Ujjayi Pranayama: The Victorian Breathing Exercise

Ujjayi Pranayama is one of the easiest and has the fewest restrictions, out of 8 major popular pranayama practices. It is a great preparatory practice to apply at the beginning of any asana or other advanced pranayama practices.

The practice of Ujjayi pranayama is so simple that it can be done in any situation and anywhere. The name of this pranayama implies that it enables the practitioner to achieve victory that results from the process of prana expansion or vital life force. This pranayama improves ventilation of the lungs, calms the nerves, reduces stress, and fills the entire body with vitality. It is used in meditation practices, kriya yoga and yoga nidra because it helps relax the physical body and mind, and develops subtle body awareness and psychic sensitivity. Ujjayi also promotes the withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara).

Ujjayi is classified as a quiet pranayama. It also has a heating effect on the body.
This practice is used in yoga therapy to soothe the nervous system and calm the mind. It has a very relaxing effect on the psychic level.
It helps relieve insomnia and can be practiced in shavasana just before sleep.
Slows the heartbeat and is useful for people with high blood pressure.
Relieves fluid retention and removes disorders of the 7 components of the body: blood, bone, marrow, fat, semen, skin and flesh.

Tips for Ujjayi Pranayama regarding Sitting Position

Sit in a relaxed and comfortable posture. Lifting spine and hands resting on your thighs.
Exhale Naturally (Take a leisurely Exhalation).
Pull the shoulders back and down from the ears.
Stabilize your shoulders throughout the exercise.

Regarding the Respiratory Process.

Exhale completely and release all the air out of your lungs.
Partially constricting the glottis (middle of throat, where the vocal cords are) slow breathing with a hissing sound.
Allow the chest to fully expand while the shoulders move upwards (slightly contracting the abdomen) while breathing.
Breathing should be slower than breathing; approximately double the time of breathing. When breathing out, drop the shoulders away from the ears and relax completely.
Repeat times 10.

In terms of Sound

Closing the glottis partially produced the sound and should be similar to a snoring sound.
Avoid friction in the nose.
Avoid contracting facial and nose muscles when breathing

Regarding Attention and Awareness.

Move the chest and shoulders.
Movement of air inflow and outflow.
Listening to the hisian sound produced.

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