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J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Oct;22(4):788-797. doi: 10.1177/2156587217730934. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

Effects of Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya, a Multicomponent Breath-Based Yogic Practice ( Pranayama), on Perceived Stress and General Well-Being.

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1 University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
2 Chopra Foundation, Carlsbad, CA, USA.
3 Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
4 Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
5 Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


Stress-induced disorders such as anxiety represent the leading causes of adult disability worldwide. Previous studies indicate that yoga and other contemplative practices such as pranayama, or controlled yogic breathing techniques, may be effective in the treatment of mood disorders and stress. In this study, 142 individuals (mean age = 43 years; SD = 13.90) participated in a 3-day retreat program during which they learned Shambhavi Mahamudra kriya, which is a yogic practice that includes both deep breathing and meditation techniques. Participants were instructed to practice the kriya each day for 21 minutes. After 6 weeks of daily practice, participants reported subjectively lower levels of perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale) and higher levels of general well-being (General Well-Being Scale) compared to baseline. These results support the notion that Shambhavi Mahamudra kriya may represent a natural treatment for stress reduction.


breathing; integrative health; kriya; meditation; pranayama; stress; well-being; yoga

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