Yoga Breathing Exercise
Ujjayi (3-5 minutes)
Breathing – Ujjayi: sometimes translated as “Victorious” breath, Ujjayi creates a particular sound, like the sound of ocean waves rolling in and out in the distance.
1. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a straight backed chair, keeping the spine long.
2. Breathe through the nose in inhalation and exhalation, with the mouth closed. The sound is created by partially closing the back of the throat, which creates a slight resistance to the passage of air.
3. Inhale, and try to draw the breath to the back of your throat, near the nasal cavity. Imagine the breath rubbing that area, and see if you can create a gentle hissing sound.
4. As you exhale, keep the throat slightly closed and shift the breath towards the frontal sinuses, maintaining the sound of the ocean waves as you exhale.
5. The inhales and exhales should be equally long, with a smooth, well-modulated and even quality.
Ujjayi helps us to keep focused on the movement of the breath, and the sound created by the delicate constriction of the back of the throat gently soothes the nervous system, creating a sense of meditative quiet.