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Yoga Blog 1 - Ujjayi Breath

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Pranayama Techniques for beginners:

By Ella Forbes

Ujjayi Breath – Victorious Breathe

Ujjayi is a frequently used Pranayama (or breathing) technique used in yoga.
It is sometimes referred to as the ocean breath, as it sounds similar to waves rolling in and out.
(A less romantic reference but still very valid is the comparing of the sound to Darth Vadar)
The breath is used so as to be energising and calming whilst anchoring the mind

Learning and practicing Ujjayi breathIMG_1269

-Sit in a comfortable position of your choice
(Whatever feels comfortable to you so long as your spine is straight so the breathe can move with ease)

-Begin by focusing on the breath.
Observe the way the breath is moving, naturally, with out you trying to control it.

-Take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. When you exhale through the mouth add an relaxed and extended ‘Hah’ sound.
The ‘Hah’ sound comes from very gently constricting (but not straining) your throat.
(Imagine fogging up a window or If it appeals, put your hand in front of your mouth to feel the breath)

-Now you have the sound and the idea; close the mouth.
Try to continue making that ‘hah’ sound from the gentle constriction of your throat but exhale/inhale through the nasal passage.
This is where your preferred imagery of the ocean or Darth Vadar can come in handy to remind you of the sound and regulate your pace.

With practice your Ujjayi breath will become long and smooth and can be used in asanas during your practice to improve focus and concentration, regulate heat and remove tension.
And perhaps making the kind-of-odd sound, at home or in a public place, helps us to surrender and let go of our ego.



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