Healing Through Breathing:Ujjayi Breath

Ujjayi breath or “victorious breath” is the victory on your mind through your breathing procedure. It helps in toning the body and keeping your mind steady. Ujjayi breath in association with asanas would aid in achieving and reaping the full benefits of the postures.

Ujjayi breath is easy to practice and very beneficial. Breath through your nose with throat contracted and mouth closed. Inhale and exhale deeply while creating a hissing sound and feel you breath through the throat and nose. Deep breathing would relax and heat up the body and aid in seamless flow from one asana to another. Hissing sound would keep you focused and prevent your mind from wandering which would help in reaping the full benefits of the asanas. Flow of oxygen through your body detoxifies and removes all impurities and wandering thoughts.

When to Use Ujjayi Breath

The Ujjayi breath is versatile and can be practiced at any point during the day no matter where you are. Even during a busy work day — when you’re being tugged left and right without a moment to sit on the mat and return to your breath — the Ujjayi breath can be practiced. It’s available to you at any point during the day, no matter where you are.

Taking a Break

As humans, we often overwork ourselves without even noticing that we’re doing so. No matter how busy you are, take the time to pause during the day. Step back from your tasks and use the Ujjayi breath to recenter and relax.

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Controlling Emotions

Feeling stressed or irritated can ruin an entire day. Incorporate the Ujjayi breath into your routine to connect to exactly why you are upset and address the root of the issue.  Perhaps you’ll find that what’s bothering you is petty and doesn’t deserve to be dwelled on. Perhaps the Ujjayi breath will deliver you your “aha!” moment of the day. At the very least, it will allow you to release tension from the body, mind, and breath to ease the stress

For those who have trouble falling asleep at night, the Ujjayi breath can save you from those hours of tossing and turning. Close your eyes and focus on your rhythmic breath. Let the feeling of the Ujjayi breath in the back of the throat soothe and relax the mind. Utilize this technique to help you to rid the mind of distractions, release tension, and allow you to follow the audible inhalations and exhalations into the deep rest of sleep.

Focusing on the breath — and nothing else — is not an easy task. Your mind may be prone to drift off into thought and that’s okay. Forgive yourself and bring the mind back to the breath. Learning and mastering the art of pranayama takes patience and guidance; even with the simplest of techniques, like Ujjayi breath, it can help to have a mentor that has been practicing yoga for years. Find a local studio or teacher that you enjoy working with and ask them to elaborate on the art of pranayama. If you’d like to dive even deeper into the study, give yourself an immersive yoga experience at a group or private retreat.

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Step-By-Step  Instructions for Ujjayi Breathing.

Seated in a cross-legged position, inhale deeply through the nose, allowing the breath to fall back into the throat. Exhale out through the nose with lips slightly parted. You will notice that the noise the breath makes is comparable to the waves in the ocean.

1. Hold up your hand with the palm facing your face like you hold a small mirror.

2.Exhale as though you will fog that mirror. You will feel the sensation in the back of the throat.You will hear the sound of your breath

3.Continue to do this a few times until you are comfortable with the exhale.

4.Begin to incorporate the inhale. As you inhale, feel the breath go into the nose and linger in the back of your throat, making a soft “sss” sound.

5.Exhale and fog the metaphorical mirror in front of you.

6.Repeat this for a few rounds, paying attention to the way your mind reacts.

7.Let your hand fall to your lap and begin practicing to exhale through the nose.

8.Inhale through the nose. Allow the breath to settle in the back of the throat. Exhale through the nose, the same way you would through the mouth, by constricting the throat like you would to whisper. Continue thinking of making a sound like the ocean or fogging a mirror.

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9.Repeat until you feel comfortable with this breath — it takes patience and practice to master this pranayama.

10.If you begin to feel dizzy or uncomfortable, stop and return to your normal breath. You can always come back to this technique when you’re ready.

11.As time passes you will begin to notice the sound of your breath decreasing until it’s only a subtle whisper.

The breath helps to guide us through our practice and being aware of your breathing can help to better the practice, helping to reach a meditative flow throughout.


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