20 Nov Ujjayi Pranayama
Yogendra Pranayama-Ujjayi; the victorious breath.
From the word, ‘jaya’ comes ujjayi, which means victory – victorious. “Ujjayi” is, therefore, the Pranayama which gives freedom from bondage. It is part of the eight Kumbhakas of Hathayoga.
Do preliminary conditioning in Sukhasana or any other meditative posture. Sit on a firm chair with an erect backrest, if unable to sit on the floor. Keep the body above the waist straight and the spine erect. Eyes can be kept closed.
How to do Ujjayi Pranayama? The Sequence of steps:
- Close the mouth and constrict the throat (the glottis — a part of larynx).
- Make a short exhalation and then start inhaling—slowly and rhythmically in one long and unbroken inspiration.
- Allow the air to pass through the constricted throat, creating a “friction sound”.
- Continue inhaling till a sense of fullness is felt in the chest.
- Retain the inhaled air for a period of 6 seconds (preferably double the period of inspiration).
- Ensure: While sitting spine, head and neck is maintained erect.
- Facial muscles are relaxed and nose is not constricted. Inhalation is slow and rhythmic – long, unbroken and without jerks.
- Now exhale as naturally as possible – gradually, avoiding jerky or hasty movements.
- Take few normal breaths and relax.
Practice daily, 5 rounds/session with pause in-between rounds. Begin with a count of 3 seconds inhalation and 6 seconds retention. Gradually increase it by 1 sec/every week, when practised daily. Practice without strain to a count as per individual comfort
Not recommended in serious cardiac and hypertension cases. Can practice without retention of breath.
Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama:
- Helps rectify fluid retention in the body (edema/ dropsy).
- Clears phlegm & increases appetite.
- Beneficial in chronic cold, cough, indigestion, liver problems, dysentery, fever and other diseases.
- Ghatashudhhi or purification of seven dhatus (elements) Skin, flesh, blood, bones, marrow, fat and semen.
- There is enrichment of the voice.
- Stimulates and balances the thyroid.