2008

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Ujjayi breathing

 

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This is another pranayama that I love to practice and teach, it is the Ujjayi Breath  - “the breath on which to rest the mind”1.

Here I will describe it exactly as I taught it at my class this evening (of course it’s always better to be in a class and learn it “live”).  In this description it is the ujjayi breath as a pranayama practice (it is also used in the physical practice of Ashtanga). 


There are variations of teaching and practice, this is my current practice.  However, I also like work with more control of the abdomen, keeping a subtle drawing in while the breath expands the chest.


It is better to sit for the practice, not lie down, as you can drift off a bit.  However it is a great breath to help you sleep and, if you have been ill or injured and maybe can’t continue with your usual yoga practice then lie down and enjoy the balancing and restoring effects.


There are various positions for sitting or kneeling - not many people I know are totally comfortable in the full lotus position but if it’s ok for you then that’s the one to do.  Otherwise try half-lotus, cross-legged or kneeling.  Use a block or blanket to lift your hips, pad your knees and ankles.  You can also use a prayer stool or sit on a chair.  You must feel comfortable so you can relax - experiment with your position.  Make sure you will be warm and undisturbed.


You can now listen to a recording of the practice here

Transcript of Recording
Ujjayi_transcript.html

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