Sunday, March 30, 2014

WTFitness - Uujayi Breath

Today I'd like to talk about uujayi. I can picture some of you right now, "wtf is she talking about". That is precisely what I'd like to do today, tell you W(hat)TF it is, W(hy)TF you should care about it, and W(hen)TF to use it in your life. Get yourself into a comfy seat, lotus optional, we are about to get our yoga technique on.

For those who don't attend yoga classes/workshops regularly, uujayi is a particular type of breathing pattern. To perform a uujayi breath, inhale slowly through your nostrils for a count of four, open your mouth just a smidgen and breathe out for 6-8 counts like you're trying to fog a mirror. Your exhale should sound like a deep and relaxed "haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah", like the crash of far off ocean waves. Take a minute to practice, here's something serene to look at while you do it.


Nice, no? Feeling a little more zen than you were when you started reading this? Thought so. So, why should you care?

Benefits of ujjayi :
  1. relieves stress
  2. induces relaxation
  3. calms you down
  4. thought to reduce depression
  5. thought to reduce anxiety

When should you practice ujjayi? I like to practice in my car when I'm driving. Not only does it totally help with dealing with traffic, it's nice to turn off the radio once in a while and just breathe. Ujjayi is a passive enough activity that it doesn't distract me while I'm driving. Other awesome times to practice ujjayi are just before you're going to bed, even when you're lying in bed and about to fall asleep, before or after a yoga practice, or even while waiting in line to buy groceries, get your coffee, smoothie, fresh squeezed juice, whatever. I've even used ujjayi, discreetly, during meetings or public speaking events, takes care of my nerves pretty quickly.

Once you get a handle on ujjayi when you're still, breathing in this manner comes much easier during yoga practice or whenever you need to incorporate it into your life.

Happy breathing!

Interested in where I got my info? Check these links out.

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