3 Most Powerful Yoga Pranayamas and Kriyas – Sodarshan Chakra Kriya – Part 1

Sodarshan Chakra Kriya – Part 1

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Sodarshan Chakra Kriya Video

YouTube Direct Link –> Kundalini Yoga Kriya Video – Sodarshan Chakra Kriya


Pranayama, the science of breathing and breath control, is undoubtedly one of the greatest arts one can learn and practice for spiritual growth and personal development.  It holds within itself the power to transform the lowest most gross to the highest most refined.  This transforming power of pranayama can act upon any and all levels of your being, whether that be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual (energetic).  This science has been perfected over the centuries in the East and was mostly kept secret, only handed down verbally from Guru to a deserving disciple.  Now, it is much more available to those who seek it, but I still feel that the knowledge really only finds those who are deserving of it.  Having said that, life has brought you here now, so take this opportunity and discover the tremendous power of the Science of Pranayama.

Most Powerful Yoga

The 3 Pranayamas I am going to present here are typically not for beginners.  Fortunately, all 3 have modifications, which you can start out with first before building up to the advanced techniques.  I will also present these modifications here and I strongly suggest you start with them first before jumping ahead to the advanced techniques.  In moving forward sanely, gently and systematically you will prepare the system to better handle the affects of the advanced forms.  This systematic approach is not only much safer, but is also better for extracting the full benefits of the pranayamas.  Part 1 of this series is about Sodarshan Chakra Kriya.  Before I go into Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, I want to give some quick guidelines that should be followed for all 3 pranayamas in this series.

Basic Guidelines for practicing Pranayama:

  1. Do not practice any advanced pranayama if you are unwell.  Only do light easy pranayamas.
  2. Clothing should be loose and should not restrict the movement of the abdomen.  Our breathing is already very shallow, we don’t need to compound the issue further by hampering the natural movement of our diaphragm.
  3. Your stomach should be empty.  Which means you need to wait at least 2-3 hours after a meal before practicing pranayama.
  4. If possible practice in the early morning.  Early morning is the best time to practice your sadhana (spiritual work).  For more information and help on this you can read The Secret on How to Become an Early Riser.
  5. You should sit in a comfortable position, preferably in some variation of cross legged (sukh asana).  For more information on  sukh  asana or other positions you can sit in (like a chair) see Silent Mind Meditation Program: Basic Meditations – Chapter 7.
  6. Most importantly, DO NOT STRAIN.  I cannot emphasize that enough.  Take your time, you will enjoy your practice more and you will be able to establish a regular routine as you will not dread doing your daily work.
  7. One last thing.  The pranayamas being taught here, when practiced sincerely over time, can bestow great power to the practitioner.  Normally, these techniques were not transcribed and as mentioned earlier, were taught only to those held in great trust, so I ask you to respect that trust and agree to not in any way misuse the powers obtained from the practices described below.

Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:

Background:  Sodarshan Chakra Kriya (set) was taught to me by my Kundalini Yoga teacher Ravi Singh who studied it under the guidance of Yogi Bhajan.  It dates back a few thousand years and is reputed among all the known Yogas, including Kundalini Yoga, to be the most powerful Pranayama exercise there is.  You will notice that it is called a kriya, although a kriya typically is a complete set of asanas and yogic exercises (see Introduction to Kundalini Yoga for more information on kriyas and how Kundalini Yoga works in general), it also applies in some cases to a single exercise, which is very complete in and of itself.  Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is a pranayama exercise that is exactly that, very complete and also very powerful.

Benefits of Sodharshan Chakra Kriya:  The superlatives describing Sodarshan Chakra Kriya are lavish to say the least.  In Yoga terms it will give you Nao Niddhi (the nine precious virtues) and Artha Siddhi (the 18 occult powers).  These 27 facets contain all of human life and in acquiring them you perfect all that can be perfected in a human.  Given this Kriya’s reputation for bestowing Psychic and Yogic Powers, it is is often practiced by those interested in acquiring these siddhis (powers).  There is no harm in this, as long the powers are used for the benefit of others and to assist you in your spiritual progress.  This kriya, though, is equally valuable to those interested in the final goal of human life – to see and merge with the Divine Non-Dual nature of Reality.  This is because, it is very effective in dissolving the blockages (granthis) caused by frozen emotional debris in the nadis (the channels for the movement of Kundalini Energy) and as the channels are purified greater flow of kundalini is facilitated allowing for the chakras (energy vortexes) to be activated and balanced.  In turn, the activation of the chakras and this greater flow of Kundalini Shakti (energy) leads to the refinement of awareness which allows one to penetrate the veil of illusion – that Reality consists of duality.

Sodarshan  Chakra Kriya also dramatically improves your physical wellbeing.  In fact, as you practice it you will start to feel quite invincible over time.  It expands your nervous system, respiratory system and helps your digestive system.  I find that the most profound health benefit is a boost to the immune system when I practice this kriya regularly.  Overall the kriya promotes peace, joy and strength.

Description of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Sit up straight, have your spine erect and bring head back slightly (not up) so your chin is subtly drawn in and back like a soldier at attention.  This aligns your spine with the back of your head and is also called Jalandhara Bandha.  Your eyes should be 1/10th open looking down at the tip of your nose.  Rest your left hand on your left knee.  Block your right nostril with your right thumb and have the remaining fingers pointing upwards.  Now breathe in deeply through the left nostril filling your lungs to capacity.  Lower your right hand now and place it on your right knee.  With your breath held in (Antar Kumbhaka) begin to pump your stomach (pulling in the abdominal muscles) to the mantra “Wahay Guru”.  You will pump your stomach 3 times for each iteration of Wahay Guru.  Once for Wa, once for Hay and once for Guru.  The mantra should be chanted mentally of course, since the breath is held in.  Chant for a total of 16 Wahay Gurus, so for a total of 48 stomach pumps with the breath held in.  Then raise your right hand, close off the left nostril with your right pinkie and breathe out of your right nostril.  This completes 1 cycle – breathe in through left nostril, hold and pump, breathe out through right nostril.  Continue to repeat this cycle for the duration of the kriya.

Duration:  There is no formal time duration for Sodarshan Chakra Kriya; it is left up to the practitioner to determine what is right for them.  Below I will give the recommendations when I discuss the modifications.

Beginners Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Modify kriya as follows:  Do only 1 pump for each chant of Wahay Guru.  So in total with your breath held in you will do 16 pumps per cycle.  Also, reduce the force of the pump to where you are comfortable.  Start with 3 minutes and build up to 11 minutes.  The kriya should be practiced daily.

Intermeditates Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Modify kriya as follows:  Do only 2 pumps for each chant of Wahay Guru.  One for Wahay and one for Guru.  So in total you will do 32 pumps with your breath held in per cycle.  Pump your stomach with a moderate force.  You should try to do 11 minutes, then go to 22 minutes and then to 31 minutes daily.

Advanced Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Do the kriya as described above in the description section.  You should be pumping your stomach with full force and you should do 31 minutes daily.  The commitment should be to do 40 days without missing a day, 31 minutes each day.  This was exactly the requirement by Ravi for his Kundalini Yoga teacher’s training course as well.  If you miss a day, you go back to 1 and start over till you complete 40 days.

Perfected Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  Yes there is more, you are not done yet :-D.  To do the perfect and complete kriya and thus extract the maximum benefit and reach super human caliber, the requirement is to do 62 minutes per day and build it up to 2 1/2 hours everyday.  If you can discipline yourself to do that, the kriya will provide everything needed in all areas of your life.

Design of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya:  This kriya bestows its many blessings by taking full advantage of many important aspects of Pranayama and Yoga numerology.  Below are some of the details behind this successful design.

  1. Breathing in through the left nostril activates the right hemisphere of the brain.  This hemisphere is responsible for your meditative, creative and artistic powers.  Activating it helps unleash and grow these aspects of your nature.
  2. The number 16 is associated with the Ajna Chakra, also know as the Third Eye, Divine Eye or the Eye of Shiva.  Chanting the mantra Wahay Guru 16 times activates Ajna Chakra, which is responsible for many psychic abilities and the power of intuition and wisdom.
  3. The mantra itself, Wahay Guru, means ecstasy beyond words and represents one’s higher consciousness.  Chanting this mantra attracts this divine energy towards one.
  4. Pumping the navel helps ignite and awaken Kundalini Shakti so she can make her ascent up the primary Nadi (Shushumna) all the up to the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra) activating, rejuvenating, balancing and healing all the other Chakras and associated organs in her path.

In part 2 and 3 of this series I will describe and detail 2 more powerful Yoga Pranayamas that I hope will be of value to you in your spiritual growth and personal development.

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340 replies
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  1. ra
    ra says:

    Heat problem; more detail:
    Though i am increasing fluids, the dryness from heat seems concentrated in my right eye, right nostril and behind nose (right side) and right side of throat. I had also re-read that Anmol said to go from 11 minutes directly to 22, which i did yesterday. Extremely natural and easy….magnificent, deep, ecstatic, powerful energy and still-mind after, but the dryness sets in and is really irritating, so maybe i need to go for less time again……I actually love the heat, since i tend to be cold-blooded, but the dryness seems excessive. Stomach also tends to get acidic while fasting prior to practice, if the time without gets to be lengthy. I am trying a mudra, mentioned above (tip of thumb to tip of pinkie) to gather and distribute extra moisture….but, so far the dryness is winning.

  2. Ra
    Ra says:

    Mantra Correction
    The mantra i use for protection, as mentioned above is :

    Ong Namo Gurudev (not Devi) Namo.


  3. Ra
    Ra says:

    Dear Sotantar

    Thank you so much for the note about the stretch pose….i say with a smile, i SURELY don’t like that one! Meanwhile, the SCK has become second nature, and i can see how an advanced student could do it 2 and a 1/2 hours per day!…It’s enchanting, as is Subag Kriya.

    I have settled into these 2 as my main practices.

    To Anyone:

    I have seen in some places that the “Shaking Exercise” should be done for 60 seconds after the SCK (and others) to disperse the energy around the body, as well as the corpse pose.

    I have developed a routine as best i can, as follows:

    Ong Namo Guru Devi Namo chant 3 times, slow-breath…connecting with Divine (protects us during practice)

    Subag Kriya (5 segments/ 4 min. each)

    SCK (13 min./very comfortable!)

    Standing “Shaking Exercise”, arms stretched straight up.

    Corpse Pose, with head toward North, 5 minutes (Anmol states that one should rest afterward, in a note above).

    Do a short SCK (3 min) in middle of the night, to keep energetic thread strong between days, in case a practice is late or missed.

    Does this seem like a good approach?

    Sometimes i do Subag after SCK, and wonder if it is not good, since resting is prescribed after SCK?

    Also, as mentioned in my long list above, i have trouble getting enough fluids down (no thirst!)….might this be a dosha imbalance? I try to drink more by force, but it’s not enough and the heat is drying me up! (Has been a problem for many years…must do a mudra to keep kidneys supple!). I take Chamomile and Aloe Vera concentrate, when i remember, and try to get tea and juices down…any suggestions to trigger a thirst or response to it when it occurs? Anmol suggested just water, but i can barely stand the thought of it, most of the time. T^T… WAAAAHH!!

    I hope your practices are going smoothly and powerfully!


  4. Prateek
    Prateek says:

    sat nam

    any change to the original method is just a play of ego….so dont worry about other things….just follow the teachings……all the aspects must have been looked after while designing the kriya…….and this apply to all the kriyas…..its a great mess if you are trying to change about a kriya or trying to find something wrong in it…….dont fall into it…..i am speaking that with my experience…much time is lost in it..instead just practise it bro…

    thanks :)

  5. Atul
    Atul says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Thank you for putting up such valuable information. I have a question on the Sodarshan Kriya. Should the 1st lock be applied while doing the Kriya ? If it is not applied the could the energy flow go downwards and are there any negative consequence ?



  6. Yasha
    Yasha says:

    Thankyou for your feedback Sotantar. I agree with you; there are many paths to enlightenment. I will be gentle with myself but still push. God Bless.

  7. Sotantar
    Sotantar says:

    Sat Nam Yasha,

    there is as many ways to enlightment as there are people on this earth. Its great, that you can do one hour of sck after such a short time. If you feel good with it, why shouldn’t you stick to it? Within my first 2 – 3 month I was struggling a lot with my breathing and my navelpoint. Some people will never manage the 11 minutes with 48 pumps per breathing. Everybody is different.
    Before Yogi Bhajan teached sck to a larger audience, it was only told directly from the teacher to the disciple, when the teacher thought the time had come. If you don’t have a teacher to ask, follow your inner guru, who always knows, what is right or wrong.

    I think, if there are problems coming up, while you doing sck or whatever kriya or meditation, there are physical or mental blockages, which have to be solved. Then it can be better to be gentle with yourself and don’t force anything for a while till the blockages open and the energy can flow further.

    For Ra: I managed to do 3 minutes 20 seconds of stretchpose. :-) Then I got boared with it and stopped forcing it. But I know a guy, who did it every day for 11 minutes after a training as I described before. Wahe Guru!
    So everything is possible. Only you choose where to go.

  8. Yasha
    Yasha says:

    I would like to thank Sotantar for his feedback about keeping up with SCK. I was wondering though; I’ve been doing this kriya for about 80 days now and within the first month worked my way up to doing 31 minutes a day and stuck with that for forty days. After the forty days of doing it for 31 minutes I didn’t feel motivated to do it for a couple of days but decided to do it for at least 15 minutes to stay in routine. After that however, I realized how good I felt when I did the kriya for 31 minutes and started to push myself to go longer. For the passed 10 days I have been doing it for about an hour sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. My question is if it’s okay to be doing it for about an hour after having done the kriya for about 80 days? One hour feels really good and I don’t feel like I’m over straining myself only pushing myself. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  9. Ra
    Ra says:


    Sat Nam! Thank you so much for your reply….I will keep it very much in mind.

    I am not sure that i am a beginner, since i have been doing energy practices for years (Chi Kung), and have had a well-developed abdomen since high school. Anmol gave me some suggestions about further preparation for longer practice (above), since i seem to get no normal progress from doing the stretch pose. I may approach it again, though, too see what can happen at this point with it. Have you been able to make it to 5 minutes?…..It seems like an Olympian feat to me!… :^P

    I am also doing the 5-stage Subag Kriya, which seems, fortunately, to develop the navel as well.

    It’s odd that SCK is SO easy for me, and yet the Stretch pose is not, but Anmol said (above) that it may just be a weight distribution issue, my legs are long compared to my body, and are heavy with muscle. I never would have considered this!

    Be well and great luck!


  10. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Sat Nam Sotantar,

    Your feedback comes at an amazing time, as simultaneously I received questions and doubts from readers who have been doing Sodarshan Chakra Kriya and trying to find the motivation to keep going. I was just able to simply direct they to your wonderful comments :-D.

    This feedback is sure to inspire and motivate many. Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with us.

    God Bless You Always,

  11. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Mani,

    Another variation is to keep the eyes 1/10th open and just look down, instead of gazing at the tip of the nose. This will help in preventing the headache.


  12. Mani Singh
    Mani Singh says:

    I read a manual for this and it says “eyes should not be 100% closed for this meditation” and instead they need to be 1/10th open looking at the tip of the nose.

    I have been practicing for about a week and occasionaly I get a headache (like now). Is this related to the position of the eyes (so far i have been keeping my eyes closed and trying to concentrate at the third eye)

    Thanks and any help is appreciated!

  13. Sotantar
    Sotantar says:

    Sat nam Ra, 2 and a half hours of sodarchan chakra kriya is not meant for beginners and not for the first year.
    I think the best is to start with 11 minutes, if you are a very beginner of kundalini yoga you may start with less.
    After a while you can increase may be once a week to 31 minutes, and after one year you may do 31 minutes every day and 62 minutes every once and again, then increase to 62 minutes on a regular base and so on. After 2 years you should be able to do the 2 and a half hours of sodarchan chakra kriya.

    There is one more point to mention about the kriya. You need to have a strong navelpoint for doing the kriya. So start mastering stretchpose. You can gradually increase time from about 1 minute to 5 minutes, like 15 seconds more every week. Be shure the lower back is on the ground. Ah, and don’t forget breath of fire:-)

    I am still doing 11 minutes every day and sometimes longer. I wanted to increase it allready earlier, but I am a meditation junkie, doing 6 meditations every day and don’t have more time. Soon, when I stop one of them after 120 days, i will go for the 31 minutes.
    But just get startet and see what happens. The transforming power will be with you:-)
    All the best Sotantar

  14. Ra
    Ra says:

    Sotantar…i am thrilled to hear about your success. The inner difficulties are what are a struggle for me, so i am glad to hear that it is worth it and that it will change eventually. Are you doing 2 and a half hours per sitting?

    I would love to hear more, as you progress!

  15. Sotantar
    Sotantar says:

    Sat nam Anmol, and all the others trying to get the benefits of sodarchan chakra kriya. I did day 403 today and I can tell you its worth to keep it up. Its getting more easy every day, the times of pain, uncomfort, depression, bad feelings or whatever comes up in you will disapear and a relaxed and meditative mind will establish after a while. I still have about 600 days to go for the 1000 days. May be I will never stop this extraordinary meditation kriya. Keep up and try your best. It will pay off a thousand times. Wahe Guru! Sotantar

  16. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Rohit,

    Yes it is safe to do, as all inhalation is through Left nostril for this kriya, and only exhalation, which is ok for you, is through right nostril.

    Also, I will be uploading a video of SCK when I make my next set.


  17. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Dear Ra,

    Great to have your input here and thanks so much for helping the other readers with your knowledge and insight as well.

    Here are the answers to your queries…

    1- Tongue: There are several variations to tongue positions, but for SCK none are indicated. I keep my tongue flat against the roof of my mouth as that is the position I use for my meditation as well. I have found it to be most comfortable and prevents the need to swallow often.

    2-3 Counting: This is not uncommon and the general technique used to overcome this in such kriyas is to use the thumb and the lines/creases on the fingers. So you can get 4 counts / finger as you move your thumb from tip to base. So using the thumb and 4 fingers of either hand you can keep the count and get to 16.

    Try the above technique, if it does not work well, you can use the press method.

    4- Abs: Stretch pose has some dependencies on weight distribution as well, so it’s ok if you cannot do the 5 mins worth. Ensuring your abdominals are in good shape, and thus the Navel Chakra is strong is what is being desired here. So yes it is ok for you to proceed with SCK. Just don’t overdo or over strain with SCK and make steady progress.

    5- Kundalini Guidance: Yes I agree. You actually have to be careful not to overdo it. So follow this advise.

    6- Practice Timings: The spirit of the 40 day condition, is to ensure you establish discipline in your practice. Doing sadhana at the same time each day is most desirable, but you just need to keep the commitment of each day and not exact time to fulfill this requirement.

    7- It’s 2 1/2. Although 1 1/2 is pretty good too :-D.

    8 – Not in this case. If you are looking for mastery of this nature, then 2 1/2 must be done in one sitting. That is a very high standard though, so again please ensure you don’t over strain your system.

    9- Yes

    10- Yes, you must work on your Third Chakra. Developing it will give you the will to continue. Also, don’t try to do too much, such then the practice feels too hard. Reduce the amount to where it is enjoyable, although not too easy. Find the middle path here. More is not always better. Remember what the Buddha said, and don’t overload the Ox cart.

    11- No it would not. If you have committed to 40 days SCK, it must by SCK. No substitutions here.

    12- As per your email.

    13- Fluids are a must here. Perhaps you eat a lot of fruits or other water bearing food. In any case, you should try to stick to just water and see how it goes.

    No worries, glad to help.


  18. rohit
    rohit says:

    dear anmol,
    my right nostril has a small outgrowth .although inhalation is a bit difficult through this exhalation is okay.so do you think it is safe to do SCK.i need you opinion.please help


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Before I end this series, I wanted to point out one more technique which is highly reputed for bestowing psychic powers, and, for those familiar with this website, that is of course, Sodarshan Chakra Kriya – The Most Powerful Pranayama.  Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, like Psychic Development Technique #4 above, is known for bestowing a wide range of psychic abilities, so it is not just limited to clairvoyance and those interested in psychic readings and other psychic services. […]

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