Dr Shefali Sharma
“Just like the sun, yoga is age-old and yet ever-new. It is a holistic way of life that integrates all elements to make a prayerful discipline uniting the body, mind and soul”
The environmental pollution, increased pace of life, psychosocial disturbances, eating habits, and sedentary lifestyle have increased stress levels and their related disorders. Yoga, an ancient Indian science, has been practised as a healthy way of life. Recently, yoga has been adopted as an approach to health within alternative medicine. Relaxation exercises aim at reducing stress, and thereby help prevent these unwanted outcomes. One of the widely used relaxation practices is yoga and yogic breathing exercises. Yogic breathing, Pranayama, is a unique method for balancing the autonomic nervous system and influencing psychological and stress-related disorders. One specific form of these breathing exercises is Sudarshan Kriya Yoga which is shown to have favourable effects on the mind-body system. Breathing is the first act of life. Within the breath is the unexplored secret of life. Sudarshan Kriya is a powerful yet simple rhythmic breathing technique. It incorporates specific natural rhythms of the breath, harmonizing the body, mind and emotions. The technique eliminates stress, fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression, leaving the mind calm, focused and the body energized, and completely relaxed.
‘Sudarshan’ means outlook and ‘kriya’ means an act of purification, the term Sudarshan kriya represents the act of purification that drives people towards positivity. The process of Sudarshan kriya is based upon regulating the breaths to control the mind and improve the overall wellness of the body. There are various Sudarshan kriya techniques namely- Ujjayi, Om Chanting, Bhastrika and Kriya. All these techniques focus on the process of purification and help to gain control over the breathing pattern. As the exercise provides a balance to our 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 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-
* 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 to substance abuse
* Makes a person calmer and reduces the instances of anger outbursts.
* Helps with post-traumatic disorder
* Enhances the brain functioning and increases creativity
* Increases self-confidence
Benefits of Sudarshan Kriya For body
The 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 practising 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 the individual in many ways and has various health benefits for the body such as-
* 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 a 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
Sudarshan Kriya facilitates physical, mental, emotional and social well-being and is an integral part of the Art of Living programs. Sudarshan Kriya practitioners have reported better immunity, increased stamina and sustained high-energy levels. It has benefited millions of people on this planet making their lives a celebration!
Dr Shefali Sharma