Week 63: Ujjayi Breath
As I said last week, my body is ever changing and in this week's practice I've already experienced how I must modify and/or change poses.
I'm particularly feeling that lying on my stomach is not very comfortable nor on my back. I can withstand it for some time but long durations don't seem to work anymore.
Instead this week, I've put more emphasis on my breathing, specifically the ujjayi breath. It has been a breathing technique I've done for years but really haven't explored it in much detailed. I thought this was a fitting time.
Yoga Journal describes ujjayi technique as "[g]ently pulling the breath in on inhalation and gently pushing the breath out on exhalation [which] against this resistance creates a well-modulated and soothing sound—something like the sound of ocean waves rolling in and out." In practice, I've used the "haaaa" sound, which translates well into the ocean wave sound.
The technique typically modulates the breath and creates a nice balance between the inhalation and exhalation. It is commonly translated into "victorious breath". How fitting as it can be used to calm the body (victory over discomfort?). Ujjayi breath is such a soothing and relaxing breath and using it during challenging poses is extremely helpful. And now being pregnant, it too is helpful when moving a body that is slightly different from the norm.
And it so happened that I received an email recently from Leslie Kaminoff, of www.yogaanatomy.net and author of Yoga Anatomy, with a perfect video outlining some key parts of the ujjayi breath. Click here for his take on ujjayi breathing.
As this pregnancy moves into the later weeks, the emphasis on breath will be ever important! It's good to start working on it now!
The power of the breath always amazes me,
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Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.