Ujjayi Pranayama (Breathing)

September 22, 2016

 

Ujjayi pranayama is used in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga to enhance our Hatha yoga practice and energise body and mind. The breathing is coordinated to the movements.

 

Ujjayi is translated in English meaning "to become victorious" or "to gain mastery".

 

The breath gives the practice a meditative quality and allows us to focus and concentrate releasing tension and grounding us. To achieve this style of breathing we gently constrict the throat, breathing in and out through nostrils with the mouth closed. The breath should be smooth and long sounding like a distant ocean.

 

We must never force it just using the correct amount of effort. There are many benefits of ujjayi including self awareness and staying in poses longer. Ujjayi regulates heat in the body making stretching safer and cleansing our internal organs of accumulated toxins. Practice ujjayi in yoga classes or when your stressed and anxious to keep you calm. Ujjayi can be practiced during any aerobic activity as some Olympic athletes incorporate it in their training.

 

When learning ujjayi a good exercise to do is say HAAH with the mouth open like your trying to fog up a window. Then say the same sound with the mouth closed focusing on the outbreath through the nostrils.

 

Try and close your throat slightly and be patient practicing.

 

Come to Ashtanga Yoga on Thursdays with Jemma to practice Ujjayi and the Primary series.

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