Calming Breath

Lucy Alves Yoga

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Calming Breath

(Ujjayi Breath)

 

This pranayama excercise can be performed in a comfortable sitting position of your choice, or in Shavasana, with eyes open or closed. Use Abdominal and Root lock when in calm seated or lying position.

 

However, it is advised to use this breath throughout your practise. Then don't engage the Bandhas, but keep the breath high in the chest rather than being allowed deep into the abdomen.

 

Characteristic for this breath is the sound it makes, as if you hear the ocean in your breath. This is caused by partially closing the glottis.

 

As in most Pranayama the mouth is kept closed and breathing is done only through the nose. Warming and purifying the air in the nasal cavity before it enters the lungs.

Calming Breath in relaxation

By making our exhalation longer than the inhalation we calm ourselves. The easiest way to achieve this is count while you breathe.

 

Start with coming into a comfortable seated position(or in Shavasana), keep your back straight, sacrum grounded, pelvis tilted forward. The chin is paralel to the floor, relax the shoulders and close your eyes. Keep your mind focussed on the throat, chest, and abdomen, do not let your thoughts stray!

 

Empty your lungs completely. Then slightly contract the perineal muscles (Root Lock) and activatethe abdominal muscles, slightly pulling your navel toward the spine in abdominal lock.

 

Partially close the glottis, keep the abdomen still and inhale through both nostrils for three slow counts allowing the Ujjayi sound to be soft and relaxed. Then slowly exhale for four, five, or six counts. Do not hold the breath in between inhalation and exhaling. This is one round.

Practise this for a five to ten rounds.

 

When using Ujjiya during your Hatha practise do not lock the Bandhas but rather let the breath flow freely, warming you, calming you while flowing through your postures.