DOES PRACTICING YOGIC BREATHING HELP REDUCE ANXIETY?

Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) is a set of yogic breathing techniques that consists of four different types of breaths, including Ujjayi, Bhastrika, Om, and Sudarshan Kriya, touted for their calming and mood enhancing effects. A growing body of research has reported its psychological benefits; however its clinical application has been largely ignored. which

The current paper seeks to fill in the gap by documenting the effects of SKY on certain clinical disorders, such as anxiety and depression. More specifically, there is empirical evidence (i.e., based on an experiment) that the breathing techniques alone produce a significant amelioration of dysthymia, and in some cases even remission. Those results are however based on a time frame that ranges from weeks to months. Similarly, insomnia appears to respond well to SKY, especially Ujjayi breath, and the results are observed within a short time of practice.

By contrast, results for anxiety indicate that a combination of yogic breathing, yoga asanas (i.e., yoga poses) and meditation is required to obtain a significant reduction of anxiety symptoms, such as PTSD, and it is an effective adjunct to psychotherapy and medication.

Reference:

Brown RP, Gerbarg PL. Sudarshan Kriya Yogic breathing in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression. Part II–clinical applications and guidelines. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Aug;11(4):711-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2005.11.711. PMID: 16131297.


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