Ujjayi Pranayam , Its Meaning , Technique & Benefits on Human Body

Ujjayi Pranayama : The prefix ‘Ud’ menas upward or expanding. It also conveys the sense of pre-eminence of power.‘Jaya means conquest or success & from another point of view , restraint. In Ujjai , the lungs are fully expanded , with the chest thrust put like that of a mighty conqueror.

All stages of this Pranayama expect those with retention(kumbhaka) may be done at any time. However , if the heart feel heavy , full or painful or the diaphragm is hard , & if you are agitated or the heart beat is abnormal , lie down after lying two planks on the floor each about one feet square & half inch thick on the top of each other. Rest the back on the planks ,with your buttocks below them & arms stretched down wards.

According to Hath yoga Pradipika ,“Having closed the opening of nadi(larynx), the air should be drawn in such a way that it goes touching from the throat to the chest ,& making noise while passing”.

Detailed Technique : Sit in any comfortable position eg. Padamasana , Siddhasana , Virasana or any convienient posture. Exhale whatever breath is in the lungs. Breath in deeply. After full inhalation , retain the breath(Antra kumbhaka) for ten seconds.

Breath out deeply.After full exhalation, hold the breath(bhari kumbhaka) with Uddiyan Bandha for five seconds & inhale deeply. This complete one cycle. Exhale & take or three deep in & out breath. Then repeat the cycle of Kumbhaka , followed again by two or three deep in & out breath. Do five to six cycle , ending with inhalation. Then lie down in Shavasana.

Precautions : Do not practice this pranayama in dirty or smoky place. Do not practice when wind blows forcefully.

Benefits of Pranayama : Better oxygenation ,equalisation of effort in inspiration & expiration.
Feeling of harmony. Quietening of mind & emotions. Increase in capacity & elasticity of lungs. Reduction in rate of breathing , improved concentration. Feeling of self-satisfaction within. This Pranayama brings amazing relief to patients with enlarged ventricles & congenital heart defects.


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