Sudarshan Kriya is a type of yogic breath control that is used to relieve stress, improve relaxation and sleep, and energize the body, says the Relishing Life website. You should consult your doctor before starting this breathing program--especially if you have any existing health problems--and stop if you feel any pain, dizziness or shortness of breath.
Getting Into Position
According to the Atmabodh.net yoga website, it is essential that you perform Sudarshan Kriya in the thunderbolt yoga posture. Kneel on a rug or yoga mat, making sure your shins and the tops of your feet are in contact with the floor, says Atmabodh.net. Sit back on your heels, then separate them so your bottom can rest on the floor and your ankles are touching the outsides of your hips. Sit up as straight as you can, and relax your breathing. If this position places too much pressure on your knees or hips, stay seated on your heels. Getting this position right may take some practice, so take some time to get comfortable in thunderbolt before you move on to the breathing.
Practice Makes Perfect
Sudarshan Kriya uses a three-part breath cycle that can take time to master. The first cycle involves relaxed in-and-out breaths of equal duration. The second uses deeper out breaths that are twice as long as the in breath. The final stage involves deeper inhalations that are twice as long as the exhalation. If, at first, you find these three cycles difficult to do together, Atmabodh.net suggests tackling one breath cycle at a time and only linking them together once you've got the hang of them individually. It will also help to practice in a quiet place, free from distractions, such as the TV, radio and conversation.
If practiced regularly, Sudarshan Kriya can deliver deep relaxation, reduce stress and improve circulation, says the Life Positive website. This is because the rhythmic breathing increases the amount of oxygen you take in, and relaxes your muscles to improve the flow of blood around your body.