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Breathing Technique Which Feature Uniform Smooth South – Ujjayi Breath

Ujjayi breath or pranayama is a breathing technique characterized by a uniform, smooth sound. It is one of the eight forms of pranayama practiced in hatha yoga.

Ujjayi breath involves holding breath inside the lungs after inhalation. In some texts this technique is known as ujjapi. The special feature of this breathing technique is that a hissing sound is produced by partial closure of the glottis while inhaling and exhaling. That may be also the reason for calling it ujjapi. The sound should not come through the nose but only through the throat. It should be a uniform, smooth sound and should be produced throughout the stages of inhalation and exhalation.

Assuming a firm sitting posture, such as the adept pose, lotus pose or swastika pose, keeping the back and neck upright and the eyes close, the inhaling is done through both the nostrils, producing a uniform, smooth sound through the throat. The hands are kept on the knees, with the palms turned down. After the lungs are filled completely, the breath is held inside. This is kumbhaka. The three locks chin lock, abdominal lock and anal lock are applied while suspending the breath. This is followed by exhalation through the left nostril.

A fixed number of rounds are gone through depending on practice. The proportion of time allotted to the three stages of inhalation, exhalation and suspending the breath is 1:1:2 for a beginner, 1:4:2 for an advanced practitioner. It is not safe for the an uninitiated person to do these ratios.

It is mentioned in Hatha Yoga Pradipika (II 51-52) that Ujjayi pranayama can be practiced while standing or walking. But in that case the suspending of breath is not done.

Ujjayi is said to help in the prevention and cure of disorders connected with throat and abdomen, and to improve appetite and digestion.