What is Ujjayi breath and how does it work?

Gabrielle Koster

If you sometimes or frequently attend a yoga class, you’ve probably heard your teacher at least once talk about Ujjayi breath. Also called The Ocean Breath, because it can sound like the ocean. But whát is it and why do yogi’s use it?

What is Ujjayi Breath?

Here it goes: Ujjayi breath literally means victorious breath in Sanskrit. It is a so called diaphragmatic breath. It fills your lower belly first (where your root and belly chakras are), then rises to the lower rib cage (the heart chakra). Last but not least, it flows to your upper chest and throat (where your throat chakra is located).

How do you ‘do’ it?

You basically contract your throat muscles, making a sort of rushing (or slightly snoring) sound. You breath through your nose in and out. And don’t be afraid of that sound.

Why would you do it?

It is thought that Ujjayi breath is a balancing and calming way of increasing oxygenation and building internal body heat. People also use it to stay grounded during a yoga practice.

Do you use Ujjayi breath during your yoga practice?