Ujjayi breath

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Description:
Ujjayi breathing is a breath technique employed in a variety of Hindu and Taoist Yoga practices. In relation to Hindu Yoga, it is sometimes called "the ocean breath". Unlike some other forms of pranayama, the ujjayi breath is typically done in association with asana practice.

Ujjayi is a diaphragmatic breath, which first fills the lower belly (activating the first and second chakras), rises to the lower rib cage (the third and fourth chakras), and finally moves into the upper chest and throat. The technique is very similar to the three-part Tu-Na breathing found in Taoist Qi Gong practice.

Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. The "ocean sound" is created by moving the glottis as air passes in and out. As the throat passage is narrowed so, too, is the airway, the passage of air through which creates a "rushing" sound. The length and speed of the breath is controlled by the diaphragm, the strengthening of which is, in part, the purpose of ujjayi. The inhalations and exhalations are equal in duration, and are controlled in a manner that causes no distress to the practitioner.

Claimed benefits

According to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who taught the creators of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and others,Fernando Pag├ęs Ruiz, "" in Yoga Journal Ujjayi Pranayama is a balancing and calming breath which increases oxygenation and builds internal body heat. The Hawaiian yoga...
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