Ujjayi pranayama also referred to as ‘Victorious Breath’ or ‘Ocean Breath’ or ‘Cobra Breath’. It helps calm the mind and warm the body. When practising Ujjayi, you completely fill your lungs, while slightly contracting your throat, and breathe through your nose. This breathing technique is used throughout Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga practices. It is part of the eight Kumbhakas of Hathayoga.
You can sit in Sukhasana or any meditative posture. In case sitting on floor restricts you, use a chair with an erect backrest. Upper body from the waist should always be erect and slightly elevated. For this, you could fold your mat below the hips, or place a soft pillow or simply fold a blanket evenly underneath the hips.
- Sit in any crossed leg position or sukhasana with back erect. Close your eyes and let your mouth drop open slightly. Relax your jaw and tongue.
- Deeply inhale and exhale through your mouth. While inhalation constricts your mouth and inhales as if you were sipping your breath through a straw.
- On your exhalation contract back of your throat and exhale as if you were softly whispering the sound, “aah”.
- You will notice a soft sound is produced during inhalation and exhalation. Try to make a smooth sound while performing ujjayi.
- Let your inhalations fill your lungs to their fullest expansion. Completely release the air during your exhalations.
- Increases concentration and endurance.
- Reduces stress, anxiety and rejuvenates the entire system.
- Helps to stimulate and balance the thyroid.
- Prevents headache, respiratory diseases, and sinus issues.
- Regulates body heat.
- Enhancement in your voice.
While practising pranayama be careful not to tighten your throat Not recommended in serious cardiac and hypertension cases.
Hetal Trivedi ( Yoga Expert )