Sudarshan Kriya

Definition - What does Sudarshan Kriya mean?

Sudarshan Kriya is a three-part yogic breathing practice designed to eliminate fatigue and negative emotions, thereby improving overall physical and mental health. This kriya was developed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and patented by his Art of Living Foundation. The term comes from the Sanskrit su, meaning “proper,” darshan, meaning “vision” and kriya, meaning “act,” “undertaking” or “rite.” In terms of yoga, kriya is a practice intended to purify the body.

In the first part of the breath cycle, the yogi breathes in a normal relaxed way with inhales and exhales of equal length. During the second part, the yogi exhales twice as long as he inhales, and then in the third part, his inhalations last twice as long as the exhalations. A typical Sudarshan Kriya practice lasts about 45 minutes.

Yogapedia explains Sudarshan Kriya

Research has confirmed that breath links the mind and the body, with each human emotion having a distinct breathing pattern. For example, when angry, a person's breathing becomes quick and short. But research has also found that breathing patterns can induce a particular emotion. Sudarshan Kriya, therefore, is designed to transform emotions through breathing patterns.

By using the rhythms of the breath, the yogi is able to bring his/her body, mind and emotions into harmony, leaving him/her focused, energized, yet calm and relaxed. Some of the additional benefits of Sudarshan Kriya are:

  • Increased lung capacity
  • Heightened alertness
  • Improved concentration
  • Refreshed, clarified and de-stressed mind
  • Stronger immune system
  • Better sleep
  • Increased creativity
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