Ujjayi Breathing in Yoga and Pregnancy

We all know breathing is an important component for relaxing and focusing in childbirth. Did you know breathing through your nose will increase oxygen absorption to your lungs. And, did you know, breathing through your mouth can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as your stress response?

One particular style I like to use in my Fit for Childbirth sessions is Ujjayi breathing pronounced (oo-jai).  It has many benefits during yoga practice and can be particularly helpful preparing the mind and body for labor and delivery.

  • Improves concentration
  • Increases endurance
  • Diminishes distractions
  • Regulates body heating similar to internal organ massage
  • Releases tension
  • Relieves  sinus pressure

During Ujjayi (oo-jai) one breathes through the nose while slightly constricting the back of the throat, creating a whispering “haaa” sound comparative to the sound of the ocean waves.

Tips for using Ujjayi Breath:

-Drop your shoulders and pull them back slightly to open your chest…

-Close your mouth, keeping your tongue and jaw relaxed…

-Inhale through your nose while slightly constricting the muscles at
the back of the throat

-Create a soft whispering “ha” sound (like the sound you would make if you were fogging a mirror with your breath) on your exhale…

-Breathe evenly with each inhale and exhale, surfing each wave of your breath…

 

Breathing is one of the most important aspects of labor and delivery to reduce labor pain and become more relaxed.  Ujjayi breathing will help relax your mind and body and give you more energy needed during this momentous time.

I love to do Ujjayi breathing when practicing yoga. It helps me retain my focus when practicing balancing poses and keeps my breathing at a steady rhythmic pace.

-Blessings and good vibes 🙂

Angela

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