Ujjayi Pranayama – 5 Benefits, easy to do technique and Contraindications

What is Ujjayi Pranayama

This is the basic form of pranayama.

Ut means “expand” in Sanskrit, jaya means ”conquest,” prana means “life force,” and ayama is the “distribution” of that force or energy.

Pranayama is not just cycles of inhalation and exhalation, nor is it merely deep breathing.

The practice of pranayama goes beyond these to link our physiological and spiritual dimensions.

Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama

  1. Relieves depression and boosts confidence
  2. Alleviates heart disorders
  3. Normalizes the blood pressure
  4. Relieves asthma
  5. Invigorates the nervous system

Here is the video with instructions on the technique to practice the Ujjayi Pranayama

How to do Ujjayi Pranayama

Here are the step by step instructions on how to do Ujjayi Pranayama

Beginners instructions

  1. While doing this Ujjayi Pranayama, make sure your spine, head and neck are straight
  2. Relax your face
  3. Do not constrict your nose
  4. Avoid jerks and hasty movements

Step 1

Close your mouth and constrict your throat

Step 2

Now start inhaling after exhaling for a few seconds, this inhalation needs to be long, very slow and rhythmic and without jerks

Step 3

Then allow the air into your throat and you will start noticing a kind of friction sound

Step 4

Continue your inhalation until you feel fullness in your chest

Step 5

Try to hold your inhalation for 6 seconds

Step 6

Now, try to exhale as naturally as possible

Step 7

Then start taking normal breaths and relax

Contraindications and Cautions

  • Ujjayi Pranayama is not recommended for beginners.
  • Intermediates must practice with props.
  • Never swallow your saliva during or between inhalation and exhalation.
  • Swallow after a complete exhalation.
  • Do not practice if you have a severe backache or constipation.
  • Do not practice this pranayama if you are feeling tired, because exertion can be harmful for the lungs and the heart.
  • Do not practice strenuous yoga asanas after pranayama.
  • Before pranayama, practice a few reclining asanas to expand the abdominal cavity and the diaphragm.
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