Hello Yoga enthusiasts! Welcome back to our series of blogs on Pranayama techniques. Our previous blog focused on Kapalbhati Pranayama. This blog will discuss the method and benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama and its effect on your respiratory organs.
What Is Ujjayi Pranayama?
Ujjayi means victorious; hence Ujjayi Pranayama is also called victorious breathing. Ujjayi Pranayama is a soft breathing technique that produces a whistling sound akin to ocean waves. Therefore, Ujjayi Pranayama also goes by the name of ocean breathing.
You enhance your regular breathing cycle during Ujjayi Pranayama by focusing on your breathing depth and frequency.
Ujjayi Pranayama is strictly nasal, without allowing any air to escape through your lips. However, the focus of ocean breathing is around your throat. You must purse your lips and constrict your throat during Ujjayi Pranayama. Relax your jaws, chin, and tongue despite the tension in your throat to enhance the effects of ocean breathing.
Method of Ujjayi Pranayama
- Sit in Sukhasana or Vajrasana before you begin Ujjayi breathing.
- Keep your hips and shoulders aligned while holding your neck straight. Fix your gaze on any arbitrary point in the front, or lightly shut your eyes.
- Keep your palms on your thighs or knees, or relax your arms and keep your hands in Gyan Mudra.
- Practice inhaling and exhaling with your mouth open to settle on a breathing pace that you find comfortable.
- Now proceed to breathe in and out only through your nose, and try to imitate the sound that occurs during mouth breathing. Once you are able to produce the sound during nasal breathing, you are ready to begin Ujjayi Pranayama.
- Take deep breaths and inhale and exhale equally. It is crucial to match the duration of your inhalation and exhalation.
- Do not keep any gap between two successive breathing cycles.
- You may use a stopwatch or timer to keep track of your breathing. Set goals o the number of breathing cycles you want to complete once you get accustomed to Ujjayi Pranayama.
- Practice Ujjayi Pranayama for 15-20 minutes daily for the best results. You may combine your Ujjayi breathing practice with other Pranayama techniques like Kapalbhati or Anulom Vilom.
Ujjayi Pranayama becomes an involuntary habit after several weeks of dedicated practice. You may also practice the ocean breathing technique while practicing Yoga postures and Mudras.
How Does Ujjayi Pranayama Control Breathing Disorders?
Ujjayi Pranayama focuses on nasal breathing, which benefits your lungs and boosts respiratory functions. Ujjayi Pranayama improves your breathing capacity and keeps several respiratory disorders at bay.
- Respiratory Cleansing
The Ujjayi breathing technique focuses on diaphragmatic movement and allows you to inhale and exhale deeply. Deep breathing is an excellent way to cleanse your lungs and remove traces of allergic, toxic, or infectious influences. Ujjayi breathing reduces the tendency to develop bronchitis, nasal congestion, and sinus congestion.
- Toning Of Lung Muscles
When you constrict your throat during Ujjayi Pranayama, you inadvertently inhale deeply. The Ujjayi breathing style stimulates your lung muscles to work more during each breath, which makes them more robust. Strong lungs are crucial to maintaining a healthy respiratory system.
- Opens Sinuses
Ujjayi Pranayama encourages nasal breathing, which has a beneficial effect on your paranasal sinuses. Practicing Ujjayi Pranayama will prevent sinus congestion and, in turn, sinus infections.
- Increased Oxygen Uptake
Deep nasal breathing is crucial during Ujjayi Pranayama. You inhale and exhale equally, for the same duration, while practicing Ujjayi Pranayama. Ocean breathing will accustom your lungs to increase the oxygen uptake during your regular breathing cycle. Many obstructive lung disorders respond well to increased oxygen uptake, which you can achieve with Ujjayi Pranayama.
Ocean breathing also has several other health benefits that calm your mind, strengthen your internal organs, and assist spiritual awakening.
Benefits Of Ujjayi Pranayama
Ujjayi Pranayama profoundly affects almost all your physiological functions and has holistic action on the spirit, mind, and body. Here are some health benefits of practicing Ujjayi Pranayama daily.
- Spiritual Cleansing
Yoga principles state that spiritual well-being is crucial for good health. Ujjayi Pranayama requires excellent mental focus and discipline, which allow you to connect better with your true self. Ujjayi Pranayama trains your mind, body, and spirit to work in unison. Those who practice ocean breathing on a regular basis will likely experience increased self-awareness of self and determine their true purpose in life.
- Gut Detoxification
Ujjayi Pranayama builds a gradual yet steady pressure on your stomach, enhancing digestive movements. Gastrointestinal disorders like chronic constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and indigestion respond well to Ujjayi breathing.
- Increased Body Heat
The breathing pattern and diaphragmatic movement during Ujjayi Pranayama increase natural body heat. Increased body heat will warm your body quickly before your Yoga session and increase physical flexibility. Ujjayi Pranayama increases your body heat, increasing your core strength needed to perform Yoga postures.
- Improved Blood Circulation
Ujjayi Pranayama increases your lungs’ oxygen intake capacity and improves cardiac functions. Practice Ujjayi Pranayama to strengthen the circulating power of your blood vessels and regulate blood pressure. Ujjayi Pranayama is an excellent allied treatment for tackling hypertension.
- Mental Rejuvenation
Ujjayi Pranayama has a calming effect on your mind and nerve cells. Ocean breathing stimulates your brain cells to eliminate stress, negativity, and depressing thoughts. Rejuvenate your exhausted mind with a healthy session of Ujjayi Pranayama.
Ujjayi Pranayama is an excellent breathing technique to combat various mental, physical, and spiritual health issues. You can safely practice Ujjayi Pranayama for 15-20 minutes daily for the best results. Experienced Yoga students can combine their practice of Yoga asanas and Ujjayi Pranayama for better results.
Learning and practicing Ujjayi Pranayama only under a certified Yoga trainer’s guidance is advisable to avoid health problems. Before practicing Ujjayi Pranayama, please discuss existing cardiac, digestive, or nerve illnesses with your physician and Yoga trainer. Ujjayi Pranayama has a tremendous scope as a holistic healing technique against many health issues. However, the ocean breathing technique cannot replace mainstream medical or surgical treatment for any health condition.
You can combine various breathing techniques to complete your daily Pranayama session. Please watch this space for our next blog on another beneficial breathing technique known as Bhastrika Pranayama.