Pranayama: Ujjayi pranayama, All Benefits to Health

Pranayama: Ujjayi Pranayama, All Benefits to Health -MergeZone

Ujjayi Pranayama(breathing) is a Pranayama/breathing technique employed in a variety of Taoist and Yoga practices. This Pranayama  is sometimes called "the ocean breath". Unlike some other forms of Pranayama, the ujjayi Pranayama is typically done in association with sana/yoga practice in some styles of yoga as the exercise.

How to Pronounce “Ujjayi”

let us all say it together.  

The pronunciation for “Ujjayi” is “OOH-JAI-YEE.”

It has three syllables.  

The “OOH” sounds like the oo in the word “room.”

The ‘Jai’ rhymes with “tie” or “chai.”  

Yee rhymes with “tea.”  

Then if we put it all together, and it sounds like you are getting excited to drink your favorite hot drink., chai tea. Ooh-Jai-yee. Ujjayi. 

Pranayama: Ujjayi Pranayama, All Benefits to Health -MergeZone


Meaning of Ujjayi

‘Jai’ means “victory,” which is why ‘Ujjayi’ is also called the “victorious breath.”  

Technically, Ujjayi comes from the language Sanskrit, and has a root of “ji” and a prefix of “ud.” Ud has many meanings, including upwards or to imply higher in rank. 

Pranayama: Ujjayi Pranayama, All Benefits to Health -MergeZone

Ujjayi for Beginners

If someone just starting with yoga, this is our opportunity to take a moment and have a quick chat to reassure you about it.

Yogic breathing technique can feel a bit overwhelming. It is as if you get you don’t do it correctly; bad things are going to happen to you.

And no wonder with statements like:

  • Yoga is a breathing practice.
  • Breath is the foundation of yoga.
  • The importance of breath and yoga.
  • Get breathing wrong, and you could DIE aslo.
  • Learning the postures
  • Dealing with the foreign words in Sanskrit
  • Trying to balance on one leg

What beginning practitioners are not taught is that you learn breath like the rest of other yoga, a little at a time.  

You can develop your breathing technique. Because breathing technique is a physical endeavor, you build it just like you do strength and flexibility.  

If you have ever tried running or any other sports activity, you probably noticed that how you “ran out of breath” fairly and quickly. But as your level of fitness increases, all that changes and you find you are not so easily winded and become strong.  

The same happens in Ujjayi breath with beginners. 

The best advice to a beginner, when learning Ujjayi breath is to be comfortable.

That can be a challenging when you are in a yoga class, and everyone is trying to “move with breath.” You may find you can not move and do Ujjayi breathing or that you are so focused on breathing you fall behind to others.  

The answer to this is very very simple: Take extra breaths.  

Tt doesn’t violate some sacred rule to take an extra breath as often as you need it. As you continue your practice with this breath, you will find you will need to do this less and less as time passes.  

Remember there’s so much going on when you are a beginner to yoga: 

AND breathe. Whoa, that’s a lot. I assure you it gets better as you keep practicing it. 

Steps and guidance of Ujjayi Pranayama:

How to Practice Ujjayi

Start with the Sound

  • First you have to take the palm of your hand up to your mouth. Then,imagine your hand is a mirror, that you are going to “fog” it up with your breath with your mouth open. When you do this, it should create a clean “hollow” sound kind of like “haaaaaaaa.” It feels warm on your skin.
  • Now comes the tricky part. That is to make the same sound on the time of inhale. You can hold up a hand in front of your mouth, then another at the back of your neck. Two mirrors.
  • After that you are adept at fogging up the mirrors, then create the same sound—by breathing through your nose only.
  • Breathing in a balanced manner in through the nose and out through the nose also. The inhale and exhale are equal, and the quality of sound is also even.
  • Breathing in this way causes a slight constriction in your throat. The glottis partially closes just like when you talk scilently. As the air goes in and out, it creates a minor “rubbing” sensation to your throat.

This gives you a feel for the sound of the Ujjayi.

Move your Belly

  • Next, you have to exhale completely by lightly drawing your abdomen towards the spine. You are gently pulling your belly toward your spine. We start by emphasizing the exhale because it’s easier to do. Exhaling will also allow you the take a more enjoyable inhale.  
  • Inhale by releasing the abdomen. As it goes out, this will automatically draw air into the lungs. While it feel like that you are “breathing into your belly,” that is only the sensation. 
  • Start the sensation of breath (inhale) low—the pelvic floor. Then imagine “filling” your torso 

Now add your Chest

  • You should keep the low sensation of the breath going and bring your focus to your chest.
  • Then As you inhale, try to fill your lungs with air.
  • Notice how all four sides of your torso expand in opposite directions. You can also feel this if you place your hands on the sides of your chest. As you exhale the air from your chest, all four sides draw in.

Put it Together

  • Exhale by drawing your abdomen lightly towards your spine.
  • Inhale by releasing your abdomen and feel the sensation of breath fill your chest, then your belly.
  • Now add the sound of Ujjayi.  
  • Breathe the air in and out slowly slowly, finishing the Ujjayi breath. 

Pranayama: Ujjayi Pranayama, All Benefits to Health -MergeZone

Benefits of Ujjayi Breathing/pranayama:

1.Physical Health

This breathing technique or pranayama builds the internal heat which helps to release tight areas of our body, thus making us less prone to injuries while stretching. At this time, by taking deep breaths and expanding the lungs further than usual, circulation increases and toxins are released from the inner organs. Other benefits include strengthening the immune system and improving sleep also. Furthermore, this type of yoga provides us assistance in controlling high blood pressure and thyroid problems.

2.Flow of Inner Energy:

The Ujjayi breathing technique allows more prana ndour vital life-force, to enter the mind-body system. It also cleanses the channels through which it passes of their stagnant energy,helping the body overcome fatigue, stress, and all kind of  negativity. Furthermore, this technique encourages the movement of energy from the root energy center all the way up to the crown.

3.Relieving Stress:

When you’re feeling stress/anxious/nervous and slow, concentrated, rhythmic nature of the Ujjayi breathing technique has been shown to be effective in calming the nervous system immediately. Studies also says that this breathing technique balances the system. Restoring balance to these two systems helps to release stress, irritation,stress and frustration. Furthermore, it also calms the mind and body fast.

4.Focus:

Ujjayi breath helps align the human mind, body, and spirit with the present moment, making us more self-aware and our mental clarity and focus increases.Maintaining the Ujjayi breath throughout your practice, be it in hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga, or any other traditional yoga allows you to remain centered, grounded and embodied all while keeping thoughts at bay.

5.Meditation/Relaxation:

The Ujjayi breath pranayama promotes calmness in our the body and mind.the vagus nerve to relax the mind and body. This contraction also exerts a gentle pressure on the carotid sinuses in your the neck, leading to reduced tension. The slow, steady rhythm of the breathing techniqe also makes it easier to let go during restorative postures and supports sense withdrawal, helping you ease your way into a meditative state.