Ujjayi breath can be translated as “victorious breath” or “to gain mastery”. It is an ancient yogic breathing technique where you can simultaneously relax AND energize your mind and body. This technique has been used for thousands of years to enhance a yoga practice. When you combine this breath with movements during yoga, the entire practice becomes more rhythmic.
To create the Ujjayi breath, you must breathe inhaling and exhaling through the nose, as your lips remain gently closed. One must constrict the back of the throat, similar as to when you whisper. The sound of the breath is often compared to that of the ocean, as the waves roll in and out. It is also commonly compared to that of Darth Vader. The breath should be both long and smooth, therefore also practice in elongating the inhales and exhales in a smooth manner. Just like with practicing asana, the ujjayi breath is also something that takes time to learn and master.
So why must we apply ujjayi breath to our yoga practice?
Because the ujjayi breath helps us to stay focused and centered as we flow from one posture to the next. Out movements should follow our breath during our yoga practice. It stills the mind, diminishes distractions and brings our focus to the present- which is you and your practice. It also allows us to maintain stamina for the entire time so that we don’t get expend our energy and get tired in the middle of practice.
Benefits of Ujjayi Breath
– Warms up the body
– Increases the amount of oxygen in the blood
– Flow of oxygen through the body detoxifies and removes impurities
– Relieves tension and tight areas of the body
– Keeps mind calm and focused
– Reduces mental anxiety
– Strengthens the nervous and digestive systems
– Develops stamina and builds endurance
– Increases feelings of presence and self-awareness
– Gives meditative feelings
– Allows us to move effortlessly through our practice
Remember that ujjayi breath does not have to only be applied during your yoga practice. You can apply this breathing technique for times that you are feeling agitated, stressed out or nervous. You will be able to notice that this technique has a soothing effect. You can also apply this breath to other aerobic exercises such as running or cycling as it improves respiratory efficiency. There are many benefits to this beautiful art of breathing. If you don’t already practice the ujjayi breath, we hope you can slowly start incorporating this technique into your life. <3