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Sudarshan Kriya

Discussion in 'Meditation, Mindfullness, Religion, Spirituality' started by Tarmander, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Tarmander

    Tarmander Member

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    The Sudarshan Kriya is a breathing technique that involves, as part of its cycle, hyperventilation.

    I came across this interesting video at the bottom of this link:

    Research on Sudarshan Kriya | The Art of Living

    The TLDW version is that it lowers cortisol, but increases prolactin, which they thought of as a happiness hormone

    I practiced this technique for several years and have found that my breathing function has not been the same since, and the health I enjoyed before doing the technique I have not been able to recapture. I was aging at the same time, and vegetarian, sooo who knows exactly how much I was harmed. But I talked to many others who had done the technique for awhile and reported similar losses in health. I think I exhaled a lot of CO2. There were definitely benefits however, like enhanced sensitivity to environmental factors (EMF), but this sensitivity could also be called a curse.
     
  2. Dante

    Dante Member

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    Do you do any other yoga/breathing/oriental practices? just curious to know.
     
  3. OP
    Tarmander

    Tarmander Member

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    Not at the moment.
     
  4. Dante

    Dante Member

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    bad experiences ?
     
  5. tara

    tara Moderator

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    Hi Tarmander,
    Interesting.
    I went to an Art of Living course a while ago. I never followed it up with ongoing practice.
    I had started to learn a bit about the importance of CO2 and the hazards of hyperventilation before I went to it.
    The leader interviewed people before the course, and I think they advised people with particular health conditions to avoid some practices.

    From my imperfect memory, I think that we learned three practices during that course.

    One was clearly a hyperventilation exercise - strong fast out breaths were part of it. I avoided that one altogether.

    The second was quite slow breathing - slower than my usual breathing at the time. They recommended this as an ongoing daily practice, but I seldom did it again after that course. It reminded me of some other yoga breath control practices. I interpreted it as having the potential to usefully calm and reduce the breath volume per minute, and to raise CO2 levels if they were lowered by chronic hidden hyperventilation. I guess that would depend on exactly how it was used.

    The third I think was the sudarshan kriya. We listened to a recording of the movement leader providing the timing of breathing. It was not clear to me that it was hyperventilation, at least for me, and compared with my habitual breathing at that time. It involved three different breathing speeds, for various periods over several minutes. Some of the time very fast. Is that what you are talking about too? For me, i experienced the very fast breathing as very very shallow. I think a lot of the air movement during that phase may have been effectively 'dead space' - air went from the lungs to the airways and back, and not so much was exchanged with outside air, and it did not go deep into the lungs. Overall I think the effect for me was reduced breathing volume. I loved it, but never made time to go to subsequent meetings to continue with more practice.

    The talk from the leaders did not include discussion of CO2, and did include mention of the improtance of breathing out 'waste', which I think might be based on misconceptions or confusions. But it also talked about the value of slowing breathing, and using the whole lungs, both of which I think may have value.

    Are you sure what you were doing was hyperventilation?

    Years ago I noticed that when I was yoga classes, I had difficulty breathing as slowly as the teacher proposed in time with ween asanas, More recently, with different teachers, I find the opposite - I have to remind myself not to breath too deeply, or the speed is too fast for me. Unless we have been asked to do ujayi breath, which definitely reduces breathing - at least for me, and I expect that is the point of it. I suspect that is a difference in both the teaching and in me.

    It seems to me that whether a particular rate involves increased or reduced breathing for an individual must depend both on the habitual breathing rate of the individual, and on how deep they breathe during practice. So one size presumably would not fit all?
     
  6. OP
    Tarmander

    Tarmander Member

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    Yeah I am mostly talking about the Kriya breathing to the Tape. The slower breathing is probably helpful, and increases CO2 like you said. The fast breathing is indeed what I am talking about. I was in the organization for years and as you progress, you find that different teachers have different methods. Some teachers will caution you to do the fast breathing really lightly, others will come by your ear while you are doing it and breathe forcefully to try and encourage you to breathe harder. I am quite sure that over the years I was hyperventilating. Maybe not all the time, but a lot of the time.

    The effect is quite lovely. It flushes your system with oxygen, makes you relaxed and dreamy...it kind of takes you to that no mind space and when you get up you feel like you have just woken from a long sleep. However as you do it more and more, you have to chase that feeling. You find that to breathe harder and more forcefully gets better results as you become acclimated to it.

    There are people who have been with that organization for decades, so I am not saying this is everyone's experience (goes without saying really). I did hear from a lot of ex-AOL people and teachers who found that after awhile the Kriya was causing sleep issues, difficulty breathing, that kind of thing. I am sure these are also the people, like me, who went into it looking to get results.