While traditional definitions of Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTS) have focused primarily on direct experiences of perceived life-threatening events, recent studies show that secondary experiences such as losing a loved-one to violence, witnessing a violent act or long-term exposure to a stressful environment can also produce PTS or PTS-like symptoms.
Research suggests that SKY may reduce depression, anxiety, PTSD, stress and addictive behaviors. It significantly increases feelings of well-being, optimism and positivity, and it improves mental focus and the ability to regulate emotions. SKY is also associated with enhanced antioxidant status and immune system function.
SKY Breath Meditation uses cyclical, rhythmic patterns of breath to easily bring the mind and body into a state of restful alertness. It is a potent tool for improving overall physical and mental health, and creating a high quality of life. By eliminating the effects of stress from the system, one enjoys greater happiness, better health and peace of mind. People who practice SKY (also known as Sudarshan Kriya™) report feeling stronger, more energetic, and calmer.
- trouble sleeping or concentrating
- self-destructive or addictive behavior
- hypervigilance - always on guard for danger
- irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
- inability to experience positive emotions
- lack of interest in things previously enjoyed
- negative feelings about oneself or other people
- intrusive memories or flashbacks
SKY Significantly Reduces PTS Symptoms
Despite treatment, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) continually debilitates many Vietnam veterans. Although therapies have been developed, remission is hard to obtain with either pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy. Evidence has suggested that some forms of yoga may reduce sympathetic overactivity and increase parasympathetic activity, thereby improving stress resilience.
In one recent study, fifty male Vietnam veterans with PTSD (DSM-IV) were referred to the study. Thirty-one participants meeting criteria were subsequently randomized to either the SKY technique (adapted for veterans) group or a 6-week wait-list Control. The intervention consisted of 22 hours of guided group yoga instruction over a duration of 5 days, followed by a 2-hour group session which was held weekly for the first month and monthly thereafter for the following 5 months. Severity of PTSD symptoms was assessed at pre-intervention, 6-week post-intervention, and 6-month followup for both groups using the CAPS. Additional questionnaires to measure PTSD, depression, quality of life, and alcohol consumption were administered at pre-intervention, post-intervention and followup time frames as well.
Twenty-five of the thirty-one enrolled participants completed the study, of which 14 received immediate intervention while 11 constituted the Control group. The Intervention group showed a significant decrease in CAPS scores 6 weeks following intervention completion, while the Control group had zero decline within this period. At this point, the Control group received the SKY technique, and also improved significantly on the CAPS. These improvements were maintained in both groups 6 months following receipt of treatment. The results indicate that multi-component interventions with yoga breath techniques may offer a valuable adjunctive treatment for veterans with PTSD.
SKY Increases Feelings of Well-Being
Participants were recruited in a small university city in Sweden and were instructed in a 6-day intensive program of SKY which they practiced daily for six weeks. The control group was instructed to relax in an armchair each day during the same period. Subjects included a total of 103 adults, 55 in the intervention (SKY) group and 48 in the control group.
The data suggest that participants in the SKY group, but not the control group, lowered their degree of anxiety, depression and stress, and also increased their degree of optimism (ANOVA; p < 0.001). The participants in the yoga group experienced the practices as a positive event that induced beneficial effects.