Ujjayi Breathing

Definition - What does Ujjayi Breathing mean?

Ujjayi breathing is a pranayama, or yogic breathing technique, that is intended to relax and energize the yogi. In yoga practice, it synchronizes the movements in a rhythmic manner. Ujjayi is a Sanskrit word that translates as “victorious.” It is also sometimes called “oceanic breath.”

To practice ujjayi breathing, the inhalation and exhalation are expressed through the nose. The inhale is slightly longer than normal and smooth. The exhale is slow with the muscles at the back of the throat constricting, creating a sound like ocean waves.

Yogapedia explains Ujjayi Breathing

Ujjayi breathing has been part of yoga practice for thousands of years. This pranayama promotes the free flow of prana (life-force energy) through the body's nadis and creates a greater sense of self-awareness. Among its other benefits are:

  • Calms the mind and body
  • Balances the cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • Stabilizes blood pressure
  • Oxygenates the blood
  • Releases tension
  • Helps free pent-up emotions
  • Eases insomnia

Yogis suffer who from such respiratory conditions as asthma or emphysema should get a doctor's permission before attempting to practice ujjayi breathing and then only practice this technique with the assistance of a qualified yoga instructor.

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