Rhythmic breathing: immunological, biochemical, and physiological effects on health

Adv Mind Body Med. 2015 Winter;29(1):18-25.


Yoga and breathing techniques have become increasingly popular in recent decades. Sudarshan Kriya (SK) is a type of rhythmic and controlled breathing that involves cyclic breathing in which long breaths are followed by medium and short breaths. Scientific research has been conducted to study the effects of SK on different physiological parameters. Various studies have shown that the technique is simple and cost effective and can be used as a complementary therapy, together with ongoing conventional treatments, to help people suffering from extreme levels of stress, anxiety, and other physical problems. Studies have demonstrated that SK can play an important role in promoting a healthy lifestyle by improving immunity, antioxidant status, hormonal status, and brain functioning. Through available scientific evidence and research, the current article aims to review the complementary role of rhythmic breathing (ie, SK) as a practical and effective tool to alleviate stress, improve health, and increase wellness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Female
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology*
  • Yoga
  • Young Adult


  • Hormones
  • Lipids