Ujjayi

Ujjayi breathing can be an extremely helpful practice once you get the hang of it. Until then it is going to feel very awkward! To practice you can try it lying down or in a seated position. The ujjayi breathing is created by gently constricting the opening of the throat to create some resistance to the passage of air. Gently pulling the breath in on inhalation and gently pushing the breath out on exhalation against this resistance creates a well-modulated and soothing sound—something like the sound of ocean waves rolling in and out. The key to Ujjayi breathing is relaxation. Inhaling can be more challenging with ujjayi so try to focus just on the exhales to start. One way to think about the breathing is as if you were sipping the breath in through a straw. If the suction is too strong the straw collapses and great force is required to suck anything through it. Once Ujjayi breathing is mastered in a supine or seated position, the challenge is to maintain the same quality of breathing throughout your asana (postures) practice.