Having a hard time falling asleep at night? Well, you are not alone! According to a study, around 50 to 70 million adults are suffering from a sleep disorder, with men reporting a higher insomnia rate than women. In case you are finding it difficult to sleep at night, try the Ujjayi breathing technique.
Insomnia includes various causes such as chronic pain, overactive mind, sleep apnea, stress, hormonal changes, etc. Lack of sleep in turn can worsen these conditions, resulting in depleting a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and daytime fatigue. However, practicing Ujjayi breathing can relieve many underlying problems to help bring peace of mind and balance in your life. This in turn results in deeper, sound, and more regular sleep. Thus, it improves the overall quality of your life.
Don’t know how to do the Ujjayi breathing exercise? Fret not! This post will guide you on how to do it and how it helps in falling asleep at night. Read on.
What is Ujjayi Breathing?
Ujjayi pranayama is a breathing exercise that enables you to calm and relax your mind by focusing on your breath. This helps in overriding thoughts that can possibly distract you from your meditative state. Once done properly, Ujjayi breathing should be both relaxing and energizing.
Yoga Sutra, Patanjali suggests that the breath should be both suksma (smooth) and dirga (long). The sound of Ujjayi is made by gently compressing the opening of the throat to create some resistance to the passage of air. Softly pushing the breath out on exhalation and softly pulling the breath in while inhalation creates a well-modulated and soothing sound – something like the sound of ocean waves rolling out and in.
Ujjayi breath is also known as:
- Ocean breathing
- Whispering breathing
- Ujjayi pranayama
- Victorious breath
- Snake breathing
- Snoring breathing
- Throat breathing
- Darth Vader breath
Ujjayi Breathing Technique For Deep Sleep
Most yogis are aware of ocean breath or Ujjayi breath. It is the best yoga for insomnia that includes constricting the back of your throat while breathing. It is often used with breath-based asanas such as Ashtanga yoga and Vinyasa yoga. This breathing also helps you fall asleep.
How to Do Ujjayi Breathing Yoga?
- Keep your lips closed.
- Constrict your throat to the point where your breathing makes a rushing noise, nearly like snoring.
- Control your breath with the diaphragm.
- Keep an equal duration of your inhalations and exhalations.
Despite the fact that there is a constriction of the throat, the Ujjayi breath flows out and in via the nostrils with the mouth remaining gently closed. The breath must be both smooth, long, and subtle, letting the air reach all the cells in your lungs. It may appear like a lot of work in the beginning but ultimately, it will become effortless.
Ujjayi Breathing Benefits
In addition to making you fall asleep properly, Ujjayi breath also offers various other benefits, including:
- Improved Concentration
- Regulated Body Temperature
- Tension Release
How to Use Ujjayi Pranayama for Sleeplessness?
As soon as you have learned the Ujjayi pranayama technique, you can use it as the guided sleep meditation for insomnia when going to bed. Lie on your bed in a comfortable position and start relaxing your body.
Get started with a couple of regular deeper breaths and slowly shift to Ujjayi breathing. Breathe in slowly for a count of 4 and exhale slowly for the count of 5-7. It is crucial that the exhalation and inhalation are deep, slow, soft, and long without any stress in the throat muscles. Stress, in any form, may have a contrary impact. It is recommended that do not use any force. Let it come as naturally as possible. Only 7-10 Ujjayi breaths should be enough to catch some z’s.
Ques 1) What does ujjayi breath do?
Ans) Ujjayi breathing works on your central nervous system and lowers your mental chatter. Moreover, it can help in releasing your mental tension. Furthermore, Ujjayi breathing helps you regulate your body temperature. Hence, you can learn how to warm up your body on chilly days.
Ques 2) What muscles are being used during the ujjayi breath?
Ans) You use a diaphragm when you practice Ujjayi breathing. Hence, it strengthens the lining and working muscles of the diaphragm that further helps in taking longer and deep breaths.
Ques 3) Which pranayama is best for anxiety?
Ans) Any pranayama exercise that helps you take control of your breath and pulls you out of mental chatter is the best for relieving anxiety and stress. Thus, make sure you take breaths deep into your lungs to have better results.