Ujjayi Pranayama

The throated breath

The control of the breath is attained in the throat at the glottis and hence Ujjayi is often called the throated breath as opposed to normal nasal breath. Ujjayi pranayama is know to have variations, especially with respect to the inner attention on guiding the energy between specific points located with in the body.

When done correctly this thin and long pranayama technique, increasingly impacts the cleansing and rejuvenation of the subtle nerve and energy pathways (nadi) and tones specific glands and muscles in the throat based on how subtly and effortlessly it is done.

Some of the markers of correct ujjayi breath are a rubbing sensation, and a gentle hissing sound from the internal breath flow, a slight pressure at the site of the glottis or a gentle closure and the back of the throat, and a feeling of a complete movement of the breath from the pelvic floor to the top of the chest. With repeated practice, the ujjayi breath can be mastered and should become a natural extension of your yoga practice.

The technique involves controlling the duration and flow of inhalation or exhalation at the glottis between the larynx and trachea. The yogin learns to focus at the back of the throat and voluntarily contract the muscles of the larynx next to the vocal cords; The breath control is reproducibly mastered through the voluntary impulse of the vagus nerve which facilites the muscular contraction. When the glottis is partially closed the regulation of the air passage is accomplished.