Ujjayi Pranayama

Ujjayi Pranayama, Ujjayi word comes from the language of Yoga, Sanskrit means ‘victorious’. It has a root of Ujji which means to imply higher rank. 

It is also called a victory over decay and death. It has a deep impression on the physical body, pranic body and mental body. Hatha Yoga Pradipika defines Ujjayi as:-

Poorvavakta Kumbh yet pranam, rechaye didya tatha; Slesham doshharam kanthe dehanal vivardhanam.

Do Kumbhaka as before and exhale through Ida(left nostril). This removes phlegm from the throat and stimulates the digestive fire.

How to practice Ujjayi Pranayama

  • Ujjayi Pranayama can be practised in any comfortable Asana in which the body is straight so there could be proper respiration through nose passage.
  • Be aware of the natural breathing system and feel air passing down to the heart through the windpipe.
  • Slightly contract the region of the throat during inhalation and it is recommendable to practice ‘SO’ sound during breathing in.
  • Exhale through Ida or left nostril with the sound of ‘HUM’ and it produces a light snoring sound. It should generate from the throat, not from the mouth.
  • After retention Prana in the lungs practice Jalandhar Bandha to activate the thyroid. It is simply to drop down the chin towards the chest.
  • During the retention of airflow, Prana should not move down to the heart. It is basically for the safety of the thoracic region. In this practice, Prana flows from the throat to the heart.
  • There is a long exhalation to release more CO2 out from the body so the lungs are detoxified.


Yogi Vivek practising Ujjayi Pranayama

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Benefits of practising Ujjayi Pranayama

  • Ujjayi Pranayama is highly recommendable for patients with Insomnia.
  • It is so effective to release tension and to cure mental disorders.
  • It lengthens the breath.
  • Ujjayi is one of the most effective Yoga for thyroid disease and all the other throat problems.
  • It strengthens the heart and lungs.
  • It has a tremendous working on Vishudi and Anahata chakras and to activate them.
  • It is so helpful to make the body more stable.
  • Ujjayi Pranayama has a similar working to Surya Bhedi Pranayama and it is excellent for those who have cough, sinus, and allergy problems.
  • It stimulates the vagus nerve and calms the mind.
  • Beneficial in snoring problems.
  • It activates Jathragini or digestive fire.
  • Beneficial for those who have stammering and lisp problem.

Contraindications of Ujjayi Pranayama

  • Ujjayi Pranayama should not be practised at a fast pace if there is any heart condition.
  • In the case of low blood pressure, it should be avoided.
  • Attempt it with an empty stomach or 4-5 hours after the meal.
  • In case of any headache or dizziness, do not practice immediately.
  • Do not force yourself.

Best time to practise Ujjayi Pranayama

  • Brahma muhurta or before sunrise.
  • At sunset after 5-6 hours of a meal. It must practice after Kapalbhati.
Note: Have a look at our YouTube channel Yog Niketan Dham for Yogic practices related videos. For curing Thyroid disorders watch this video: