Practising the Ujjayi breath
Practising the Ujjayi breath is just as important as your yoga practice it's self.
This short but powerful blog will take you through steps on how to practice and become comfortable with your Ujjayi breath during practice and where ever else you may need it.
Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) is generally translated as the victorious breath.
It has been used for many years to enhance the yoga practice and also to centre the body.
Commonly referred to as the “oceanic breath,” the sound that Ujjayi provides helps us to intertwine the breath with movements during yoga.
Practising the ujjayi breath!
Ujjayi has a balancing influence on the entire cardio respiratory system.
Helping to let go of feelings of irritation and frustration, it helps calm the mind and body.
Here are a few benefits you may enjoy as a result of practising the Ujjayi breath.
- Increases the amount of oxygen in the blood
- Builds internal body heat
- Relieves tension
- Encourages free flow of prana (energy)
- Regulates blood pressure
- Helps yoga practitioner to maintain a rhythm while they practice
- Builds energy
- Detoxifies mind and body
- Increases feelings of presence, self-awareness, and meditative qualities
Want to get started now? Follow these steps:
- Seal your lips and start to breath in and out through your nose
- Take a deeper than normal inhalation through your nose
- Exhale slowly through your nose while activating the muscles in the back of your throat
Getting the Ujjayi Sound Right
Before you jump straight into it, try this:
- With your mouth open, try exhaling the sound “HAAAAH”—it’s similar to the sound you make when you’re trying to fog up a window or mirror. Get comfortable with this sound to get the hang of the practice.
- Close your mouth and attempt a similar sound, feeling the outflow of air through your nasal passages. Once you have mastered this on the outflow, use the same method for the in-flow breath, gently constricting the back of your throat as you inhale.
If it sounds like waves in the ocean then you've got it—the inhales can be compared to the sound of rolling waves as they break on the shore.
When to Use Ujjayi Breath
When you’re agitated: Since the Ujjayi breath is especially good for settling agitation and stress, and balancing the mind, try shifting into Ujjayi breath whenever you find yourself becoming aggravated or stressed. You should notice a soothing effect promptly.
When you’re practising yoga: Try focusing on Ujjayi breathing while practising yoga to help you stay focused and centred as you flow from one posture to the next.
When you’re nervous: The slow and rhythmic nature of the Ujjayi breath is incredibly helpful to calm nerves. Next time you find yourself with a case of the jitters, try some yogic breathing to settle the worries.
For many years I have enjoyed an active lifestyle, this included rock climbing, mounting biking and windsurfing now days its all about the yoga, swimming or going to the gym, and along side all of these I take a great interest in the foods that I consume. I love to research new recipes and know how all the different whole foods that I am using are going to benefit me not only with my physical body but also my mental body. I love to share and inspire people to be come healthier be it through yoga, or adopting a cleaner whole foods eating plan.