Ujjayin [The Victorious One]


View of the upper respiratory pathways



उज्जयिन् ujjayin [ujji-in]: victorious. From उज्जि ujji (ujjayati उज्जयति): to conquer, to be victorious, to to acquire by conquest.

Often referred to as ujjayi, it has various translations in English, from victory, ocean sounding breath, ocean breath, loud breathing, Whisper


This breathing occurs through the nostrils. While the air is inhaled, the glottis and the muscles in the throat are mildly contracted. This generates an increased friction between the passing air and the upper airways. The resulting noise is specific, altogether cavernous and with a mild whistle. It is therefore a noisy breathing but friction of air in the nose should be avoided; consequently no nasal sounds is heard. The breathing is constrained from during both inhalation and exhalation. The noise generated during inhalation is the same as that generated during the exhalation. Both inhalation and exhalation times are equal. Finally, gulping should be avoided during this practice.

Note: Ujjayin breathing has many variations. For example, anuloma ujjayi requires breathing in through the throat, then completely closing one nostril and breathing out through the other nostril, which is only partly closed. In viloma ujjayi, breathing occurs through the nostril and breathing out through the throat.


In a comfortable position, the eyelids are closed and the eyes directed towards the glabella point. The eyes do not move and the visualizations are purely mental and consist of seeing the three upper centers (heart, throat and forehead).

Starting from the forehead, exhale through ujjayin, while enunciated the Bija RAM. Perceive with clarity and slowly the pathway of the energy from forehead to throat and from throat to heart.

Become aware of the pause in empty retention. Inhale, still with the bija RAM, and see clearly and slowly the inverse pathway of the energy.

Hold in full retention while focusing on the throat center. Establish a strong Jalandhara Bandha while attempting to perceive the pressure of the energy and of the heat going from the throat center and expending throughout the body structure and even further to the energetic structure. The bija is OM.

Release the contraction. Come back to the forehead and exhale again while perceiving the pathway from forehead to heart. And so forth until a perception of heat is generated throughout the body, up until transpiration.