The Miraculous Sudarshan Kriya- For Depression and Anxiety

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Quotes

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Quotes

In today’s post I’ll be sharing something quite personal.  It is difficult, but the reason why I started this blog was not to just share articles that sound great in theory, but also to share personal stories of struggle and solutions I found that helped me overcome these challenges; to help anyone going through similar struggles.

Last September I read an article about a young woman who had suffered from a tumor. After 3 months of practicing the Sudrashan kriya as taught at the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Art of Living program, her tumor had disappeared.  You can read her full story here:

At the time I had been suffering from severe depression, severe insomnia resulting from traumatized nerve cells, and horrible panic disorder for 7-8 months which started in early 2014. I had dealt with anxiety disorder in the past, 15 yrs ago and had overcome it with the help of Ayurvedic (Indian herbal) medicines.  This time around the problem was exacerbated due to the severe insomnia, leaving me with no respite or temporary escape.  I lost 13 pounds in 4 weeks.  I couldn’t swallow food and had to force food down by washing whatever little I could chew on with some juice or milk or water. Even prescription sleep meds failed to give me sound sleep. My own doctors didn’t handle my case properly.  They were just interested in putting me on a long term anxiety med, which did not address my severe sleep situation that needed immediate help. I had no energy and couldn’t function at all.  I was utterly confused and couldn’t understand what was even wrong with me from a medical stand point. I displayed symptoms that mimicked symptoms of other auto immune and neurological illnesses but all test came back normal. But it kept eating into my subconscious that something was wrong and doctors were taking it too lightly resulting in me spiraling into a deep depression.  Four months of this torment continued, until one of our family friends who is also a doctor prescribed me something to take at night to help with the sleep and anxiety.  For the first time in months I woke up feeling rested mentally and physically. I continued taking the medicine to get to a stabilizing point.  But after months of not being able to function normally I was in a hurry to get back to my normal self. I would get off the medicine and then find that I was back on again which is what (I believe) caused me to develop a tolerance to this medicine.  I had to increase the dosage and even that barely helped me with my sleep. I was still very depressed and hopeless about my condition and worried if it would ever really go away.  I spent a lot of money on things like acupuncture and other therapies hoping and praying they would help.

Two months into my health crisis I had attended an Art of Living Program upon my sister and brother in law’s behest. It was a very difficult period for me as I barely had the strength. A complete stranger (now a friend) who was also attending the program and lived close to me drove me to the center and back 40 minutes away for the 3-4 days. I learned the kriya/technique but wasn’t able to practice it as recommended at the time due to too much weakness.  In June I made a trip to India and sought Homeopathic and Ayurvedic treatment.  The herbal preparations helped pry me out of the deep well of darkness that I was in.  It strengthened my nerves, but the insomnia prevailed and I was still struggling with the decision of whether or not to take the prescribed medicine for insomnia. It was as if my nerves had snapped after being stretched to their maximum limit. I decided to take the prescribed medicine for insomnia and anxiety regularly, but I continued to feel hopeless that this waking hellish nightmare would never end.  The panic disorder symptoms had gone down considerably, but were still present. It was like after some steady improvement with the herbs, my progress plateaued and I was ‘stuck’.

After I read the article about the young woman mentioned above, I told myself I would do the kriya also for a period of 3 months and see if it made a difference. I religiously practiced the kriya without analyzing it or judging it. I noticed a subtle difference the very first time.  It was small but it was there.  For the first time I found myself laughing and cracking a joke in months. As time went by I found that I was returning to normal routines and day to day tasks, laughing, socializing.  Slowly the dosage of my sleep meds went down. After 3 months I stopped taking the meds completely and switched to over the counter milder forms. After a month I stopped even that and survived with just minimal, poor but natural sleep which left me feeling tired. But I continued with kriya.  My nerves are now almost back to their normal state.  I have been getting naturally drowsy and been sleeping at first just 4 hrs/night then 5-7 hrs/night.  Mentally I feel happy, strong, confident and positive like never before. This Sudrashan kriya has really been a blessing, miraculously improving my health.  It is the best gift for people in this time and age when there is so much stress and worry.

I have always been a health conscious person and strived to lead a healthy life, physically and spiritually. But sometime a problem creeps into our life and before we realize it takes over and devours us.  Everything that I had learned and that had helped me in the past just seemed to be having system failures. Meditations, mudras pranayams all just failed. I couldn’t understand why.  Looking back I realize my problem had become too big. I had also stopped my meditation process for several month prior to this, due to a bad job of prioritizing and at the same time I was taking on excessive worry and imagining fearful outcomes. So consumed was I that I didn’t even realizing the damage I was unleashing on myself.

Anxiety disorder and depression carry a lot of stigma in places like India even in this day and age, where people are quick to mock and judge attributing this illness to weakness. It is not considered a real problem by people who have never suffered from it. Sooner or later we all go through it but in varying degrees because sooner or later we all go through some tragic or traumatic life changing event, whether it is a job loss, loss of a loved one, loss of health or financial insecurity.  If the emotions associated with such loss persists for a few months it manifests as depression and panic disorder. No human being is immune to the lows of life.

This ordeal made me more spiritual, more empathetic and compassionate (not that I wasn’t before, but it took me farther and deeper). I leaned heavily for support on my family, parents, sisters and brothers-in-law, mother in law and select friends. They were my rock.  It brought me even closer to the Universal Spirit/God and my loved ones. I read the famous religious texts Ramayan and Bhagvad Puran (as translated by Kamala Subramaniyam) from which I derived immense strength. I am even more hungry for spiritual evolution than I’ve ever been).

If you are suffering from anxiety/panic disorder, depression, stress, excess worry, negative thought don’t be hopeless. There is CERTAIN help.  You will get better. You will laugh again. The dark clouds inside will disperse and the sun will shine again and your world will be a beautiful place once again. Please give this Sudrashan kriya a try.  It’s the BEST GIFT you can give yourself. It is not meditation. Just a technique which involves repeated sets of breathing at different rhythms. Very Simple; Even a child can do it.

Ayurveda ascribes anxiety disorder/depression etc. to three factors:

Poor diet/nutrition, poor lifestyle that increases the element of air/vayu and mental agitation and weakness and also astrological reasons.  In the past I have shared my experience with astrology (not your daily horoscope as printed in magazines and newspapers, but your customized horoscope based on your personal birth details). The shadowy planet called Rahu (the head/dragons head) is responsible for all sickness and disease above the neck which I know now. My horoscope shown to few astrologers by my dad in India and upon my request indicated a severely bad phase of mental stress due to Rahu.

You can read more about the Ayurvedic Approach to Anxiety at this link:

Please feel free to share your questions either in the comment box or privately through the Contact Me form. I’d be happy to help and answer your questions.


23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Harish Kudlu
    Aug 06, 2017 @ 23:38:12

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Good morning. I read your blog in Art of LIving.

    I am suffering from anxiety for the past 10 years. Do you think, it can be treated by Sudarshana Kriya? Kindly advice based on your experience. Would be grateful to you if you could share your phone number?

    Highly indebted to you.



    • yachna
      Aug 07, 2017 @ 06:28:52

      Hi Harish. Yes Absolutely Sudarshan Kriya will cure you of your anxiety. I used to do 6 rounds daily and as I noticed improvement I slowly reduced it to 3 rounds daily. Give it at least three months of sincere practice.


  2. Hez Bliz
    Oct 31, 2017 @ 08:10:20


    I don’t know if I have any sort of anxiety disorder. But I have severe headaches that drain me of energy because there are constantly thoughts that run at the back of my head and end up in a negative spiral and then once in a while, I experience most of the symptoms of severe anxiety that you’ve mentioned. I am either neutral of very anxious/depressed.

    (to put it in a more funny way, my state oscillates only between headache (overthinking) and heartburn (depression/anxiety)..haha)

    Most of my thoughts are about what I can’t control, but attempting to control by rationalizing too much or something resulting from fear of failure etc.

    so…can this Sudarshan Kriya cure me( or at least considerably reduce) of overthinking, fear and allow me to live fully live in the present?

    Oh and of course…please dont ever take this blog down, your story is a wonderful guide post to many souls who seek genuine happiness .

    Cheers and keep up the good work!


    • yachna
      Oct 31, 2017 @ 19:42:57

      Hi Hez, First of all thanks for your positive feedback there. Yes Absolutely-the Sudarshan Kriya kicks ass big time when it comes to panic disorder, severe depression and will uplift your mind to a very positive state. But give it at least 3 months of solid practice. I did it daily for 30 minutes. Its a very easy technique to do. It will slow down the popcorn thoughts that keep arising. Until you find a program near you try to do Bhramari Pranayam. It helps calm the mind considerably.
      Learn to surrender. But that does not mean become lazy. Do your part to the best of your ability and leave the fruits to the Universe.


  3. Hez Bliz
    Nov 01, 2017 @ 11:21:03

    Thanks for your reply! Actually I had just taken the course (Happiness program) and will be constantly on the road for few days before I can settle. I have a couple more questions, if you don’t mind.

    1. You mentioned that you used to 6 rounds daily. Can this stimulate the same feeling as that of single longer session. and did you mean 6 rounds of the half hour session or just the kriya.

    2.”Learn to surrender. But that does not mean become lazy. Do your part to the best of your ability and leave the fruits to the Universe.” – When I read this, I felt ‘Thank God, she gets me!’ I was beating around the bush a little I my earlier post, because i felt a little timid to address this core issue.

    But to rephrase my question: “Can practicing this kriya enable me to surrender yet allowing me to keep an optimistic outlook for the uncertain future?”


    • yachna
      Nov 01, 2017 @ 12:12:22

      No worries. I’m here to help and answer questions to the best of my ability and experience.
      1.For our home practice of the kriya we are asked to do 3 sets of the 3 rounds each at slow, medium and rapid rates and this is supposed to take 10 -12 minutes. But I would do daily 6 rounds- hence 6 sets of the 3 rounds (I think they call them circles). As you do this you can decide based on your results on whether or when you want to pull back. I did it my way for 3 months after which I started doing the originally recommended 3 sets on a daily basis.

      2. The less resistance we have internally,the healthier and happier we will be physically and mentally. Remembering that we can most of the times control what we do and having the humility to accept that we cannot control what others do nor can we control the outcome of anything will go a long way in allowing us to live in harmony with the Universe and ourselves.

      3. Remember the medicine will help us but we also have to help the medicine. Kriya is v powerful, but trying to be self aware and cultivating a positive attitude in general will help faster. I believe in a several pronged approach rather than one. For example if someone is suffering from depression the kriya will single handedly yank them out of it, but adding healthy nutrition, exercise and activities further helps to make one create that balance. you don’t want to keep littering what you just cleaned up- if that makes sense.


  4. Hez Bliz
    Nov 01, 2017 @ 16:25:52

    I agree completely. I guess what I wanted most of the program was self esteem and clarity of mind. I have tried a lot of techniques for the former such as positive thinking, affirmations but persistently trying to correct my thoughts and feelings when they go haywire is tedious and leads to frustration.

    I am absolutely sure that I can receive a greater clarity of mind with the kriya. I myself noticed it the first time I did it. So this is definitely going to be lifelong tool for me, this much I am sure.

    I just want to know if I can feel good about myself naturally a majority of time and just be in flow and be sure that I am good enough and not drowned in excessive pessimism (which as we know are quite irrational). This has often left me in choking heartburn whenever I am face to face with insecurities, which could last for a couple of hours. So am I asking too much of the kriya?

    (Of course, I am health conscious and always strive to achieve the optimum balance in nutrition, and physical fitness like you suggested)

    I just want to set realistic expectations from this practice so I am not pained afterwards if I dont meet it.( lol though I doubt I will be with all the inner peace available after the kriya)

    And really thanks for the prompt answer earlier!


  5. yachna
    Nov 01, 2017 @ 16:51:58

    I understand where you are coming from. I wasted a very good part of my life living in fear and pessimism and I wish I had the wisdom then that I have now. The kriya will catapult you to a more positive state but it helps to incorporate other things like pranayama, yoga, meditation, reading other positive uplifting articles and being self aware so you can correct yourself when you find yourself sliding into old habits. People who think excessively have high vata (air element) so you can also try using certain herbs like Ashwagandha, Brahmi. I have included a link below where you can read more about signs of high vata and the herbs and foods to counter it. Also look into nasya. The link below will take you to the website and you can also search for nasya oils. They are great, quick and effective.
    I can personally vouch for use sesame oil in helping reduce vata. I would sometimes buy the sesame oil from the Asian foods aisle and massage my scalp and feet vigorously. Shower off after and hour. It smells really strong but it will for sure relax you. You can also add a few drops of this to your regular cooking oil.
    Sip warm water and herbal tea though the day in fall and winter and in summer avoid iced drinks, salads etc or anything cold. Avoid or minimize caffeine.
    You can also take the test on their site for determining your physical and mental constitution but your symptoms sound like vata is predominant.. Incorporate almonds, walnut in your diet but soak them at night. next day rinse and eat the walnuts(3-5 walnuts) and peel the skin off the almonds and eat them chewing really well. Wash it down with some milk if you like.


  6. Hez Bliz
    Nov 02, 2017 @ 12:09:30

    Thanks, I will look into it for sure. Anything that will help me lead me a more fulfilling life is welcome


  7. Hez Bliz
    Nov 18, 2017 @ 01:51:50

    Hi again

    Been practicing the kriya for a little more than a week. Haven’t been able to experience extreme benefits yet but gotta keep doing it.

    You know, I keep coming back to your blog I knew I was experiencing symptoms of anxiety similar to what you wrote but I had always found a way to detach it albeit temporarily. Now I am in a state where I have to face it head on. Please read the following and tell me if you think I may have GAD.

    Suppose I take a decision to commit to a certain activity or practice in the near future, motivated solely by its positive benefits. After a short while i realize the negative and somewhat catastrophic consequences of such decisions if it were to fail.
    Now I know these are just thoughts but due to an overactive imagination, I end up believing and thinking that these consequences are inevitable. I try to focus on the present but the fear from the thought kills me from the inside i.e constantly feeling pulsations beneath my ears, a feeling of empty pit in my stomach and so on.
    So what do I do? I drop the decision i.e I tell myself that I will not take such decisions and I am fine as I am and voila – anxiety gone!
    But isn’t this self sabotage? I am always dictated by fear and end up abandoning my most cherished desires.

    So is my anxiety a result of my fears of my fears a result of anxiety?
    Did you experience anything similar to this?
    Has the kriya helped you to kick through decisions or scenarios that you once feared?

    Sometimes I become very pessimistic and think of dropping the entire practice altogether (again this is also just a thought)

    SO does the kriya kelp with the aforementioned problems stated?

    Any sort of response is much appreciated.


  8. yachna
    Nov 18, 2017 @ 08:45:09

    You are letting fear dictate your mind and generate severe anxiety – enough to paralyze your life. I want to make sure you are doing the KRIYA correctly. Lot of people do it wrong. First make sure your body muscles are not tense. Completely relax and become limp. Use a wall /cushion etc for back support. As you do the KRIYA keep doing checks to make sure your muscles aren’t tight especially the stomach / diaphragm. Inhalation is active and exhalation passive. Some people force exhalation and start doing kapalbhati Pranayam without realizing. When you inhale your stomach or diaphragm should rise up or out. When you exhale just let go- don’t force it. The litmus test that will tell you if you are doing this correctly is increased saliva production or a moist mouth indicative that the parasympathetic nervous system has been activated. If on the other hand you experience dry mouth it means the sympathetic nervous system is activated which mean you are doing it incorrectly hence the experience of increased fear and anxiety and no positive result. I had severe panic attacksand my hand would tremble all day. I lived in fear of imaginative things that never really happened. It is all the result of weak nerves. KRIYA cured me without any meds. So make sure you stick to it and do it correctly. There is no other miracle holistic cure for this. This is the most effortless route. Keep me posted.


  9. Hez Bliz
    Nov 28, 2017 @ 06:50:33

    Okay, followed your advice. I did notice the symptom regarding the dry mouth and upon realizing it I switch back to a less forceful mode of exhalation (and sometimes I am able to completely allow the exhalation to be free)

    I noticed that I am becoming more aware of my fears. One thing I realized is that I am becoming more aware of my irrational phobias.

    At what point in your practice did you start losing imaginative fears? This is something I have struggled throughout the previous 5 years.

    Also from your experience, is it possible to create irrational phobias just by excessive overthinking. I am noticing and realizing that most of my fears are merely self generated. But even after I have de-rationalized this fear, it still persists. (I guess fear doesn’t need a reason to exist) Will this gradually thin out through my kriya practice or do I need to look for some other approach? (anything involving reasoning with my thoughts doesn’t seem to help at all as I have stated already that I have de-rationalised my fears)


    • yachna
      Nov 28, 2017 @ 16:17:12

      Most fears are irrational. I would imagine the worst most illogical outcomes for every thing. Once I stepped out of that cloud I was able to see things for what they really were. Of all the fears we have how many have every really happened the way we imagined them? Most often things work themselves out. In Hinduism we believe (but most of us dont apply) that we are only living out the script that has already been written. whatever has to happen will happen the way it is meant to happen. What got me into severe panic attacks is the fear that something was going to happen-and nothing bad happened in the area of concern but I ended up traumatizing my nerves to the point of severe insomnia not even treatable by prescription meds. Keep doing the kriya and please do not force exhalation at all. It has to just be a passive release-a letting go. Overthinking does cause fears and worries to worsen to the point that it could really damage the quality of life. I used to overthink everything-but I don’t anymore. and if I do it is within the range of normal and healthy. Maybe it has to do with the kriya or maybe Im just getting older and over them. I don’t know when but slowly within a year or so of the kriya I stopped freaking out over every little thing. It was a very gradual and subtle change. Try to keep yourself occupied with activities and be around people or make it a point to call friend sand family on a regular basis. That helps too. Minimize alone time. watch funny movies. Eliminate news articles, medical shows and crime dramas.


  10. Raul
    Mar 16, 2018 @ 23:47:34

    I have very similar story for past 2 years and unable to cope up. I discontinued anxity medication 4 month a go however unable to get back to normal. I did AOL course and feel that it should help me .
    Currently i am extremely stressed and drained due to insomnia and irritation for past 3 months. I started medication just 3 days ago for anxiety. I control my panic attacks but unable to ignore my body sensations and not able to concentrate on outside world and family.
    I am doing Sudarshan kriya for past 15 days and plan to continue.
    Any guidance will be highly helpful.


    • yachna
      Mar 17, 2018 @ 09:17:07

      Hi Rahul,
      Sorry to hear you are struggling with these issues. If you are taking medication for anxiety that is ok. Don’t stop it cold turkey as then you will have withdrawal symptoms of side effects of the meds. Also there are many different meds for anxiety. Make sure you are not taking anything that takes 6 weeks to kick in as it will truly alter your body chemistry an get you hooked and very difficult to get off. I think you should ask your doctor for an anti anxiety med that also helps with insomnia. They are not habit forming. Once you get good sleep you will be less irritable. Continue taking the meds and increase your Sudarshan kriya practice. I used to do 6 rounds daily and in three months 90% symptoms were gone. During this time you can slowly start to reduce the dosage of the medication too. As you reduce the dosage you can start using ayurvedic herbs that help in insomnia and anxiety. Any Patanjali center will have good practitioners who can prescribe these herbs in correct dosage. Also include foods that reduce vata. Drink warm water, eat soaked almonds and walnuts. Soak at night and next day peel the almonds. Eat healthy fats and carbs. Practice yoga asanas that are centering and grounding and build confidence. Practice Sheetali pranayam and Chandrabhedi pranayam which calms the mind. Bhramari is also very helpful in calming the mind. I t will get better and will take some time and perseverance on your part. But you will for sure surmount this challenge.


      • Raul
        Apr 03, 2018 @ 02:04:33

        Thanks Yachna for the helpful reply.

        I am currently on Paroxetine for 3 weeks. And i was on it for more than 4 months in 2017.
        I read about its side effects and was very hesitant to start it again this time.
        However i struggled so bad with insomnia that i couldn’t bear.

        Hence i had to visit my doctor and he did put me back on minimal dose of paroxetine.
        I could sleep better but this is vicious cycle.

        I am really worried that how this med withdrawal has altered my sleep and will i ever be able to get rid of it.
        Doctor says that i will have to continue for this med for year and then taper it.
        I am really worried on how i am going to get back to normal.
        Yes, Sudarshan kriya is what i believe in and my only hope.
        Thank you

    • yachna
      Apr 03, 2018 @ 06:01:17

      When I went through my horrendous phase of anxiety, insomnia and depression I used to think that I will never get better. My insomnia was so bad that no prescription med helped either. The Sudarshan Kriya was my saving grace.It will take time (3-4 years as in my case), but as the effects of kriya kick in you will know and slowly you can start reducing the med dose. The you can go to over the counter meds and slowly taper away. OF course there will be some bumps but dont let that dishearten you. It is normal that progress will not be a smooth. It will be two steps forward one step back. At night listen to a guided meditation. It will really help improve faster.


  11. Priya Mohan
    Mar 31, 2018 @ 20:44:14

    Hi Yachna,
    I am not sure you still reply to comments but I have a question to ask you based on your experiences. I have recently moved house very close to a busy highway and find myself unable to sleep because of the constant noise. This has escalated to anxiety and insomnia and am not able to sleep even for a minute. I am on sleeping pills now. I lie overseas hence unsure of is it my nerves causing this inability to settle and sleep in noisy environments?


    • yachna
      Apr 01, 2018 @ 05:36:08

      Hi Priya. First you need to isolate the real reason you are having anxiety and insomnia. The move might just happen to coincide with the actual reason which you
      Might not have identified. When did you move to US? What other changes happened in your life preceding the move. If you know the real reason it can give you something to work with. But again if you can’t figure it out don’t worry about spending too much time analyzing. The bottom line is to move forward and try to fix it. Attend a Happinesss Prigram to learn the Kriya and practice daily morning. That will help with anxiety. For insomnia buy the Frolov breathing device and practice daily at night for 20-30 minutes before bed. Until you order it practice guided meditation when in bed. Use headphones to drown out any back ground noise. Read about Butyeko breathing. There are lots of videos online.


      • Priya Mohan
        Apr 01, 2018 @ 18:03:54

        Thanks Yachna,
        I am in Australia living here for a few years now. I have no previous episodes of anxiety as such. The recent move to a house near the highway has left me sleepless because of traffic noise 24/7 which I am not able to cope with. Can’t keep my eyes shut for a minute even.I didn’t know I was this sensitive to noise.Using headphones at the moment to put on some rain or white noise but that disturbs me even more. Sleeping pills completely drown me and that is the only rest I get.
        Do you think learning Sudarshan Kriya will benefit me? What else can I do?
        Do you know people in US who go through similar experiences.?

      • yachna
        Apr 01, 2018 @ 18:23:06

        Hi Priya. Send me a Hello through the contact form on my blog so we can speak more privately.

  12. nistytt
    May 12, 2018 @ 04:46:35

    Hi yachna,
    How do i get in touch with you.


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