Oceanic Breath

Definition - What does Oceanic Breath mean?

Oceanic breath is a way of breathing during yoga that promotes the flow of life-force energy, known as prana, throughout the body. It consists of a smooth, long inhalation followed by an exhalation during which the muscles at the back of the throat are tightened. The constriction of the throat muscles creates a sound similar to ocean waves.

This breathing technique is also known by the Sanskrit term ujjaji, or ujjayi(“one who is victorious”), breathing and is, sometimes, called victorious breath or cobra breath.

Yogapedia explains Oceanic Breath

Although oceanic breath is a type of pranayama used in meditation, it is commonly associated with asana practice. Oceanic breath synchronizes breathing with movement, especially in vinyasa, and creates a rhythmic transition between poses, helping the yogi stay focused.

Oceanic breathing improves the yogi's sense of self-awareness while relaxing and energizing them. It is also believed to have these benefits:

  • Quiets the mind
  • Increases oxygenation of the blood
  • Frees pent-up emotions
  • Helps stabilize blood pressure
  • Eases tension
  • Strengthens the nervous system
  • Promotes healthy respiratory and digestive systems
  • Alleviates insomnia

Yogis with respiratory conditions should seek a doctor's permission before practicing oceanic breath.

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