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A Better and Safer Alternative to Sudarshan Kriya

December 3, 2011

Over a year ago now, WhistleBlower (one of our regular contributors at the time) wrote this post where he presented a strong case that the kriya tape is used to enslave people to SSRS/AoL, and where he also debunks much of the magical thinking surrounding the tape.

He also briefly mentioned an alternative to SK for those who continue to leave comments on the blog asking for a copy of the Kriya MP3. To this day, we still receive many such comments, so it would seem that a great many people still want to practice the technique though without having to attend the group sessions.

For some time, I’ve been meaning to look into this alternative technique but I never really got round to it. As it happens, a good friend of mine who left Art of Living not long after I did recently got in touch with me and told me they had discovered the very same technique and encouraged me to check it out. So I did, and here’s what I discovered.

The technique, which is known as Eiriu Eolas (herein abbreviated to EE), can be found an the site http://eiriu-eolas.org/about/. I discovered that there are an amazing number of similarities between EE and SK, and also some key differences.

Like SK, EE also involves a 3-stage preparatory breathing exercise which is almost identical to SK’s 3-stage pranayamas with one key difference: instead of ujjayi breathing, it utilizes what is known as pipe breathing. After this, there is something known as Warrior’s Breath, which is their version of bhastrika. And finally comes the breathing exercise and meditation which they call beatha (pronounced “ba-hah”), or bio-energetic, breathing. Yes, the similarities between EE and SK are indeed striking!

In the title of this post I have asserted that EE is both better and safer than SK, so I think it is only reasonable that I take the time to justify these.

Better
There are a number of immediately obvious advantages that EE has over SK.

Firstly, the technique is completely FREE to try out, with everything you need to do it available on the above website (the online version can actually be found at http://eiriu-eolas.org/online-version/) There are two videos, one which contains an overview of the technique, including purported benefits as well as a scientific explanation as to how the technique works. For those who want to get straight to the technique, I would at the very least recommend you watch the Pipe Breathing segment of this video and the Practice segment which follows. The second video contains an audio commentary for the whole exercise, which includes the 3-stage breathing, Warrior’s Breath and beatha breathing and mediation. The whole thing lasts a little over an hour.

Since the technique is available online, this means that it is accessible to anyone and everyone who wants to try it, without needing to pay any money to the organization behind it. If you do find the technique useful, you can optionally donate some money to the organization, or buy a DVD/CD set for 40 Euros so you can have your own copy. Remember, the donation is optional and not a “compulsary donation” as it is with AoL.

It also means that anyone who wishes to practice the technique can do so in the comfort of their own homes without having to travel to and from a local center in order to do so. For many who practice SK this will usually involve a money as well as time saving.

It also means that no one need continue their association with the organization who is making this technique available, and in fact no association is required at all. On the video the presenter makes absolutely no attempt to try to entice people into her organization using the technique.

Another advantage is that the overall time taken to practice EE is shorter than SK, 1 hour compared to 1.5 hours for the latter. There is no need to practice it daily every morning (which is another huge time saving) as it is recommended to do it only twice a week.

But most interestingly of all, the technique works without anything which vaguely resembles the “magical thinking” which surrounds SK. It is presented as a “revival of an ancient breathing technique”, and not something which was revealed to the person who developed it from “the divine”. Although I understand that one can become a teacher of the technique, there is no mention or belief that they somehow become channels, “instruments of the Divine”, or any of the other BS which revolves around SK and SSRS. The effects the technique produces are completely independent of who is present.

This is actually one of the biggest advantages that EE has over SK. The organization behind EE are not trying to enslave people in the same way as AoL is clearly doing through SK. They haven’t even tried to patent or copyright any aspect of the technique. And in fact, the fact that EE works in the way it does without any magical mumbo jumbo is further evidence that there is nothing magical about SK, that any effects which participants feel as a result of practising SK are purely down to the breathing alone and nothing else.

Safer
To assert that one breathing technique is safer than another may seem to be a purely subjective statement to make, however it is not one I have made without good reason.

Possibily the most common criticism against SK which is made across these blogs is that the fast breathing cycle is little more than hyperventilation. This is supported by the fact that many of the symptoms of SK do indeed match those produced by hyperventilation. What makes EE any different then?

Well, if any of you take the time to watch the overview of the technique on the first video explaining the physiology of EE, you will note that the presenter actually mentions hyperventilation and specifically states that the faster of the three breathing cycles which are part of the bio-energetic breathing is not hyperventilation, although it is faster than normal breathing.

However, the presenter goes on to mention that if you feel any discomfort whatsoever during the fast breathing cycle then you can simply skip it and just do the other cycles. This is another key aspect of EE which makes it safer that SK, since AoL teachers do not teach this in the courses at all.

It is difficult to determine just from listening to the recording whether the fast cycle does actually classify as hyperventilation or not, however what we can do is to compare the breathing cycles of EE against those of SK and try to objectively determine how the two compare against each other.

The SK tape lasts for 60 minutes, the first 30 minutes being the SK breathing itself, the last 30 minutes being mostly silence followed by SSRS’s voice giving instructions to come out of SK. As everyone who is familiar with SK already knows, the breathing portion of the kriya tape consists of a number of successive rounds of long, medium and short breath cycles. The duration of each of these is detailed in the following table, together with the actual breaths/minute for each cycle:

Time (minutes) Breath Cycle Breaths Duration Breaths/minute
00:00 – 00:10 Silence      
Round 1
*** Long *** *** 17.1
*** Medium *** *** 36.3
03:29 – 04:00 Short 33 0:31 63.9
Round 2
*** Long *** *** 16.6
*** Medium *** *** 28.4
06:22 – 06:46 Short 28 0:24 70
Round 3
*** Long *** *** 43.3
*** Medium *** *** 38.9
09:59 – 11:10 Short 109 1:11 92.1
Round 4
*** Long *** *** 17.4
*** Medium *** *** 47.3
15:10 – 16:11 Short (*1) 90 1:01 88.5
Round 5
*** Long *** *** 17
*** Medium *** *** 33.7
20:23 – 21:29 Short (*2) 34 + (112) = 146 1:06 132.7
Round 6
*** Long *** *** 12.9
*** Medium *** *** 35.1
26:26 – 26:51 Short 26 0:25 62.4
Round 7
*** Long *** *** 12
*** Medium (*3) *** *** 41.5
28:29 – 29:35 Short (*4) 51 + (37) = 1:06 80
Round 8
*** Long *** *** 13.3
*** Medium *** *** 32.5
30:26 – 01:01:48 (End) Lie down

() – numbers in brackets indicate an estimated breath count when the instruction is to breath at your own rhythm, based on the current rhythm at the time of the instruction
*1 – own rhythm halfway through, but if you listen to the tape you will clearly hear a person hyperventilating in the foreground
*2 – own rhythm from 20:47-21:29
*3 – including “MMM” sound
*4 – own rhythm from 29:16-29:35

UPDATE (19/12/2011): certain values which were original posted have been redacted as a precautionary measure.

The EE recording also lasts 60 minutes, however only 17 minutes of that is dedicated to the bio-energetic or beatha breathing (which is equivalent to SK). It too consists of long, medium and short breathing cycles, and the durations of each of these together with the corresponding breaths/minute are detailed in the following table:

Time (minutes) Breath Cycle Breaths Duration Breaths/minute
Round 1
00:00 – 03:27 Long 30 3:27 15.4
03:27 – 04:44 Medium 30 1:17 20.7
04:44 – 05:33 Short 30 0:49 36.7
Round 2
05:33 – 09:00 Long 30 3:27 15.4
09:00 – 10:18 Medium 30 1:18 20.5
10:18 – 11:07 Short 30 0:49 36.7
Round 3
11:07 – 14:34 Long 30 3:27 15.4
14:34 – 15:52 Medium 30 1:18 20.5
15:52 – 16:41 Short 30 0:49 36.7

Remaining 26 minutes until end of recording:
– one deep breath
– lie down, a few rounds of pipe breathing
– meditation on “Prayer of the Soul” seed.

By comparing these two tables, a number of things are immediately obvious. Firstly, that the short cycles of EE are are at much lower respiratory rates (breaths/minute) than SK. In actual fact, they are about equivalent to the medium cycles in SK.

Secondly, EE is repeated for only 3 rounds, and lasts for 17 minutes, whereas SK takes 8 rounds and lasts for 30 minutes.

Over the 8 rounds of SK, the short cycle varies between 63 and 132 breaths/minute, each cycle lasting between 30 seconds and a little over a minute. For EE it lasts 49 seconds each round and only 36.7 breaths/minute, a little over half that of SK.

We know that breathing faster than normal causes CO2 to be expelled from the body at a higher rate than during normal breathing. And we also know that if too much CO2 is expelled from the body without anything in place to re-address this imbalance, then this increases the chances of experiencing the various symptoms of hyperventilation (e.g. claw hands / pins and needles, light-headedness).

Now, since the body can re-balance this loss of CO2 during the long cycles, a quick glance at our two tables shows us that with SK the long cycles last on average 30 seconds – 1 minute, whereas with EE they each last 3:27, though the rates are at least comparable. This tells us that during EE the body has more time to rebalance any CO2 levels which were expelled during the short cycle than during SK.

So with EE, we have shorter short cycles at much lower respiratory rates and much longer long cycles at slightly lower rates to SK. And EE lasts a little over half as long as SK. This is sufficient to conclude that EE is a considerably safer technique than SK.

It is also interesting to note that the breath counts for EE remain constant at 30 for each cycle and across each round, whereas during SK they vary greatly. It almost makes you wonder if with SK they are just made up by SSRS each time without any real consideration as to what he is doing.

And it can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that the short cycles in SK reach alarmingly high breathing rates which are clearly hyperventilation. And looking at these figures it now seems obvious why Art of Living have done everything in their power to keep the tape a closely guarded secret: because if it were ever made public, it would only be a matter of time before someone examined the tape in the same manner as I have done above and come to the same conclusions.

I cannot say for sure if EE is 100% safe, and although the majority of the criticisms made in these blogs against kriya do not apply to EE, the same precautions we have advised over and over again should still be considered if you decide to practise EE.

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24 Comments
  1. Cadee permalink
    December 5, 2011 7:19 am

    What’s the point? EE is like SK v1.1. If you’ve done SK why not just tone it down or change it to what your body can handle? Why follow another freaky cult babbling about Cassiopaean transmissions, macro-cosmic quantum wave collapse and their founder raving about “transmissions from myself from the future”.. The EE founder and people sound even crazier than Ravi Shankar’s bunch of teachers.

    • The Doctor permalink
      December 5, 2011 10:39 am

      That’s the whole point – if you even bothered to read the post, you’ll realize that this has nothing whatsoever to do with following another cult, it is simply about presenting a safer alternative to SK for those who continue to ask for the SK tape on this blog, and anyone else who is interested.

      Did I mention anywhere that one needs to follow the organization? Do they mention it anywhere on their site for that matter? If not, where on earth did you get this from?

      • Inq permalink
        December 5, 2011 2:22 pm

        An alternative, coming from a whacko organisation with a very dubious leader? Come now, doctor. I could cook something up and come up with a few websites with another “open source” alternative. If we’re to present a real alternative it needs to be something solid, with credibility, and far removed from fringe groups. Otherwise we’re no different from some of the borderline extreme AOL teachers.

  2. Swami Nirbhayananda permalink
    December 5, 2011 11:29 am

    Folks there are Kriyas galore in the world
    Nithyananda for example upgraded his Nithya Dhyan Kriya and created a new Kriya called eN kriya which he claimed is 100 times more powerful than his previous kriya. You can search for this technique online as it is posted for free.
    Jaggi Vasudev not to be left behind has also revealed a new kriya called as Isha Kriya which is taught free online unlike his other Shambhavi Kriya which you can only learn in the course with all its secrecy and such stuff.
    The time for open source kriya is in now. I am sure Sri Sri Sri will get another revelation soon and reveal a new kriya for mass consumption. He will have to do this as he is losing his market share to other open source kriyas.

    • Ganesh permalink
      May 14, 2012 4:01 am

      Nithyananda for your kind information was caught on video with a prostitute – so you might as well dump him

  3. Harshal permalink
    December 5, 2011 2:06 pm

    you are eclipsing newer and newer heights of stupidity! carry on!

    • Anonymous permalink
      December 5, 2011 6:26 pm

      if its stupid for you, why you care to reply? commenting on stupidity over and over again makes you even worse than the stupids out there 🙂 … you are the entertainment package of this blog Harshal…

      • Prairie Princess permalink
        December 6, 2011 3:03 pm

        He represents the unexamined point of view of the true cult victim. So sad.

    • Dayalu permalink
      December 6, 2011 3:16 pm

      Nothing can eclipse the stupidity of the AOL devotee who, despite all evidence to the contrary, continues to believe that SSRS is an enlilghtened messiah and the organization is doing service to the world.

    • Anonymous permalink
      December 7, 2011 5:52 am

      Cut him some slack. Harshal is quite depressed after failure of repeated multi pronged attempts of his guru to shut down this blog… Turns out he doesn’t see/know/control everything after all.

  4. Harshal permalink
    December 6, 2011 4:25 pm

    “if its stupid for you, why you care to reply? ”

    Why are you bothered with my reply? If you think that my thinking that the post is stupid should mean that I should not comment then you should not comment on my comment.

    • MurtySN permalink
      December 6, 2011 6:10 pm

      Good one, way to put the people – so full of kutarka in place. you do deal with these dirty liars
      Jai Gurudev

    • Anonymous permalink
      December 7, 2011 12:16 pm

      do u even read what you wrote, before you post it? Harshie, you need help from a conference of psychologists to make you better…

      • Harshal permalink
        December 8, 2011 8:29 pm

        do u even read what you wrote, before you post it?

        No I dont. There is no reason/incentive in demonstrating my literary skills here….Either ways it wont make any sense to you. Your sensebox is damaged. what to do.

    • Anonymous permalink
      December 7, 2011 1:10 pm

      Coz., we are stupid and you are with an “enlightened master”… stupids are allowed to reply Harshie 🙂

      • Harshal permalink
        December 7, 2011 4:49 pm

        so those with enlightened masters cant have fun?

      • Anonymous permalink
        December 8, 2011 6:33 pm

        I thot coz., you are with “enlightened masters”, you don’t deal with stupids. It must be against the tenets of AOLers I hear.

      • Anonymous permalink
        December 9, 2011 2:24 pm

        “There is no reason/incentive in demonstrating my literary skills here….” ok then, just don’t waste your time here… go give a foot massage to ur “enlightened master” Harshal

  5. stupidseeker permalink
    December 7, 2011 7:28 am

    @Doctor,

    Can we use this blog space to present “safer” alternatives to SKY? For that we need to assess how unsafe the SKY is?
    Even though strong evidence is there to say that the SKY is unsafe, still unilaterally declaring it to be unsafe to present the above as safe, really comes to believing one technique to be better than the other in the absence of hard data one way or the other.
    You should put a disclaimer that all the above represent your personal opinion.

  6. Harshal permalink
    December 7, 2011 4:50 pm

    @stupidseeker : dont expect that from the doctor. s/hes an idiot.

  7. stupidseeker permalink
    December 7, 2011 6:12 pm

    @Harshal

    And who may you be, good sir ????

  8. The Meditator permalink
    December 18, 2011 8:10 am

    @Harshal

    Ravi is unreachable for the general public (Oh ironic, Ravi, the SUN is eclipsed). Based on your posts here, I am sure you are pretty close to him. I wanted to ask him a question and since you are close to him thought that you may be able to help.

    A simple question – what is his opinion about Meher Baba.

    If he does not want to answer, request him to give me an answer in my dream. You know, he’s a reincarnation of Krishna and Jesus and this should be possible for him.

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 2, 2012 9:42 pm

      So an enlightened master should take his time to give every idiot who demands proof an answer? As Jesus said ” yeah, I get right on that”

  9. Anonymous permalink
    March 3, 2012 3:13 pm

    Uh, gee, I don’t recall Jesus suing people who told others about the prayers he taught them, nor suing those people who said things about him that were unpleasant. Yet your “enlightened master” SSRS sues people who post blogs about him! Please compare apples to apples not to oranges. Also, there is not one verifiable miracle coming from SSRS. I never saw one and spent lots of time up close and personal near him. he encouraged us to say that things happened, after telling us about their happening (to people we might or might not know). But actually a miracle? Not. Sorry friend. Again, no comparison to Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Rama or any other saints who have done truly great things. He is a great businessman. That’s it. He does lots of puja and toots his own horn loudly. He has acquired Siddhis as a predictable result of his life long puja. So what? He’s used them wrongly. Jesus didn’t use his siddhis to hurt people, to abuse people, to accuse people. Please never compare this Ravi Shankar to Jesus or any other true God man. It’s simply ridiculous.

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