Sudarshan Kriya – the rhythmic breathing technique

The Art of Living is a non-profit organisation founded by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar fondly known as ‘Gurudev’ amongst his followers. He has pioneered in developing a very unique style of breathing technique called the Sudarshan Kriya (SK), which has had a life changing impact on millions of people around the world. They have embraced Sudarshan Kriya combined with meditation to find a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment in their lives.

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Sudarshan Kriya is a “simple rhythmic breathing technique that incorporates specific natural rhythms of the breath, harmonizing the body, mind and emotions”. These rhythms become aligned with the rhythms of nature. SK has been proven to provide relief from depression; eliminate stress, fatigue and negative emotions. It helps the mind become calm, focussed and energised, bringing harmony in our life and relationships.

‘Su’ means proper, and ‘darshan’ means vision. ‘Kriya’ in yogic science means to purify the body. As a whole, Sudarshan Kriya means ‘proper vision by purifying action.’ This technique mainly works through the breath which is the main source of Prana – the life force. SK elevates the Prana levels in the body making one feel healthy and alert, along with removing toxins. It generates a feeling of wellbeing and happiness, and forms the core of the flagship “Happiness Program” offered by the Art of Living.

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(The Art of Living Ashram in Bangalore)

Numerous studies have been done on SK to demonstrate how it helps increase the immune cell count and reduce the stress hormone, Cortisol, along with reducing cholesterol. It has also helped decrease clinical and non-clinical depression and regulate blood pressure.

Breath is nature’s biggest secret. It is linked to your emotions. With breathing exercises, you can control your emotions. This will let you have more say over your mind.  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader and a spiritual teacher with a  vision of a stress-free and violence-free society. He has been bestowed with the highest civilian awards of Colombia, Mongolia and Paraguay and is also the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India’s highest annual civilian award. He has also been conferred with 15 honorary doctorates from around the world.

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This article is part of a series on meditation. Read more about The Journey of David Lynch in meditation. Also harmonising your life and managing emotions through meditation.