DOES THE VICTORIOUS BREATH I.E. UJJAYI BREATH CAN HELP A SADHAK TO REACH DESIRED GOAL ?PRANAYAMA--12
WHAT IS BREATHING?---
According to Ayurveda, there are two types of pranvayus 1-Gross type
1-The gross one moves through nose, throat, kantha, and lungs and ultimately to the heart. There is pranvaha strotas in the chest.
2-The origin of it is heart, veins, and mahastrotas. Here, heart should be construed as two lungs. The action, which moves pranvayu, thus, is known as breathing.
3-While describing the subtle pranvayu, it is not manifest, that means it should be understood from its action. The veins and arteries from the navel go all over the body. They support the dhatus by combining them with the pranvayu.
4-The pranvayu at the navel goes through the torso through the kantha, i e it goes into the head at the seat of the brain.
5-There a big hollow is present. ( Mahadaakash , brahmarandhra ) There it drinks the chandramrut and comes back again at the navel and causes all the breathing actions. That means it controls the breathing system.
6-In short, one can say that the vayu inhaled through the breathing process is gross pranvayu and vayu controlling the breathing process is subtle pranvayu.
LITERAL MEANING OF UJJAYI;--
1-This name comes from the Sanskrit word “ujjayi,” which means “to conquer” or “to be victorious.” Therefore, it is also often referred to as “Victorious Breath.” 2-Because of the sound it makes when performed correctly, this breath is also sometimes called “Ocean Breath” or “Hissing Breath.” But, many yoga teachers simply refer to it as “Ujjayi Breath.”
3-Ujjayi Pranayama (ooh-JAH-yee prah-nah-YAH-mah) is one technique that helps to calm the mind and warm the body. When practicing Ujjayi, you completely fill your lungs, while slightly contracting your throat, and breathe through your nose.
4-In simple terms Ujjayi breath is a 'breath regulating technique where the inhale and exhale are the same. This breathing technique is used throughout Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga practices.
LITERAL MEANING OF PRANAYAMA-
Prana – life force, breath;
Yama – control, restraint, regulation (opposite: ayama* – lack of control, restraint or regulation - the prefix “a” negates the following word)
“The Sanskrit word pranayama has a long “a” in the middle, one that renders it more “prana ayama.” if you put an ‘a' in front of a word in Sanskrit, it negates it or turns it into its opposite. Therefore, rather than yama which generally means ‘restraint', we can read this as ayama - the opposite of restraint, which is ‘release’. So think about the release of the breath and not so much the control, or the hold, or the retention.
ACCORDING TO SHIVA SWARODAYA(A classic text in Yoga) states;---
1-“Creation takes place out of five elements and it also dissolves in the elements. The five elements are the supreme Brahman alone, and is beyond the elements…One who (truly) knows the five-elemental universe which is made up of water, fire, wind, earth and either, is respected and worshipped everywhere.”
2-There is much mystery surrounding the elemental energies. The siddhas discovered that knowledge of the hidden forces of nature, nominally translated as the “elements”, will lead to true wisdom (jnana), liberation (mukti), undreamed of powers (siddhis) and ultimately, a complete mastery and freedom from rebirth itself (jeeva samadhi).
3-The nature of these elements is distinctly different than those which we might study in a chemistry class, for these elements are the fundamental principles of light-and electricity engaged in creative play throughout the universe .The five elements are found in the ancient vedas and are foundational to the miraculous powers known to Tantra and Yoga. In modern times, they remain just as important to achievement in the spiritual path as in the ancient days.
WHAT IS SAMA VRITTI ?--
Sama – same;
Vritti – whirlings, fluctuations, modifications
1-Along with the even tone of breath, the length of the breath is the same on the inhale as it is on the exhale. You complete a full in-breath within the same time as you complete your out-breath. Using a metronome is a brilliant practice,
2-With an even tone and length of breath, the last refinement is to breathe fully, deeply and completely (air volume of breath). Within each cycle you spend the entire inhale filling up and entire exhale releasing breath ;at no point do you hold the breath - seamless (smooth and continuous) and smooth, try not let the breath run out.
SIGNIFICANCE OF UJJAYI BREATH;----
1-From our very first breath until our final exhale we are, without any deliberate effort, continuously breathed by our Autonomic Nervous system (ANS). Unlike other ANS actions in the body (like pupil (the circular black area in the centre of an eye) dilation) we are able to take voluntary control over our breathing and thus, critically, can influence our Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous system.
2-When we breathe Ujjayi breath, we transform the automatic into the deliberate and thereby become the master of our internal landscape; we can positively affect how we feel by regulating the length, air volume and sound of our inhales and exhales.
3-Ujjayi Pranayama is another tool to add to our box, another practice which encourages the mind to rest its awareness on the present moment, and identify with our immediate experience.
4-This process of mindfulness can be one of our biggest conquests. Mastery of the conscious mind. We become absorbed as we synchronise our movement with our breath. Our level of agitation settles, the fluctuations of our mind (chitta vritti) decelerate (reduce) and for glimpses of a moment we are 'all in'.
5-As we learn to regulate the gross body through different yogic practices including pranayama, we can access and influence our subtle bodies.Like all things , Ujjayi breath takes practice and a relinquishment of self-identified inhibition but it's a key that unlocks many doors and can transform our practice.
6-With Ujjayi breath you breathe in and out of the nose with the lips sealed - no breath passes the lips. This also serves to build heat in the body. The lips gently close and although the breath is passing through the nostrils the emphasis is in your throat.
7-You can feel the breath stroke the back of your throat as you inhale and exhale...the tone, the audibility is smooth and steady, continuous uninterrupted cycles of inhales and exhales.This comes hand in hand with the audibility of the breath, compared often to the sound of waves.
8-If we are unable to stretch the breath evenly on both sides. We don't want to feel out of breath or gasping at any point. There is absolutely NO RETENTION, it's like a continuous sea of waves, no holding, totally fluid , seamless and Equanimous (calm and composed).When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace .
9-Ujjayi breath is a pragmatic teaching of equanimity, non-attachment, not being swayed by the pulls of our desire to feel good (Raga) and repulsion when we feel bad (Dvesha).
WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE OF UJJAYI ?
1-Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana.
2-Close the mouth. Inhale slowly through both the nostrils in a smooth, uniform manner till the breath fills the space from the throat to the heart.
3-Retain the breath as long as you can do it comfortably and then exhale slowly through the left nostril by closing the right nostril with your right thumb.
4- Expand the chest when you inhale. During inhalation a peculiar sound is produced owing to the partial closing of glottis.
5-The sound produced during inhalation should be of a mild and uniform pitch. It should be continuous also.
1-This Kumbhaka may be practised even when walking or standing. Instead of exhaling through the left nostril, you can exhale slowly through both nostrils.
2-There also might be times in your practice where adding heat is inappropriate (e.g some pregnant practitioners find Ujjayi breath too heating to maintain for an entire practice) or where breathing in and out of the nose is impossible (e.g. blocked sinuses). At times like this you might want to keep the intention of Ujjayi breath in mind without practicing it.
1-This removes the heat in the head. The practitioner becomes very beautiful.
2-The gastric fire is increased. It removes all the evils arising in the body and the Dhatus and cures Jalodara (dropsy of the belly or ascites).
3-It removes phlegm in the throat, Asthma, consumption and all sorts of pulmonary diseases are cured.
4-All diseases that arise from deficient inhalation of oxygen, and diseases of the heart are cured. All works are accomplished by Ujjayi Pranayama.
5-The practitioner is never attacked by diseases of phlegm, nerves, dyspepsia, dysentery, enlarged spleen, consumption, cough or fever. Perform Ujjayi to destroy decay and death.
THE KEY POINT;-
Ujjāyī Prānāyāma is a breathing technique with concentration on the process of breathing in the throat. The throat is contracted slightly so that the air flowing through it produces a soft sound, as in deep sleep.