Exploring Ujjayi Breathing: The Ocean Breath

As a fitness trainer with over 25 years of experience, I am deeply committed to integrating holistic practices into my training sessions. At VillaSport, where I lead weekly yoga classes, I greatly value the feedback and suggestions from my attendees. At the beginning of 2024, one participant suggested dedicating each month to a specific Yogic breathing technique. We embraced this idea and selected a particular technique for each month. For March, we are focusing on Ujjayi breath. This article is designed to guide my class attendees and anyone interested in embarking on this transformative journey.

My Personal Exploration of Breath

My foray into Yogic breathing began with the goal of naturally enhancing performance without external aids. This journey led me to various Yogic breathing methods' calming and mind-quieting effects. This practice is a cornerstone of my Sound Bath and Restorative Yoga classes at VillaSport in Beaverton, offering physical and mental benefits.

Ujjayi Breathing: The Ocean Breath

Ujjayi Breathing, often termed "ocean breath," is a transformative breathing technique deeply rooted in yoga. This method is not merely about breath control but is an integral part of yoga that enhances the connection between the mind, body, and spirit. The unique aspect of Ujjayi Breathing is the slight constriction of the back of the throat during inhalation and exhalation, producing a distinct, soothing sound reminiscent of ocean waves.

Understanding Ujjayi Breathing

The term "Ujjayi" originates from the Sanskrit language, where "Uj" means "to conquer" or "to be victorious," and "jayi" translates to "breath." Hence, Ujjayi Breathing is also known as "victorious breath," symbolizing the practitioner's triumph over the constant fluctuations of the mind.

The Technique:

Preparation: Begin comfortably seated, ensuring your spine is straight and shoulders relaxed.

Inhalation: Inhale deeply through your nose, slightly constricting the back of your throat, to create a soft hissing sound.

Exhalation: Exhale slowly through the nose, maintaining the constriction at the back of the throat to enhance the oceanic sound.

Rhythm: Continue this pattern, synchronizing the breath with the movement in your yoga practice or maintaining a steady rhythm in a seated position.


Enhanced Focus: The audible nature of Ujjayi Breathing helps anchor the mind, reducing distractions and deepening concentration.

Regulated Body Temperature: The friction of air passing through the throat generates internal heat, which can help warm the body during yoga.

Improved Respiratory Function: Regular practice of Ujjayi can strengthen the respiratory system, enhancing lung capacity and oxygenation of the blood.

Mental Tranquility: The rhythmic sound of the breath can induce a meditative state, promoting mental calmness and stress reduction.

Practice Tips:

Start Slowly: If you're new to Ujjayi Breathing, begin with a few minutes daily, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable with the technique.

Mindful Practice: Stay aware of the sound and rhythm of your breath, ensuring it remains steady and soothing.


Ujjayi Breathing is more than just a breathing technique; it's a pathway to a more mindful, focused, and balanced state of being. Incorporating this "ocean breath" into your daily routine can unlock numerous physical and mental benefits, enhancing your overall well-being and yoga practice. Embrace your breath's gentle, rhythmic sounds, and let it guide you to a place of inner peace and vitality.

Your Invitation to Join

I warmly invite you to explore the benefits of Ocean Breath. Seize this opportunity to transform your wellness routine, and feel free to share your experiences with our community. For those interested in a deeper understanding of the science of breathing, I recommend "Breath" by James Nestor and "The Oxygen Advantage" by Patrick McKeown. These books provide an accessible yet thorough examination of the profound impact of breathwork.

Join our community for the upcoming month of Ujjayi Breathing, and stay tuned for more insights into Yogic breathing techniques in future articles.