Listed in Issue 250


SEPPÄLÄ and COLLEAGUES,1. Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA studied the effects of a breathing-based meditation technique, Sudarshan Kriya yoga upon PTSD outcomes in US male veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan war.


Given the limited success of conventional treatments for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), investigations of alternative approaches are warranted.


The authors examined the effects of a breathing-based meditation intervention, Sudarshan Kriya yoga, on PTSD outcome variables in US male veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan war. The authors randomly assigned 21 veterans to an active (n = 11) or waitlist control (n = 10) group. Laboratory measures of eye-blink startle and respiration rate were obtained before and after the intervention, as were self-report symptom measures; the latter were also obtained 1 month and 1 year later.


The active group showed reductions in PTSD scores, d = 1.16, 95% CI [0.20, 2.04], anxiety symptoms, and respiration rate, but the control group did not. Reductions in startle correlated with reductions in hyperarousal symptoms immediately postintervention (r = .93, p < .001) and at 1-year follow-up (r = .77, p = .025).


This longitudinal intervention study suggests there may be clinical utility for Sudarshan Kriya yoga for PTSD.


Seppälä EM1, Nitschke JB, Tudorascu DL, Hayes A, Goldstein MR, Nguyen DT, Perlman D, Davidson RJ. Breathing-based meditation decreases posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in U.S. military veterans: a randomized controlled longitudinal study. J Trauma Stress. 27(4):397-405. doi: 10.1002/jts.21936. Aug 2014.


The above research demonstrated that Sudarshan Kriya yoga may be a clinically effective intervention for veterans suffering with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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