Pranayama: Ujjayi breath

“Sit on your yoga mat in a relax cross-legged position, close your eyes and rest your hands lazily on your knees. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your nose. Slowly length your breath and with every inhalation, feel the peace and calmness, and with each exhalation, expels all the self-doubts and negative energy… [After a couple of breaths] gently open your eyes”
Just a simple breathing exercise of the above brings forth centeredness and calmness to oneself.
Pranayama, the 4th limb of Ashtanga yoga is a simple yet powerful way to bring awareness to your senses, regulate your breathing and induce consciousness to your body.
Some of the common pranayama methods include anuloma viloma, nadi shodhana and ujjayi breath.
During the 1-hour or so of yoga practice, while respecting your instructor comes unquestioned, devotion to the practice is important. You can only push yourself as far as you want to and one of the ways is by focusing on your breath. Depending on the type of yoga, Ujjayi breathing is often practiced during a ashtanga vinyasa yoga session.
What is Ujjayi?
Both inhalation and exhalation is done through your nose. With your mouth close, constrict the back of your throat and imagine the ocean waves coming close to the shore as you inhale and feel the waves crashing to the shore as you exhale. Because of the sound it induces, it is often known as the “ocean’s breath”.
Try practicing ujjayi breathing during your practice (or even daily) and you will find that it is easier for you to concentrate on the asana, find yourself maintaining in the position for an extended period of time and even restoring the positive energy when life takes a stumble. It has a meditative quality that allows practitioner to stay grounded and bring awareness to the mind, body and soul.
One of the times that you can practice ujjayi breathing is during the downward dog asana in Surya Namaskar A/B. Take 5 ujjayi breaths before inhaling back to forward fold and exhale to samasithi. Feel yourself getting connected and revive the energy while you are resting in downdog.
Keep practicing and feel the energy flowing into the different parts of your body.
Jovy (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)

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