Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Most Healing Sound

I was reminded last Saturday of the Ujjayi Breath (or victory breath) at my Svaroopa yoga class. I had learned this type of breathing about three years ago, and have only occasionally practiced it. Because of what I've relearned, I am going to employ this method of breathing a few times a day. Our bodies and minds recognize this breath as a healing breath--actually the most healing sound there is. It's that important!

Ujjayi breathing is a way of breathing that calms the nervous system, helps to relax your mind, and also can help you sleep better. The easiest way I have found to make this work is to slightly point my chin down toward my chest:  this opens the airway as well as constricts the flow at the same time. Your breath should be the same length on the inhale as with the exhale. If you notice a subtle snoring sound, you're on the right track. This can be done at any time, but be careful not to use this method of breathing if you are in a difficult pose. You should be relaxed to allow the air to flow freely through the airways.

Another way to practice this breath is to clear your throat. When you do this, notice the muscles that you used to clear your throat. Continue clearing your throat (epiglottis is working) so that the sound eminated from you is a sound only you can hear. Keep the epiglottis engaged as you continue to breathe in and out slowly. Notice all the subtle changes in your body when you practice this.

I know for me, this has been wonderful. I tend to panic when I feel my pain has worsened. If I can remember to practice this ujjayi breath, I can lessen the pain and remain calm.

I posted a few links that give a much better explanation than I can. Enjoy!

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