Move with your breath ~ Be with your breath
If you're listening to your breath, you're not listening to your mind.
Okay, so what is Ujjayi, this breath that "talks"? Imagine the sound of an ocean rushing to shore, or the sound of Darth Vader breathing. Quite different images, to say the least, but the intensity of sound is the same. Have you ever taken in a comfortably deep breath and then let it out to fog up a mirror? These all describe the sound of Ujjayi. (That's our youngest son standing in the surf many years ago at Nauset Beach on Cape Cod.)
- Settle into a comfortable seated position and begin to focus on your breath coming in and going out of your nostrils.
- After several regular breaths, draw your breath in slowly while contracting the back of your throat. The sound of Ujjayi comes from constricting the back of your throat as you breath out, much the way you would do for fogging up that mirror.
- On your inhalation, create a sound like an ocean wave or a snore through your nostrils as your breath passes over your windpipe.
- As you exhale through your nose continue to create the sound of the ocean wave or a snore.
- Make the sound audible enough so that someone sitting next to you can hear it. Serenade them with your breath!
- As you create the Ujjayi breath, allow your abdomen to expand and contract as in the 3-part Yogic Breath.
Benefits of Ujjayi
- The single biggest benefit is to assist with concentration and focus.
- As noted above, if you're listening to your breath, you're not listening to your mind.