Pranayama the Ujjayi breath
Do you know what Pranayama is?
Pranayama is the life force in the body or the vital energy. We can control it by the breath “Prana”. “Ayama” means control. Pranayama means literally the control of breath. The Pranayama helps to achieve a healthy body and mind. It is also beneficial to release the stress, asthma and to develop a steady mind and strong will-power.
Pranayama is the fourth ‘limb’ of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga mentioned in verse 2.29 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is advised that pranayama should be part of an overall practice that includes the other limbs of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga teachings, especially Yama, Niyama, and Asana.
They are several techniques (over 50) of Pranayama techniques such as Kumbhaka – “Breath retention”, Kapalabhati or Nadi Shodhana for example.
Ujjayi breath – The Ocean breath
Today we are going to learn about the Ujjayi breath. It is the breath that is used during an Ashtanga Yoga Practice, it is also known as the ocean breath as it sounds like the ocean when performed. It will allow you to stay focused and going deeper into the practice.
Step by step:
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Inhale through the nose, exhale like saying a long “Haaaa” but with the mouth closed. The outflow of air goes through the throat muscles and the nasal passages. If you do it correctly, a sound should similar to the “ocean waves” should come out.
- Inhale deeply and exhale deeply doing this practice. Once you have mastered this on the outflow, use the same method for the inflow breath, gently constricting your throat as you inhale.
The Ujjayi breathing technique is part of the Ashtanga Practice but it is also an excellent tool for meditation or a Pranayama exercise.
For more details, watch our beautiful Kino Yoga, Master in Ashtanga Yoga.