Increasingly, people who breathe with the depth and the correct technique, benefit from the positive effects they produce in certain types of breathing in physical health, mental and even spiritual. In addition, breathing is very functional at the emotional level because it helps to unlock and release emotional tension of the muscles. Throughout history have been developed and refined many breathing techniques, the Ujjayi Pranayama is one of them.
Among of the practices of Yoga breathing is the breathing technique of Ujjayi, which translates as breathing fire or the ocean. Its main feature is that this is not a silent breath but for its implementation must make the muscles of the back of the glottis, which we are located at the base of the neck, near the root of the clavicle.
As you inhale, air enters through the nostrils without making noise, but on reaching the larynx (and before continuing its journey to the lungs) results in a uniform and continuous vibration which is responsible for the sound, which does not occur in the nose or in the vocal cords. Nor that the air friction against the palate, such as snoring. The sound produced is light and should not be strong but moderately audible to the practitioner. In this way, the air friction slows the glottis generating a dull sound but continuous.
Benefits of Ujjayi Breathing
This breathing technique has many important health benefits, among which are that:
- Develops lung capacity.
- Oxygenation of the blood.
- Having more oxygen in the blood, benefit the nervous system, glands and muscles.
- Relaxes the nervous system.
- Helps combat mental fluctuations favoring states of internalization, reflection and concentration.
- Increases the resilience of the entire body and improves the functioning of glands in general, especially the thyroid.
- Causes a slowing of heart rate and lowering blood pressure. This benefit is possible due to the contraction of the muscles of the glottis which produces a gentle pressure on the carotid sinus.
- It is recommended for people suffering from lack of energy, depression, emotional incontinence and low blood pressure.
How do I run this breathing properly?
This technique has some basic steps to perform:
1. Comfortable posture: A breathing technique (Pranayama) requires that, in practice, taking a comfortable position, with the spine completely erect in order to avoid compressing the abdomen and allow breathing flow properly.
2. Positions suggested are: lying or sitting on the floor, or sitting in a chair.
3. Start with the deeply inspiring partial obstruction of the glottis, and maintaining closed Jalandhar Bhandara (closure of the chin against the chest).
4. The air is directed primarily to the intercostal and clavicle.
5. Udhiyana also has to get bandha (abdominal muscle contraction towards the spine) and Mula bandha (sphincter contraction upwards). Here exhale slowly.
6. At the end of inspiration (Antara kumbhaka), be retained by closing the air completely Jalandhar bandha Mula bandha and implemented simultaneously.
7. Retention of air-filled lungs should last as long as possible, and this depends on the capabilities and experience of each trainee.
8. During exhalation relaxes partially Jalandhar bandha, as during inspiration.
9. Throughout the practice you should focus attention on the passage of air, especially at the point where slows and the peculiar noise that occurs at the level of the epiglottis.
10. In the case of suffering from hypotension, you should lengthen the inspiration instead of prolonging the exhalation.
11. If you're not comfortable with this breathing, abandon the exercise and breathe on a regular way.
Ujjayi breathing and Ashtanga Yoga
This respiratory practice applies during the entire practice of Ashtanga Yoga, and is used as a mantra to focus the mind. Also used often in the Kriya Yoga.
Recommendations with Ujjayi breathing
To begin practice of Ujjayi, duration of inhalation and exhalation are the same. Later, you can double the time of exhalation. If you are a beginner it is suggested to search for a professional practitioner to show you the correct, proportionate and properly technique.