Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Ujjai is a Sanskrit word came from Ud+jaya
Ud means moving up, flying up, rising up
Jaya means victory (over) or success.
So, Ujjai breath is a technique through which a practitioner get the victory over the body, senses, breath and mind.
Ujjai breath, or the victorious breath, is a technique worth having for optimum living. If you realize that you can’t sleep, need to relax, regain your health, joy or prepare your mind for concentration and meditation, definitely you should practice this technique and enjoy its benefits.
Ujjai breath is an integral part of Hatha Yoga that you can practice at any time, in any position/posture.
Sit in any comfortable meditation asana, back straight, align your neck with the spine. Close the eyes, and relax the whole body.
Gently contract the glottis (chin slightly down) so that you can create a soft snoring sound, like the breathing of a sleeping baby. This sound should come from the throat, not the nostrils.
Inhalation and exhalation should be deep, long and must be controlled, but not by the force.
Bring your attention on this snoring sound. Make the sound smooth and constant. Try to focus on that sound.
It should be audible only by the practitioner, hardly someone close to you can listen.
Soothes the nervous system
Calms the mind
Has a deeply relaxing and healing effect at the psychic level
Helps to relieve insomnia
Slows down the heart rate and useful for those suffering from high blood pressure
Good for problems relative to thyroid
Makes the blood circulation proper in the body
Throat infection, or any kind of pain in the throat region.
Ujjai breath and ujjai pranayama are different things. All the disciplines and guidelines need to be observed for ujjai pranayama because it has the retention (or kumbhaka) in it, but ujjai breath, not.
So, ujjai breath is almost for all and can be practiced at anytime and anywhere.