Uujayi breathing is where the back of the throat closes a little, which restricts the out flow of air. This makes the breath longer and has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Learning uujayi breathing
Initially breathing out through your mouth as if you were trying to mist up a mirror works to get the right feeling. To do uujayi breathing you keep this feeling but gently close the lips and breath out through your nose.
When to use Uujayi
Sometimes uujayi breathing is taught very strongly and done throughout asana practice. I dont recommend this partocularly. The breath is a very refined and sensitive thing – its our very life fore. I favour a usually think a genlte and steady practice rather than drama, but please do as feels right for you. I suggest sitting quietly and easing into this breath ofr 5 minutes or so. Notice how you feel before, during, and after. Your key to learning pranayama (breathing in sanskrit) is noticing how it affects you. When you have proff for yourself it is much easier to embed a practice as it has become your own.
The sound of Uuajyi
I was teaching uujayi breathing online (as all my classes are right now with lockdown) and as it was online nobody could hear my breathing with the microphone. So here is the lovely sound of uujayi breathing.
I wouldnt normall record my own strange breathing sounds, however in my service to helping others learn yoga – here it is!
I have also included 3 videos – the sound inside a seashell, darth veda and waves. They all have the same sort of deep raspy rhythm of uujayi breathing. Ofcourse Darth Veda is a personal favourite. Just imagining I am Darth Veda bereathing through a mask is a quick way of connecting with uujayi breathing for me. The sound you hear when you take a shell to your ear, or of repeptiitve waves also help and are rather more traditional anaologies.