Monday, March 31, 2008

Ujjayi Pranayama Asana Yoga Postures Step By Step

Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious breath), which stretches the breath, warms it before entering the lungs, and helps to build heat in the body. Through this heat, the internal Agni or ‘fire' is stoked, and a powerful healing process is unlocked.

Ujjayi Pranayama is sometimes called the ocean sounding breath. Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. The air is taken into the back of the throat with a constriction of the muscles, resulting in a hissing sound - an ocean sound. As the throat passage is narrowed the speed of the air passing through it is increased. This makes the breath long and thin.

Ujjayi (The "loud breathing"): This consists of drawing air in through both nostrils with the glottis held partially closed. Ujjayi translates as "what clears the throat and masters the chest area." This partial closure of the glottis produces a sound like that heard in sobbing, except that it is continuous and unbroken. The sound should have a low but uniform pitch and be pleasant to hear. Friction of air in the nose should be avoided; consequently no nasal sounds will be heard. A prolonged full pause should begin, without any jerking, as soon as inhalation has been completed. Closure of glottis, use of chin lock and closure of both nostrils are standard. Prolong the pause as long as possible; but it should be terminated and exhalation commenced smoothly and slowly. When properly performed, exhalation proceeds slowly and steadily through the left nostril with the glottis partially closed as in inhalation. One may begin to exhale with release of air pressure by lifting the finger from his left nostril, loosening his chin lock and then partially opening his glottis. Exhalation should be complete.

Sit in a comfortable meditative pose or lie in savasana.
Become aware of the natural breathing process and feel the air passing down through the windpipe. Slightly cntract the region at the back of the throat as you do when you swallow.
Inhale and exhale through the nose with the mouth closed.
Make the inhalation and exhalation long, deep and controlled.
Practice full yogic breathing and concentrate on the sound.
Begin practicing for 3 minutes and progressively work your way up to 10 minutes.
Practice as above, but fold the tongue back so that the tip of the tongue presses the back of the soft palate on the roof of the mouth.
As you inhale say “sa” to yourself and as you exhale say “ha.” Repeat ten times.
Inhalation and exhalation should be of equal duration, smooth and relaxed.
Notice your mind wandering as you practice breathing and keep bringing your mind back to the breath.
Focus on the exhalation. Notice where your breath normally stops. Increase the fullness of the exhalation.

Calms the mind and the body
The breath becomes a focal point which increase concentration
Meditation practice become easier to concentrate
Stimulates Circulation and metabolism
Increases prana
Increases sense
stimulates olfactory glands
Lungs absorbs oxygen more completely by opening the alveoli in the lungs.

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