Yoga teaches its practitioners a number of breath control techniques and each of these seeks to address different aspects of the mind and body. This write-up seeks to walk you through all that the Ujjayi Pranayama breathing technique entails.
Types of Ujjayi Pranayama
Ujjayi Pranayama exists in only one form. However, practitioners can modify this breathing technique in the following way.
Ujjayi Pranayama with Khechari Mudra
Here, the practitioner must roll his/ her tongue back and place it such that it lies against his/ her palate while performing Ujjayi Pranayama.
Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama
Ujjayi Pranayama benefits practitioners in several ways. Some of the more prominent benefits associated with this breathing technique have been examined below-
Ujjayi Pranayama is associated with steadiness, sound, and breath. Each of these elements help connect the mind, body, and spirit with the present moment. By connecting these elements to the present moment, Ujjayi Pranayama enhances the practitioner’s sense of awareness.
Ujjayi Pranayama allows you to stay focused and centred as you move from one yoga pose to another.
This breathing technique instills in yogis a spirit of endurance and brings about a meditative quality as it creates and helps maintain a rhythm.
Ocean Breath helps prepare the body to perform yoga postures as it creates heat within the body. This heat allows you to stretch with greater ease. It also cleanses your organs and helps remove toxins from the body.
Ujjayi Pranayama helps your body unwind and relaxes tightly bound areas of your body.
This form of controlled breathing slows down the pace of breathing which is believed to help increase your lifespan.
It helps soothe the nervous system and rejuvenates it.
Improves the Quality of Sleep
Ujjayi Pranayama promotes sound sleep and helps control snoring.
Helps with Challenging Yoga Asanas
This breathing technique encourages practitioners to take in full, deep breaths which are most helpful when they are required to do challenging yoga poses as they help the practitioners gain stability. It also allows them to hold these poses for longer periods of time.
How to Practise Ujjayi Pranayama?
Ujjayi Pranayama can be practised by following the steps listed below-
Step 1. Adopt a seated stance which allows you to keep your shoulder relaxed and away from your ears. Your spine should be erect and your eyes should be closed. In order to prepare to do Ujjayi Pranayama, you must become aware of your breath without attempting to control it in any capacity. Now, you must begin to inhale and exhale through your mouth in case you were previously breathing through your nose.
Step 2. Focus on your throat. With each exhale, you must attempt to tone the back of your throat (i.e., your glottis). You can do this by slightly limiting the passage of air. In your attempt to do this, you should notice that your throat produces a soft hissing sound.
Step 3. Once you are able to comfortably constrict your throat with each exhale, begin to apply this slight contraction each time you inhale. This contraction should also produce the same soft hissing sound. These sounds are the reason why this breathing technique is called ‘Ocean Breath’.
Step 4. Once you are able to control your throat each time you inhale and exhale, you must close your mouth and begin to breathe through your nose. You must continue to tone your throat in the same manner as you previously did when your mouth was open. This form of breathing will continue to produce a noise despite the fact that you are now breathing through your nose. This is the very essence of Ujjayi Pranayama and is called an ‘ujjayi breath’.
Step 5. You must continue to breathe in and out in this fashion. If your yoga teacher instructs you to move on an inhale you must produce an ujjayi inhale. This breathing technique can be used to help support you in maintaining other yoga poses.
Beginner’s Tip for Ujjayi Pranayama
Beginners must only attempt to practise Ujjayi pranayama under the guidance of a seasoned yoga teacher. It is important that beginners understand that this breathing technique should only be attempted when they are in a comfortable and relaxed state. Breathing techniques like Ujjayi Pranayama are learnt and mastered over time, so beginners must not get disheartened if they are unable to perform this breathing technique in one go.
How Often Should I Do Ujjayi Pranayama?
Ujjayi Pranayama can be practised for five minutes while seated. Those seeking to partake in a deeper meditation can increase this practice time to 15 minutes.
Some of the most seasoned practitioners do close to 320 rounds of Ujjayi Pranayama in a day which are broken up into four sittings of 80 rounds each over the course of a single day.
Precautions to Take to Perform Ujjayi Pranayama
Prior to attempting to perform Ujjayi Pranayama, it is highly recommended that you take into account the following considerations.
People who have been diagnosed with any underlying heart conditions as well as those who have high blood pressure should not attempt to perform Ujjayi Pranayama.
While this breathing technique calls on practitioners to tone their throats, they must ensure that they don’t tighten their throat. Instead, they must only produce a slight constriction.
Practitioners must only perform Ujjayi Pranayama as long as it is comfortable for them to do so. The minute they feel strained, they must stop.
This breathing technique must only be performed on an empty stomach.
Beginners must only attempt to perform Ujjayi Pranayama under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher.
Ujjayi Pranayama provides yoga practitioners with many benefits, owing to which many practitioners incorporate it into their lives. In a similar fashion, many people incorporate a number of exercises and dietary patterns in an attempt to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, despite these precautions people can still end up falling sick. In order to be prepared for such scenarios, individuals must consider purchasing a good health insurance plan. The value of such plans lies in the fact that they can provide coverage in the event that a policyholder falls sick or sustains an injury.