Ujjayi comes from the language of Yoga, Sanskrit means ‘victorious’. It has a root of Ujji which means to imply higher in rank. It is also called a victory over decay and death. Ujjai has a deep impression on physical body, pranic body and mental body. Hatha Yoga Pradipika defines Ujjayi as:-
“Poorvavakta kumbh yet pranam, rechaye didya thatha;
Slesham doshharam kanthe dehanal vivardhanam.”
Do kumbhaka as before and exhale through ida(left nostril). This removes phlegm from the throat and stimulates the digestive fire.
How to practice Ujjayi Pranayama
- Ujjayi can be practiced in any comfortable Asana in which the body is straight so there could be proper respiration through nose passage.
- Be aware about natural breathing system and feel air passing down to the heart through windpipe.
- Slightly contract the region of throat during inhalation and it is recommendable to practice ‘SO’ sound during breathe in.
- Exhale through Ida or left nostril with sound of ‘HUM’ and it produces a light snoring sound. It should generate from the throat not from mouth.
- After retention Prana in the lungs practice Jalandhar Bandha to activate thyroid. It is simply to drop down the chin towards chest.
- During retention of air flow Prana should not move down to the heart. It is basically for the safety of thoracic region. In this practice Prana flows from throat to the heart.
- There is a long exhalation to release more CO2 out from the body so the lungs are detoxified.
Benefits of practicing Ujjayi Pranayama
- Ujjayi is highly recommendable for the patients of Insomnia.
- It is so effective to release tension and to cure mental disorders.
- It lengthens the breath.
- Ujjaiyi is one of the effective Yoga for thyroid disease and all the other throat problems.
- It strengthens the heart and lungs.
- Ujjaiyi has a tremendous working on Vishudi and Anahata chakras and to activate them.
- It is so helpful to make body more stable.
- This Pranayama is wonderful for them who have a cough, sinus, and allergy problems.
- It stimulates vagus nerve and calms the mind.
- Beneficial in snoring problems.
- It activates Jathragini or digestive fire.
- Beneficial for those who have stammering and lisp problem.
Contraindications of Ujjaiyi Pranayama
- It should not be practiced with a fast pace if there is any heart condition.
- In case of low blood pressure it should be avoided.
- Do it with the empty stomach or 4-5 hours after the meal.
- In case of any headache or dizziness, do not practice immediately.
- Do not force yourself.
Best time to practice Ujjaiyi Pranayama
- Brahma muhurat or before sunrise.
- At sunset after 5-6 hours of meal. It must practice after Kapalbhati.