Ujjayi Pranayama

UJJAYI

Can be done sitting in meditation pose or lying, or even standing and going about your day....

Ujjayi involves both awareness of the breath as it moves and the actual physiological contraction of the throat muscles, at the glottis. 

Relax the body.

Be aware of the breath travelling in and out through the nose. 

Eventually imagine that the breath is being drawn in and out through a small hole in the front of the throat. To do this contract the muscles of the glottis very slightly. This would be akin, if you imagine it, to squeezing a garden hose very lightly to compress the sides so that there is a slight increase in the water pressure. The sound you will now be making is the soft snoring sound that a baby makes when it is asleep. It is a very soft hissing or snoring sound like steam being released. If you whisper aloud to someone (in a library say) you make the same contraction of the glottis - so it is a small painless contraction. No weird stuff, right! No big efforts!! No contortions of the face.

Breathing this way automatically lengthens the inhalations and exhalations, and tends to keep the breath in the abdomen (where it is best suited to being)..

Concentrate on the easy, gentle, snoring sound produced in the throat. The sound should be audible to you, but not to someone unless sitting very nearby. It is an effortless process. The slight contraction should be maintained throughout at the same level.

When you become comfortable practice Ujjayi with Khechari Mudra, folding back the tongue. This stops the throat becoming dry.

This pranayama is a tranquilliser, slows down the breath and heart rate, and lowers blood pressure.It is very good for pain relief, even for labour pains. It happens spontaneously during sleep when the external mind is withdrawn so it is very natural to the body. 

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