Video | YogaWorks Teacher Training Tip of the Week: Ujjayi Pranayama

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Ujjayi is one of the most powerful breaths, and is wonderful to do during the physical practice of yoga as it energizes the body and centers the mind.

In this video, our YogaWorks Teacher Melanie Lora Meltzer leads you into a quick five minute tutorial to understand how to utilize this breath during practice. We encourage you to notice the impact that it will have on your system and practice.

In the YogaWorks Teacher Trainings we learn the importance of Pranayama.  In translation, Ujjayi means “victorious” and “Pranayama” means to stretch or extend the Prana or “life force”.  So this breath work is a vehicle for increasing our energy. Ujjayi Pranayama is a warming breath that stimulates that metabolic rate. It increases our lung capacity and therefore helps us to absorb more oxygen and increase the blood flood throughout the body.

In addition, the focus on this breath enables us to remain steady and find centeredness in the body.  We can use this focus to observe how our mind wanders off and also how our breath changes if we are challenged in our practice.  We can reveal a lot in our practice when we are working with pranayama.

Ujjayi Prep:

Sit in Sukasana (Easy Pose)—use props to maintain comfort while sitting up.

Drop into your current breath first. Be in observation of what your breath reflects about your body and mind today. Is it rapid, slow, uneven, etc.

We can influence the body and mind through the breath and the breath gives us clues about how we are being in our bodies.

Measure the inhales and exhales and count to 5 on your inhales and exhales to make your breath even and steady.

Ujjayi Pranayama:

With lips closed inhale to a count of five. Open mouth exhale to a count of five.

With lips closed inhale to count of five.  Keep lips closed exhale to a count of five. The breath is brushing the back of the throat—makes the sound of the ocean waves.

Last piece is to add that brushing feeling on the inhale as well as the exhale. Feel the breath in the throat.

Try out the video brought to you by  so you can show up in your life refreshed, present and open!

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For over 25 years, YogaWorks has been training students in the artful science of yoga. Our time tested teacher training curriculum has been the starting point for many renowned teachers. We offer serious students, aspiring teachers and current yoga teachers the opportunity to deepen their practice, unlock their potential and transform their understandi...READ MORE