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Ujjayi Pranayama or the ocean breath means to be victorious or to conquer. Ujjayi is a Sanskrit word meaning victory.  Ujjayi Pranayama is a practice that can help get a sense of freedom from any restriction or bondage. In this pranayama, the pressure is applied at the back of your throat so while inhaling the air into your lungs a sound is created. This practice helps to keep your mind cool while making your body feel a sense of warmth and helps in balancing all the three doshas.

Importance of Ujjayi Pranayama in Daily Life

Due to the dominant presence of stress and pressure in our daily life, it has become quite hard to relax our bodies and provide our minds the right outlook.

Ujjayi Pranayama is a practice that focuses to improve your mental health quality along with providing health benefits to your body such as better sleep, calm and composed mind, improved immune system, etc.

Taking out even 10 minutes daily to practice Ujjayi Pranayama can help you significantly in terms of keeping your mind and body healthy.

Ujjayi Pranayama Step by Step Guide:

  1. Sit on a hard surface and make sure to keep your spine erect.
  2. Take a few breaths to relax your body before entering into the Pranayama.
  3. Breathe in through your nostrils to fill the air in your lungs while applying a little pressure on your throat so that a sound is created.
  4. Your throat will be in a contracted position due to the application of pressure.
  5. Air does not have to touch the surface of your nostrils and therefore no pressure is applied to them.
  6. Hold your breath for a few seconds or depending on your capacity.
  7. Release it through your left nostril while pressing the right one with your fingers to close it.
  8. Repeat this for a few times.

Constricting the Back of the Throat

Ujjayi Pranayama requires constricting of the throat to let in the air into the lungs with a little pressure.  In this process, you have to gently constrict the aperture or opening of the throat to make a hissing sound.  No extreme pressure is needed while performing the pranayama. Relax your face, your throat, your jaw and start the practice with a few yogic breaths.

Don’t get distracted and make sure to focus on your breath while performing the pranayama. It can be a little tricky for beginners and hence should be done under some form of guidance.

Ujjayi Pranayama Benefits

  1. Practicing Ujjayi pranayama helps you sleep better as it helps to calm your body down.
  2. Help keep your mind cool and calm and hence provides clarity.
  3. This pranayama helps to practice a high level of concentration and increases your focus.
  4. It helps to provide relief in headaches and sinus infection.
  5. It is a very good practice for stammering children.
  6. Ujjayi pranayama when practiced regularly improves your mental and physical states of mind and body.
  7. It helps in improving your digestion.
  8. It is a very good practice to improve your immune system.
  9. Increases the energy levels of your body along with the stamina.

Ujjayi Breathing Precautions

  1. Make sure to not put too much pressure on your throat while performing this pranayama.
  2. People with high blood pressure should perform it under professional guidance.
  3. Do this pranayama on empty stomach for best results.

Ujjayi  Breath Contraindications

  1. It should not be practiced by people with heart disease as a little pressure is applied while performing this pranayama.
  2. Not be practiced when people are suffering from severe migraine problems.

Conclusion

In all Ujjayi Pranayama holds several health benefits to it whether it is mental or physical. Putting the right amount of pressure on the throat can look a little tricky but can be achieved by practicing the pranayama consistently. There are a lot of guides present out there in the form of videos or articles regarding the practice of Ujjayi Pranayama. It is an easy practice and can be performed in the comfort of your home.

 

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About author
Sushant Pandey

Sushant is Meditation & Philosophy Teacher and Academic Director at Rishikesh Yogis. Sushant carries long years of experience teaching practical as well as philosophical aspects of Kundalini yoga, Kriya yoga, Hatha Yoga and Tantra philosophy.