Ujjayi is a form of breathing used during yoga practices, where mouth is closed and all breath is through the nose while maintaining an even quality.
Last week while I was taking a class at Yoga to the People , the woman next to me was breathing heavily (practically on me) with a labored quality. She was mostly breathing through her mouth and I could tell that her Vinyasa flow was suffering for it. It got me thinking about the importance of this technique not only during a compromising yoga pose but whenever we find ourselves in a stressful situation.
As someone who has suffered from anxiety , I can attest to the powers of Ujjayi Breath. Think about what happens to the breath when we panic. We take short shallow breaths through the mouth which can signal our fight or flight response and drive us straight into panic mode. This evenness of breath is meant to calm the mind and body.
I realize telling someone who suffers from anxiety to breathe sounds almost as ridiculous as telling them to relax, but I challenge you to try it. Even if you aren’t prone to anxiety, see if you can employ this during your yoga practice as well as your everyday life.
Source: Sister Sister NYC.