How To Do Ujjayi Breath

Ujjayi BreathUjjayi Breath might take a little while to master but it’s well worth it because it has a calming and soothing effect on mind and body. The deeply relaxing effect of the Victorious Breath Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai-ee, also called the Ocean Breath) is due to the rasping sound and gentle vibrations it produces within the body. The Ujjayi Breath also encourages deep breathing. In Hatha yoga, it is used frequently while holding poses.

How to do Ujjayi Breath
  • To practice Ujjayi Breath, sit upright or lie down. Arms are resting at the side of your body.
  • Inhale and exhale slowly through the nose while constricting the muscles in your throat. This will produce the rasping sound. Try to make inhalation and exhalation equal or the exhalation longer than the inhalation. Counting helps. Repeat for at least 12 breaths.
  • If you find it difficult to make the sound, imagine making the ‘n’ sound as in the word ‘no’ but with the lips closed.
  • Another way of learning is to imagine that you are exhaling to make the sound ‘haaah’ as if you were trying to fog up a mirror but keeping the mouth closed. There should be no strain on the throat, and the vocal cords are not involved.
  • If it is difficult to do the Ujjayi Breath on both inhalation and exhalation, try to master the exhalation first, while inhaling normally.
  • Observe if you are holding tension in our body during the practice, for example in the shoulders or the face. Consciously relax these areas.

At the beginning, Ujjayi Breath may feel strange and may require effort. You may even get tired. Over time, it will become effortless and will feel natural. Should the technique feel uncomfortable or should you feel lightheaded or dizzy, stop immediately.

The inhalation, the return movement of breath, sustains life.
The outgoing breath purifies life.
We breathe out the old air, the old thoughts, the old feelings.
(Vijnana Bhairava Tantra)