Ujjayi Breathing

The definition of Ujjayi is “victorious breath”, which refers to the expansion and uprising of the prana through the pranic channel between the ida and pingala which goes up from the bottom of the spine.  It is also recognised by the sound made in the back of the throat which is made by engaging the glottis, often it is explained as being a ‘snoring’ sound.  It could be described as the breathing building block for Yoga, as it is key to monitoring the flow of breath when performing almost all asanas and also cleanses the body internally; it is important to note it should be taught to beginners and regular Yoga practitioners often need to be reminded to use it as it also aids your endurance.
Key points to remember for personal practice or when explaining to classes:
–         Calm your mind
–         Remind your beginners this form of breathing is through the nose
–         Allow a brief pause at the top of each inhalation and bottom of each exhalation
–         Each inhalation and exhalation should be even and steady
–         Each inhalation and exhalation should be the same length of time
–         The volume of each inhalation and exhalation should be steady and not be so loud as to disturb your mind
–         Engage your core on inhalation
–         On inhalation imagine filling your torso with air from the bottom of the spine to the chest
–         Expand and lift your ribs simultaneously
–         On exhalation, breath evenly and imagine releasing the air from the top of the torso to the bottom
–         Aim for inhalation/exhalation to be 5 seconds for each breath

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