UJAYII BREATH (THE OCEAN BREATH) for detoxification + core strength
What if we told you that the days that you felt too short of breath or time were the perfect time to think about toning your abdominals? A pranayama technique, Ujjayi, is practiced by many schools of yoga to help strengthen the mind body connection. It slowly burns off all toxic waste clogging up our inner spokes and helps tone the core muscles that are somewhat hard to access without vigorous cardio + crunch time. Well, not exactly, there are many more ways to a toned stomach than burning your back over grueling ab workouts, but would you ever think a breathing technique could get you there?
Through my Ashtanga practice, I have developed gratitude for this pranayama technique as it helps my entire torso move as one sturdy unit and bring my attention back to the inner body. But that sounds SO lukewarm and won't necessarily draw you in.
Here are five reason why you should consider practicing Ujjayi breathing when you have reached the point of I just cant even.
- BUILDS ENERGY
- BUILDS INTERNAL BODY HEAT
- OXYGENATES THE BLOOD
- DETOXIFIES MIND AND BODY
- STRENGTHENS THE CORE
Aside from in my Ashtanga practice, I practice Ujjayi breathing through just about anything. Whether I am doing desk work, meditating as I cook in the kitchen, running with my boyfriend, listening to my friends chuck over information to me, driving to and from in my car, and especially when I am showering. I don't have a daily meditation practice, I am just not there yet. When I desperately need to sit down and breathe, I do. But as a moving meditation that I can keep with me through my days, I practice Ujjayi breathing to center + calm + settle my mind so that I can stay violently creative in my work.
To practice ocean breathing, sit in a comfortable upright position with your eyes closed and neck relaxed. Seal your lips closed and start to inhale through your nose. Instead of exhaling through your mouth, you want to keep the heat within your body (heat starts detoxification), close off the back of the throat (the glottis) and let the exhale roll off the back of your throat and out through your nose. You should hear your breath. It is a form of audible breathing and the sound of your breath has just as much to do with the actual pranayama "form" itself. If you are working towards building a meditation practice, this is a swimmingly decent place to start.
For additional instruction, check this bad girl here.