and exhaling slowly.
- It would require you to take around 2-4 slow breaths per minute.
#2. Om Chanting
One of the most popular forms of yoga meditation which is being practiced for decades in the Indian subcontinent, om chanting is a meditation technique that has recently gained popularity over the globe. With Om being a sacred syllable, incitation of this sound helps to converge the soul with the cosmic universe. This is a representation of a state of bliss where a person experiences the supreme power. Here is how you can perform om chanting-
- Sit on a mat with your legs crossed and spine straight
- Either join your hands in front of your chest or place them on your knees.
- Close your eyes and relax yourself
- Take a deep breath in while pronouncing the first two syllables.
- Gently breath out while making the “m” sound and feel the vibration in your abdominal region.
- Repeat this thrice.
Bhastrika pranayama is a popular yoga exercise that is also known as bellow breath. It is a process of forceful inhalation and exhalation of the breath via nostrils that results in rapid contraction and relaxation of the diaphragm. In this exercise 30 breaths per minute are required in which the duration of exhalation is twice as the inhalation.this exercises helps to calm down and stimulate the body. Here is how you can perform Bhastrika pranayama to reap its benefits-
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- Sid on a yoga mat with your legs crossed and spine straight
- Make fist with both your hands and and fold your arms in a way that your fists are near the shoulder.
- As you inhale, take your fists upwards and open them up in the air.
- While exhaling, bring your hands down to your shoulder lever and close them into a fist.
- Repeat this for about 20 times and then relax.