Health Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama : Breathing routines in the Yogic convention are applied to manipulate the flow of prāna (life force) in the respiratory system. This practice impacts the entire body. Prāna courses through the channels of the body (called meridians or nādis) to keep us alive and animate our senses. The more prāna you have, the more vibrant, energized, stable, confident, happy, light, healthy and joyful you are. A privation in prāna (due to poor diet, imbalanced lifestyle, excessive activity or the lack of, stress, illness, and so on) will result in you being low, depressed, slow, tired, exhausted, unhappy, fearful, over-
sensitive, depleted, cloudy, and unmotivated.
Ujjayi Pranayama is one of the most common Pranayama techniques practiced in Yoga today. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words “Ujjayi” (meaning “Victorious”), Prāna (meaning “Life force”), and āyāma (meaning “control” or “modulate”). The ocean wave-like sound emanating from practicing this technique is efficient in emerging victorious over various kinds of negativity: victory over stress, victory over fatigue, and victory over ego, to name a few.
Steps to perform Ujjayi Prānāyāma
Begin by drawing a breath in through your nose. As you exhale, open your mouth and send air out as if you were fogging up a window, or whispering a drawn-out HA sound. Practice this a few times to get comfortable with the feeling and sound of this breath.
Then seal your lips so that both your inhale and exhale move through the nostrils. Continue to breathe as if fogging up a window with your lips closed.
A variation: Breathe in and out through your nose. Gently constrict your throat so that it feels as if your breath is coming from your throat. An ocean wave-like sound will emerge.
Keep the flow of breath easy and smooth while making the inhale and exhale equal in duration.
Health Benefits of Ujjayi Prānāyāma
Renders your voice clear and pleasant
Helps to alleviate pulmonary diseases
Removes phlegm in the throat
Has the potential to keep Asthma in control
Provides relief to people with respiratory disorders
Encourages the muscles of the face, throat, and nose to relax
Warms the throat, neck and whole body
Tones the lungs
Keeps life force circulating in the body
Improves your digestion
Can resolve insomnia, anxiety, and both physical and mental tension
Increases relaxation, concentration and leaves you with a quiet mind
Increases energy, vitality and stamina
Increases oxygenation of cells
Increases mental clarity and inward-turned awareness
Increases prāna (life force) and thus, your joy, confidence, motivation, and your sense of your life’s purpose
Speeds any and all healing processes
Is more restful to the body and mind than a nap
Balances the nervous system (parasympathetic and sympathetic)
Stabilizes and strengthens the integrity of the immune system