A Go-To Breathing Technique to “Calm Your Farm”
08 Mar 2016 6 Minute Read Article by Jen Cuttance
How do we “manage” our energy, you say? Well, there are many different ways, but for the purposes of this little blog, we will focus on a particular yogic breathing technique: Ujjayi (pronounced ew-jai-ee) or the sounded breath, as it is also referred to.
The benefit of learning and incorporating yogic breathing into your life is actually awesome. It helps to enhance your intuition, be less reactive in stressful situations and helps us to gain perspective (on ourselves and our environment). Sounds great, huh?
The Ujjayi breath in particular will automatically calm your (farm) adrenal glands. If you experience anxiety or are just feeling plain anxious, this breath can change your life.
When I first started to study all things yoga, I was set assignments to practice all kinds of breathing techniques. I knew Ujjayi helped with anxiety and had been practicing the technique regularly.
One Saturday I had woken up after having one too many champagnes the night before. Later that morning, I had to drive out of town to help out a friend who was going through a very stressful time. I decided I would have two coffees before leaving the house. Needless to say I had set myself up for some pretty anxious feelings. I thought “here’s one way to put this whole breathing business to the test!”
I practiced the Ujjayi as I drove down and by the time I got there I had an incredible sense of calm and control. I was able to manage my energy in a way that meant my friend could also sense how calm I was, which was contagious.
From that moment, I began to use Ujjayi whenever I needed it. And here’s how you can start practicing it.
I mentioned it is the “sounded” breath. Well, it’s kind of like Darth Vader.
Firstly, try with an open mouth to breath out as if you are trying to fog up a window.
After trying this a few times, try it with your mouth closed.
Now try breathing IN and OUT making the same sound. (Sometimes you may make a noise with your voice box - just keep practicing until the IN and OUT breath sound like a hissing sound with no noise from your voice box.)
Ultimately, you want to practice Ujjayi with the mouth closed and the inhalation to be as long as the exhalation. Even and controlled.
You’ll find you are restricting the air at the back of the throat, which is what you want to do, as it slows and elongates your inhalations and exhalations. This in turn will calm your (farm) adrenal glands. You will also find you can breathe deeper. It’s very relaxing and works instantly.
Yogic breathing techniques require practice, but once you have it, you’ll be able to manage your energy whenever you need to.