Sudarshan Kriya is a breathing method that just may help you quit smoking. A smoker might have started smoking for different reasons, some of which are obvious and some not so obvious. The obvious ones could range from today’s favourite word ‘stress’ to the slightly more subtle ‘peer pressure’. The less obvious ones could range from a bad home situation like divorce or parents who have no time for their kids. But one of today’s best reasons to smoke is sheer intellectual pleasure that gives the smoker some time off from life- a break from reality and even the space to explore the less mundane questions of life.
But soon it becomes an addiction like sex. Once anyone’s tasted the pleasure, it’s hard to come off it. Even if the smoker knows it’s ‘bad for health’, what with the mouth cancer pictures staring up from the pack, most smokers would rather debate for hours on end the various intellectual, emotional benefits of smoking. At the end of it, they might even agree to concede that smoking might be bad for health, but then again it’s one life and we’re going to die someday, how does it matter how! Oh come on! Didn’t it take the scientific world a decade to even slightly prove that tobacco is harmful to the lungs?
Sudarshan Kriya Breathing Method
So quitting might be difficult if the smoker is in that frame of the mind. But it is quite possible if he has accepted that it is a bad idea and wants to quit. There are several resources to prevent smoking from making one kick the bucket fast and painfully, at that. What might be useful is to know that there are other avenues that provide an equal, if not much better high through other, way more wholesome options like the Sudarshan Kriya. It’s a rhythmic breathing technique that energises the body, rids it of the toxins, and more importantly keeps helps the breather reach the same high that smokers love about cigarettes, or anyone who smokes pot or gets high from alcohol attains. Call it smoking without smokes if you like.
The Sudarshan Kriya also drastically reduces the free radical levels in the body. Free radicals are negatively charged ions of certain elements that are always present in the body and the atmosphere… The free radicals are inevitably produced in the body as part of its metabolism, while junk food, pollution and the like increase the free radical levels in the body. These free radicals are also known to be responsible to cause lifestyle related diseases like cancer.
How to do Sudarshan Kriya Breathing
The first stage begins with the relaxation of the throat and sternum. Try to concentrate on the inhalation and exhalation of breath, through rhythmic slow breathing. Ensure that the time for inhalation and exhalation is about the same. A cycle is one inhalation, followed by one exhalation. After 20 cycles of stage one, you are ready for the next stage of the Kriya.
The second stage begins with normal inhalation followed by deep exhalation. Here, exhalation lasts for a longer time than inhalation. Be aware that the sternum and the rest of the body including the back have to remain as relaxed as possible. Complete 20 cycles of stage two, slowly and rhythmically.
As you move into the third stage, deep inhalation is followed by normal exhalation. Inhalation takes a longer time than exhalation, within a cycle. The same cautions as second stage apply. Complete 20 cycles of stage three, slowly and rhythmically. Go into the last stage with deep inhalation followed by deep exhalation. The time for inhalation and exhalation is about the same. This is done for 20 cycles also.
There’s always this doubt on whether it’s possible to stick to doing these techniques everyday. That’s why it’s a good idea to rope in some friends who want to quit smoking too. It keeps the motivation levels high and also it feels much easier to do these things in a group- the spirit of companionship always helps.
Quitting Smoking For One Day, Not Forever
One very important word to delete from the daily dictionary during this time is ‘forever’. That is the whole point of quitting. But the presence of ‘forever’ will only be a constant burden at the back of the mind. This leaves a constant lingering doubt that might trigger another spate of smoking. It becomes much easier to take a sabbatical from smoking for a period of time that seems doable, starting out with small portions, say a week and gradually building up to a month or a few months. That keeps the confidence going. It’s also easier to abstain for smaller periods initially, until the body (and the mind), get used to the idea.
Also during this period, it turns out that it’s very essential to drink loads of water and fresh juice, maybe a dash of herbal tea or coconut water, if it works for you. The fluids help flush out the toxins released by the tobacco and related chemicals and completely throw out the toxins released by the breathing techniques. Staying away from coffee, tea and junk helps keep the down during this period. That’s because the decrease in nicotine slows down the metabolism, and caffeine and junk food will only add to the body at this time. Besides, fresh food feels lighter and fresher.
I suggest you visit http://www.artofliving.org and http://www.artofliving.org/art-living-part-i-course-art-breathing to more information.
Try the Sudarshan Kriya method of breathing and see if it helps you in your quitting smoking plans.