Aol Sudarshan Kriya

AOL Course – Day 3 – Sudarshan Kriya

Wednesday 6:30 PM

Teacher now explains Sudarshan Kriya. There are rhythms in nature – day-night, seasons and so on. In our body also there are rhythms. Modern life we have lost the naturnal rhythm and the best way to come to natural rhythm is through practicing rhythmic breathing. In Sudarshan Kriya we breath in different rhythms Long, Medium and Short. He says Kriya was devised by Ravishankar when he was in silence for ten days in Shimoga district in Karnataka.

My name is Gunjan Malhotra and I did my first AOL course in 2008.I would now like to share with you all, a realization, an experience, that took me miles ahead in achieving my all-time dream! Initially, as a fresher into the AOL family, I was not particular about doing my Sudarshan Kriya. I agree to the health information statement below. I represent that I am in good health, and I will inform the health info desk of any limiting health conditions before the course begins. Sudarshan Kriya™, is a simple yet powerful breathing technique that effortlessly draws you into a deep state of meditation.

Teacher then asked all of us to sit comfortably and follow the instruction from the tape. The cassete was wrapped in saffron cloth. To signify the sanctity of the recorded instruction.The cassete was put inside the tape recorder.

  • Sudarshan Kriya. 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.
  • Sudarshan Kriya® harmonizes these rhythms of the body, mind and emotions with those of Nature. Being in sync, we experience better health and joy which in turn brings harmony in our activities and relationships. Studies show that Prolactin, a well-being hormone, significantly increases from the very first session.

We were asked to sit straight and relaxed and for people who cannot sit cross legged they can sit in the chair or even lie down. Tape Recorder Switched on. We breath in whenever Ravishankar Says ‘Sooo’ and for ‘Ham’ we breath out.

The tape begins:


Ravishankar in his effeminate voice starts the chanting – Sooo hum, Soo hum for which we breath correspondingly.

Initially he chants the long breaths

Sooooooooooooo hum Soooooooooo hum …… after a few rounds he switches to a faster tempo the medium rhythm

Sooooo hum Soooo Hum Sooo Hum after some more rounds of this he switches on to a much faster rhythm

Aol Sudarshan Kriya

So hum so hum so hum . this goes on for some time

them he goes back to the longer rhythm

Sooooooooooooo hum Sooooooooooooo hum and so on . Across all the three rhythms the exhalation time was the same – hum.

This whole thing is repeated some 7 rounds of Long, Medium and Short Breaths. In each round of Ravishankar’s chanting there were 20 long breaths, about 70 – 100 medium breaths, about 60-80 short breaths.

This whole breathing exercise was about thirty minutes. Some of the folks couldn’t bear the deep breathing and were coughing. Ravishankar inbetween the chanting of the So hums sometimes used to exhort things like – ‘Continue Continue dont stop the breathing’, ‘ Breath in your own comfortable rhythm’, ‘Whatever thoughts or emotions comes in breath it out’. Sometimes people says ahhh or laugh or tell some gibberish.

After the end of the seven rounds of breathing Ravishankar asks us to lie down on our back and relax. We lie down and there is a tingling in my arms as a result of so much of breathing in the last half an hour. We relax for about 15 minutes. I feel very relaxed. Near about the end of fifteen minutes Ravishankar starts giving instruction to focus and relax our feet, calves, thighs, abdomen, navel, chest, arms, throat and face. He then sings a sanskrit sloka – ‘Vande om guru paduma paraga…’. I think this is from Ramacharita Manas of Tulsidas but not sure. Maybe I should check it out Then Ravishankar says from the recorded cassette that if we are ready we can turn to our right open our eyes and get up. We all get up.

This was the long Sudarshan Kriya. The teacher now asked for our experiences. Some of the folks said they felt calm and peaceful. Many felt the tingling in their hands and feet and the face becoming numb with hyper oxegenation. The middle aged guy also said he saw his blue pearl again.

Sudarshan Kriya Technique

Automailmerge. Teacher said good good. He also told that there is an enormous amount of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual benefits to this breathing exercise.It was around 7:30 now.

I asked the teacher if I can get a copy of the tape. Teacher reacted sharply and said – no no no. This tape can be owned only by the teachers of art of living. This is the long kriya and should be done only at art of living centres. There is a Short kriya which he was going to teach which can be done by us at home. The short Kriya is an abridged form of the long kriya where we breath the long medium and short breaths for 20, 40, 40. That is 20 long breaths, 40 medium breaths and 40 short breaths and this cycle is repeated three times. After the completion of this we can take a few long deep breaths and then sit in silence for 5 – 10 minutes waiting for meditation to happen.

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This was the short kriya which he asked us to practice at home starting from tomorrow morning.

I wasn’t surprised about this new revealed technique at all as I could trace the technique back to the rebirthing holotrophic breathing excercises and the chakra breathing I had done earlier in the Osho centre at Kumarapark in Bangalore. Swami Anand Swabhav the Osho Sanyasin and meditation teacher had guided us into these cathartic breathing techniques giving us the rationale behind each and every breathing rhythms. The breathing is done is a continous rhythm without stopping. There were specific emotions and corresponding emotions which were expereinced in this. Osho had spoken extensively in his works on the breathing rhythms and their cirresponding emotional and physical states. In contrast to this I found the AOL teacher lacking basic knowledge of pranayama on most occassions and on top of this the teacher was highly secretive and cultish about the breathing techniques. The empahsis on the lack of openess in the Art of Living course with respect to the breathing techniques (which in any case is not original but made to look like one) runs counter to my sensibilities on ‘Art of Living’. I always hold the axiom of Rabindranath Tagore ‘A world where knowledge is free’ in high esteem. According to me a great teacher is one who can impart Knowledge in full. But in order to create a mystique around practices and wares they sell groups like Art of Living make simple breathing techniques into patented knowledge. They also create a dependency and a parasitic support for the organization by withholding information and make the people come to their place to practice the ‘Long Kriya’. It is true that Yoga practices should be done under expert guidence as there are indications and contra indications for every practice. But in assembly line yogic courses like art of living we find the teachers main qualification is obedeince to the guru and group and upholding the secrecy of the so called innovative practices. THis knowledge in any case is common knowledge and available in the public domain.

Also available in: हिन्दीमराठी

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian, spiritual leader and an ambassador of peace. He is the founder of the Art of Living Foundation which, through its various service projects promotes yoga, meditation and powerful breathing techniques including the Sudarshan Kriya for betterment of the individual and society. He is popularly known as Sri Sri and sometimes lovingly called Guruji or Gurudev.


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has designed self development programs that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life. He has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality and religion. His goal is to uplift people around the globe, to reduce stress, and to develop leaders so that human values can flourish in people and communities.