Ocean Breath (Ujjayi Pranayama)
The word Ujjayi meaning victorious, freedom from bondage. It is passive pranayama. In this practice, producing a sound similar to the sound of the deep ocean with breathing hence called ocean breath. A bhandha (lock) named Jalandhara bhandha (throat lock) is applied throughout the practice. Ujjayi sound is created by constricting the throat and creates resistance to the air passage. Ujjayi pranayama clears throat, improves voice and good for all other organs in the neck region.
Preparations for practice:
Sit in Sukhasana (Lotus pose) or Vajrasana (Diamond Pose) or any other comfortable position with your spine and back straight, chin straight, shoulders and neck relaxed. You may sit on a cousin or pillow, for your comfort. Only use your nose to breathe in and breathe out. Preferably closed eyes throughout the practice.
Bhandha and Mudra used in this practice:
Jalandhara bhandha: Throat lock, a good stretch for your neck and connected to the 6th chakra (Vishuddha). With an exhalation, drop down your chin slowly and raise your sternum (chest bone) at the same time, until the chin touches the chest. This is throat lock.
Chin mudra: Keep both hands in chin mudra, Soft-touch of the tip of index finger and thumb. Other fingers straight and relaxed, palm facing upward and resting on knees.
Follow the preparation for practice
Step 1: Position of hands – Both hands preferably in chin mudra.
Step 2: Inhale through both nostrils, slowly and deeply, fill your lungs.
Step 3: Exhale slowly and deeply, apply jalanthara bhandha (Throat lock). Keep this lock throughout the practice.
Step 4: Here we start the actual practice. Inhale slowly and deeply and fill your lungs.
Step 5: Exhale slowly and completely producing the deep ocean sound.
Step 6: Keeping throat lock, repeat the breathing for another 9 times.
Step 7: After 10 breaths, gently bring your chin straight with a slow and deep inhalation.
Now rest your palms cupping on knees, breathe normally and rest for 30 seconds. Focus on your breathing and notice the changes. Repeat the practice for 2 more rounds with rest in between. After the third round, rest for 60 seconds. Here you completed the Ujjayi pranayama.
- Improves digestion and metabolism
- Enriches and tones voice
- Stimulate and balance the thyroid gland
- Clears throat and upper respiratory tract
- Energizes body and mind and stimulates the energy channels
- Cleanses the lungs and increases lung capacity
- Calms the nervous system and reduces stress and anxiety