Ujjayi – Learn this basic yoga technique in 8 steps!

“What do I breath in Ujjayi, how can i learn it?”

This is a frequent question, made by students in the end of the class, when they come to yoga for the first time.

Literal meaning from Sanskrit

UD = rise or expand
JAYA = conquer, success, be victorious
UJJAYI means “one who is victorious”

Used as a basic technique in yoga classes

  • Ujjayi is used as a technique for harmonious flow in asana practice.
  • It can also be performed as an exclusive technique of Pránáyáma in the sitting postures.

The continuous and delicate sound produced in the back of the throat when we inhale and exhale, as well as consciously rhythmic breathing, characterize the practice of Ujjayi.

Preparation for your technical execution

  1. In asana practice: you can start from Tadasana or adho-mukha Savásana.
  2. To practice Pránáyáma: sit in samanásana, sidhásana, padmásana or baddha konásana.

Ujjayi technique in 8 steps!

  1. Adjust the control of the abdominal strap, moving the lower abdominal area (between the pubic bone and the navel) slightly retracted backwards and upwards.
  2. Remain for about 5 to 10 breaths, simply observing spontaneous breathing.
  3. Always maintaining strictly nasal breathing, now make the delicate adjustment of the glottis, contracting it partially (it is a contraction as if you had just swallowed), thus producing a subtle and delicate continuous noise in the back of the throat, during inspiration and expiration.
  4. Keeps the sound continuous and uniform from the beginning to the end of the breath.
  5. The time of inspiration and expiration must be equal.
  6. You must keep the rhythm of breathing, uniform and constant.
  7. During the execution, when inhaling you should gradually expand the chest, filling the lungs; When exhaling, you must empty your lungs by closing your chest. These two movements must be synchronized with the breath.
  8. Learn to use the external intercostal muscles on inspiration to expand the chest, pulling the lateral ribs away from each other. The internal intercostal muscles on exhalation, to expel the air from the lungs, bringing the ribs together (here, do not allow the centre of the chest to sink between the shoulders).

During the asana practice, you should try to keep performing Ujjayi continuously, thus keeping your mind always focused and calm.

The benefits that the regular practice of this technique can bring are several, but mainly:

  • Calms the mind and central nervous system
  • It is beneficial in pathologies related to stress
  • Helps reduce high blood pressure
  • Beneficial in asthma problems
  • Contributes to minimize insomnia problems, making breathing more peaceful
  • Induces a state of interiority, facilitator of meditation techniques
  • Improves and develops conscious control of all the muscles involved in the breathing process

Practice your Ujjayi now with Surya Namascar Classic!