1. Bhatia, M., et al., ‘Electrophysiologic Evaluation of Sudarshan Kriya: an EEG, BAER, P300 Study.’, Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 2003, Apr;47(2):157-63, PMID: 15255618
2. Kjellgren, A., et al., ‘Wellness through a comprehensive yogic breathing program – a controlled pilot trial.’, in: BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Dec 19;7:43. PMID: 18093307.
3. Kochupillai, V., et al., ‘Effect of rhythmic breathing (Sudarshan Kriya and Pranayam) on immune functions and tobacco addiction.’ In: Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Nov;1056:242-52. PMID: 16387692
4. Sharma, H., et al., ‘Sudarshan Kriya practitioners exhibit better antioxidant status and lower blood lactate levels.’, in: Biol Psychol. 2003 Jul;63(3):281-91, PMID: 12853172
5. Srinivasan, N., Baijal, S., ‘Concentrative meditation enhances preattentive processing: a mismatch negativity study.’, in: Neuroreport 2007 Oct 29;18(16):1709-12., PMID: 17921873
Treatment of Depression
6. Brown RP, et al. “Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part I — Neurophysiologic Model,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Feb. 2005): Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 189–201 / Part II — Clinical Applications and Guidelines,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Aug. 2005): Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 711–17.
7. Naga Venkatesha Murthy, P.J., et al., ‘P300 amplitude and antidepressant response to Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY).’, in: Journal of Affective Disorders 1998 Jul;50(1):45-8. PMID: 9716279.
8. Gangadhar B. Et al. “Stress-Related Biochemical Effects of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga in Depressed Patients”, paper presented to the UN NGO Mental Health Committee in New York, 2000.
9. Gangadhar B. Et al. “Antidepressant efficacy and hormonal effects of Sudarshana Kriya Yoga in alcohol dependent individuals”, Journal of Affective Disorders (August 2006): Vol. 94, No. 1, pp. 249-253.
10. Janakiramaiah N, et al. “Antidepressant Efficacy of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) in Melancholia: A Randomized Comparison with Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Imipramine,” Journal of Affective Disorders (Jan.–March 2000): Vol. 57, No. 1–3, pp. 255–59.
In a Randomised controlled trial, 45 hospitalised patients, with severe melancholic depression were divided into three groups – where the effect of the breathing technique was compared with ECT(Electroconvulsive Therapy) and Imipramine (a standard antidepressant). The breathing technique was as effective as standard antidepressant drug therapy (67% remission rate), and almost as effective as ECT, as indicated by reductions in Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) total scores. Considering the severity of the patients’ depressions, the remission rate of 67% with SKY is impressive and suggests that it offers an effective alternative, even in severe depression. Furthermore, it is self-administered and free of the side effects that can be caused by ECT or imipramine.
Treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder
11. Descilo T, Vedamurtachar A, Gerbarg PL, Nagaraja D, Gangadhar BN, Damodaran B,
Adelson B, Braslow LH, Marcus S, Brown RP. Effects of a yoga breath intervention alone and in combination with an exposure therapy for PTSD and depression in survivors of the 2004 South-East Asia tsunami, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2010, Vol. 121:4, pp.289-300.
Eight months after the 2004 tsunami, 183 survivors living in refugee camps were given a
yoga breathing program alone or a yoga breathing program followed by trauma reduction exposure therapy. These groups had significantly reduced scores on the Post-traumatic checklist (PCL-17) and on depression (BDI-21) compared with that in a wait list control group, indicating that yoga breath-based interventions may help relieve psychological distress following disasters.
Research studies in prisons
12. In 2009, Anetta Jaworska conducted research in Polish penitentiary institutions on the psycho-correctional effect of the “Prison Smart” program, involving 374 prisoners. The results were published in the dissertation under the title “Alternative Therapy in Penitentiary Resocialisation” and indicated:
– the increase of the prisoners’ sense of life
– the increase of positive attitudes to their lives
– the reduction of physical as well as emotional stress
– the reduction of fear
– the reduction of episodes of depression among prisoners
13. A Slovenian research team conducted a specialized psychological study with the participants of the stress-management courses in Bulgaria, comparing them with a control group that did not do the courses. The research statistics showed significant decrease in the measurements of emotional suffering, level of depression, level of aggression and level of indifference and a significant increase in the feeling of contentment and the level of self-confidence.
14. According to a study on Prison SMART in the Taipei Tu-Chen Detention Center in Taiwan, looking at several parameters, the majority of the inmates surveyed showed significant improvements in:
a. – Quality of sleep (83%)
b. – Clarity of mind (87%)
c. – Physical Strength (83%)
d. – Emotional Stability and a Calmer Mind (86%)
e. – Health Status (81%)
f. – Emotion of Anger (86%)
g. – Emotion of Fear (81%)
h. – Depression (82%)
15. Anxiety Study at Los Angeles Count Lancaster Probation Camp for Violent Youth Offenders (January to June 2001) by Verna Suarez, M.S., MFT President of Los Angeles Association Of School Psychologists. The subjects, aged 13-18, were 707B offenders of violent crimes involving deadly weapons, murder, rape, armed robbery, and terrorizing threats against others. The results of this study showed:
– a significant decrease in anxiety which led in turn to a decrease in anger and reactive behaviors that were previously reported.
– the number of minors in incident reports decreased significantly (21-38%) within the four-month period that these courses were taught.
– the staff reported there were no night-time disturbances on the evenings that the Sudarshan Kriya and meditations were conducted.
Due to the success of the program, the directors from five other camps at Challenger Memorial Youth Center, where this program was being conducted, had all requested that this program be put into their camps. Further studies on larger numbers of subjects, with controls, are needed to confirm these findings.
16. Stress-Management for Law Enforcement, Pilot Study (June, 2003) conducted by Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, in association with The Paradigm Consulting Group of Tulsa. Inc. Results of the study, including patrol officers (8), sergeants (6), lieutenants (6), civilian employees (7) and eight (8) individuals without rank identification, demonstrated:
1. Significant reductions in perceived stress levels (as measured by the Index of Clinical Stress).
2. Significant reductions in depression (as measured by the State-Trait Depression Inventory).
3. Significant improvement in the ability to fall and remain asleep, and to feel refreshed upon awakening (as measured by self-report surveys).
4. Significant improvement in digestion (as measured by self-report surveys).
(Individuals were surveyed on quality and quantity of sleep as well as digestive
disturbances, as these are common physical indicators of stress in police personnel.)
Participants also reported (via satisfaction survey results and participant comments)
enhanced feelings of well-being, improved focus, and an expectation that they would be better able to deal with daily stress once returning to their regular duties.