11 Ujjayi Breath Benefits (Plus Practice Tips) • Yoga Basics

Pranayama is without doubt one of the fundamental practices of Hatha Yoga. It is the cultivation and absorption of prana or life power within the thoughts and physique. And similar to with asana (bodily poses), there are lots of completely different types of pranayama that one can observe. One of the commonest is the mysterious ujjayi or “oceanic sounding breath”. Incorporating the ujjayi breath into your asana observe could be tough and really feel unusual. Still, there are lots of highly effective advantages to utilizing this respiration method, together with linking breath and motion, rising inside heat, rising psychological stillness, bettering well being, and deepening meditation and mindfulness.

What does ujjayi imply?

For most of us, Ujjayi Pranayama is our first introduction to pranayama after easy breath consciousness. Ujjayi is an audible breath by which the inhalation and exhalation are lengthy, deep and full, transferring by means of the nostril. Often translated from Sanskrit, Ujjayi means "victorious breath" whereas others describe it as "ocean breath," named for the "haaaa" or wave-like sound made by the air transferring by means of a narrowed glottis or vocal cords.

Benefits of ujjayi respiration

Most freshmen surprise why they sound like Darth Vader throughout their yoga class. The ocean-sounding breath has many highly effective advantages for the physique, mind, and coronary heart. The backside line, nonetheless, is that it’s of nice assist with a difficult yoga pose or quick move. Which of the next 11 advantages have you ever observed after utilizing this conventional pranayama?

  1. Builds internal heat
    This gradual, restricted respiration builds up inside physique warmth, which makes stretching safer and prepares the physique for deeper expressions from yoga poses.
  2. Promotes cleansing
    This managed diaphragmatic breath massages the interior organs and stimulates the digestive system to assist cleansing and reduce mucus.
  3. Increases focus and focus
    The Ujjayi breath connects the thoughts, physique and spirit with the current second and improves focus. This promotes the richness and depth of your observe and strengthens your presence and consciousness.
  4. Increases vitality
    This pranayama is utilized in many sorts of yoga courses akin to Ashtanga, Jivamukti, and Power Yoga as a result of it promotes stamina, power, and endurance.
  5. Combines breath with motion
    The ocean breath connects the breath with motion, which helps keep a gradual rhythm in a move or vinyasa yoga fashion.
  6. Reduces stress and stress
    This soothing sound releases muscle stress and prompts the vagus nerve. This, in flip, activates the "rest and renewal" or parasympathetic exercise of the nervous system.
  7. Strengthens the lungs
    The partial narrowing of the throat permits much less air to move by means of, lengthens respiration and improves oxygen saturation. These deep breaths improve the quantity of air, strengthen the diaphragm, and enhance respiration effectivity.
  8. Calms the physique and thoughts
    ujjayi pranayama lowers blood strain and slows down the center price to calm the thoughts and cut back anxiousness.
  9. Balances the power channels
    Ujjayi Pranayama cleanses and stimulates the Nadis (refined channels of the physique) and promotes the activation of the Sushumna Nadi to steadiness the move of Prana and steadiness the chakra power facilities. This balancing impact helps to alleviate ache, promote therapeutic and harmonize the endocrine system.
  10. Lifts and stabilizes the temper
    The warming, focusing and energizing results of this pranayam improve the sensation of aliveness and can assist to alleviate delicate melancholy.
  11. Opens the sinuses
    The cranial vibration of the ujjayi breath helps open the sinuses to alleviate the strain and ache of the sinuses from complications.

Tips for working towards ujjayi

Yogis all have a barely completely different view of how this historical pranayama needs to be practiced. Many instructors advocate a slight narrowing of the throat, which works for some, however the concept of ​​it makes me uneasy. I choose to consider it as a narrowing of the glottis or the vocal cords. Better nonetheless, I like to visualise the breath transferring by means of the vocal cords with every spherical of inhalation and exhalation. I nonetheless get a sound, however it's not significantly loud and it has the identical impact: drawing my consideration to my breath. The concept is to be in contact with Ujjayi in the course of your yoga observe.

No matter what, studying ujjayi respiration takes plenty of observe on and off the mat. And relying on the instructor or class, completely different yoga practices decide how loud the breath sounds and the way it’s used.

How loud ought to ujjayi sound?

In move or energy yoga courses, you might have heard your instructor say one thing like, "If your neighbor on the mat can't hear you breathing, don't do ujjayi!" Or "Use your ujjayi breath to build warmth and stamina." I had a instructor proclaim, "Old yogis should be able to melt snow with their ujjayi breathing!" It's nearly as if Ujjayi's "victorious breath" has grow to be synonymous with victory on the mat with the decibels of your respiration. In reality, I believed that these yogis with the loudest breaths should be probably the most superior practitioners. I’ve to confess that I used to be slightly jealous. No matter how onerous I attempted, I couldn't let the "ha" sound over a whisper with out feeling like I used to be attempting or forcing myself to do one thing.

While making the ocean loud sufficient for others to listen to could be useful in studying and honing your method, it's extra necessary to discover a dedication that’s comfy and sustainable over time. More importantly, failure to reap the benefits of the aforementioned advantages could be a signal that your method is adapting.


I've discovered that Ujjayi, irrespective of how loud or quiet, is a way to an finish: a useful technique to hold the thoughts and physique centered. My "haaaa" sound might solely be audible to me, however I really feel an power and calm after I use this system that’s particular to my Ujjayi breath. The rewards for utilizing this difficult pranayama are quite a few and grand, however these can’t be realized with out self-discipline, endurance, and dedication.


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