Ujjayi Pranayama

Names

Ujjayi Pranayama, Ocean Breath

How to perform Ujjayi Pranayama

Sit in Siddhasana , Vajrasana, Padmasana or Bhadrasana with a straight spine. To practice Ujjayi Pranayama you inhale and exhale trough the nostrils. Inhale deeply and while you do that bring the back of your tongue up, thus making the passageway for air in your windpipe tighter. You will realize that you are making the sound of the ocean by pressing the air through smaller space than usual. During exhalation you do the same sound again.


The inhalation should last as long as the exhalation so that you are breathing in a steady rhythmus. Another possibility is to make the exhalation of the breath twice the time of the inhalation. You may not have noticed but you probably often do this sound without being aware of it as it is pleasant for your ears and provides relaxation.


There are two possible variations for Ujjayi Pranayama. The first one is to include Kumbhaka, the holding of breath in between inhalation and exhalation.


The second variation is to make Kumbhaka after the exhalation and to hold the breath out.

Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama

Ujjayi Pranayama is a good pose for providing relaxation to the mind and your senses. It reduces the blood pressure and heart rate.


As it calms the mind it is also a beneficial pose for seniors to relax.

Ujjayi Pranayama is very good for meditation practitioner because you can increase focus and concentration by practicing it. It also purifies and activates the energy within the body and provides us control over the mental and physical body which is why it is also a good exercise for hyperactivity.


When you are suffering from pain, insomnia, migraine or headache you can relieve some of the symptoms by doing this pose regularly. It is also good against heat in the head.
Because of the deep breathing and the intensive works with the lungs this posture enhances the functions of the respiratory system.


You can practice this exercise in your office in the middle of your work. Just take a short break and perform a few rounds of Ujjayi Pranayama and it will refresh your mind and you can start all the things going on in your mind with new strength. You start with new energy and clear thoughts.

Focus Points

Make sure that your mouth is closed and you are breathing through your nose. You should be focused on relaxing yourself instead of being busy doing this exercise in perfection.

Mula Bandha – Root Lock

Names

Mula Bandha, Moola Bandha, Root Lock

How to perform Mula Bandha

Mula means root and in this case it is indicating our perineum between the sexual organs and the anus, as well as the PC muscles and the pelvic floor.


To perform the Mula Bandha you can sit in Vajrasana, Siddhasana , Bhadrasana, Guptasana or Gorakshasana. Contract your perineum towards your navel with inhalation.

Close your eyes. Focus and visualize the muscles between your pubic bone and coccyx bone.


The contraction is the same feeling as when you need to go to toilet and you are holding the urine in your body. You also use these muscles when you are forcing yourself to urinate even when you don´t have to.


In the beginning you contract the muscles with inhalation and release them with exhalation. Slowly you can increase the time of practicing the contraction.
Deepen your breath.

Benefits of Mula Bandha


At the perineum is the bottom of our body, the junction and starting place of our nervous system. The three main Nadis or meridians Ida, Pingala and Sushumna also start from the perineum body.

By performing Mula Bandha, you stimulate both, the nervous system and the energy system, at their roots and beginning points.


This stimulation brings you a lot of good effects, one of them being that it calms your mind.

You get emotional and psychological strength and it makes your mind more stable and balanced so that it is easy for you to get rid of insecure feelings and negative emotions. This stability makes you less prone to phobias.


Additionally the pose will help you in controlling anger and to enhance the power of concentration.


It is one of the best exercises to activate the first chakra. That’s why it is good for all kinds of sexual and gynecological problems.

Focus Points

In this exercise you should focus on contracting your muscles.

Tips and Help

If you perform this exercise with the described breathing method it will be easier to concentrate on your muscles. Another help for this is closing your eyes.


In the beginning you can point out those muscles by placing your finger there to make sure you are not working with your anal muscle and the muscle of your sexual organ.

Kapal Randhra Dhauti

Names

Kapal Randhra Dhauti, Scalp Cleansing

Kapal is the Sanskrit word for head. Randhra means hole. The Kriya thus means the cleansing of the hole of the head.


If you are not aware what this means, just think of the skull of a newborn baby. It is soft and at the top, there is a kind of hole. This is the place meant to be cleaned in this Dhauti.

How to perform Kapal Randhra Dhauti

In Kapal Randhra Dhauti, you rinse the top of your head with water. Lean forward and pour water on your head with one hand while rubbing the top of the head with the other flat hand.


Use water of a pleasant temperature and wash the top of your head. Some people refer to the scriptures’ advice to use cold water for this practice.

One needs to take into consideration however that these scriptures were written in India, a generally hot country where cold water is still not freezing through the influence of the daily sun.

It is thus safe to say that water at a normal temperature is good for use.


In the next step, you massage your temples with your thumbs, both clockwise and anticlockwise.


Additionally and to have more benefit, you can place your middle fingers from both sides to the top of your nose bone, just below your eyebrow. Hold your breath and gently massage your upper nose.


When you have to exhale, stop the massage and exhale with force.

Benefits of Kapal Randhra Dhauti

This technique is very good for calming your mind and brain.

Through the massage you reduce stress and by this can reduce problems of insomnia and even bipolar because you relax your mental situation enourmously.

You clear your thoughts and thus get more and more peace in your complete system.


Problems of headache and migraine are reduced and your nervous system has a chance to calm down, too.

In this way Kapal Randhra Dhauti also helps against depression – it gives you the chance to relax and see things another way! All kinds of stress and its symptoms can disappear with regular practice. Even bipolar disorder can be treated with this relaxation of your mind.


The calming effect is also good for your blood pressure and makes the blood circulate to your head, too. This prevents dizziness and of course the oxygen is beneficial for your brain power, too.


The water opens the pores of the scalp and cleans it.


Practitioners of meditation enjoy doing this technique as it helps you go into meditation easily.

Tips and Help

Also make sure to dry your head after washing will prevent you catching cold. It is recommended to practice this in the morning.

When to avoid Kapal Randhra Dhauti

Take care not to do this cleansing technique when it is cold as you could easily catch a cold.

It is working with the Kapha region of your body and thus the practice could increase the mucus if there is cold air around the person performing it.

Dirgha Pranayama – Full Yogic Breath

Names

Dirgha Pranayama, Dirga Pranayama, Full Yogic Breath, Deep Breathing

How to perform Dirgha Pranayama

You can practice the full yogic breathing in any position that you are in. In fact, you should make an effort to make this way of breathing your usual and constant breathing.

The more often you breathe deeply like this, the better it is for you and your system.

Inhale deeply and fill first your belly, then your lungs with air and finally until the top of your chest, so that your shoulders are widened and lifted up.


Exhale in the same way, from the top down to the lungs and in the end from the belly.

Benefits of Dirgha Pranayama

It is scientifically proved that people who breathe more deeply are less prone to stress-related diseases and illnesses such as the burnout syndrome, hysteria and even stress-caused headaches and migraine.


Deeper breathing simply means that you inhale more oxygen than in your usual, flat breathing. You give your lungs room to expand and do their work properly. They distribute energy through the blood in your whole body. The more oxygen you get at once, the more energy you will feel.


This deep breathing makes you calmer, slows down your heart beat and thus prevents you from hyperactivity. You don’t take stress as easily anymore and even in situations of shock you are able to reduce any harming effect by taking a few deep breaths.


Of course it is a natural help for anybody who has problems with asthma and his breathing channels.


There are so many benefits to breathing deeply that you might as well simply try it out and see for yourself what it does to you!

Balasana – Child-s Pose

Names

Balasana, Child’s Pose, Child Pose

How to perform Balasana

Sit in Vajrasana and with exhalation bend forward until your upper body lies on your thighs and your forehead rests on the floor in front of you. Lay your arms in a relaxed pose by your sides and relax in this posture.


Whenever you decide to come up, come up with exhalation.

Benefits of Balasana

This posture gives a nice stretch to the hips and back muscles while it is at the same time simply relaxing your whole body. Your mind can relax with this focus to the inside. People suffering from hyperactivity can learn to use this exercise as an anchor, a pose from which to find back to peace and focus. Also bipolar conditions can be helped by performing the child’s pose.


With its many benefits Balasana is a posture that is loved by kids and seniors alike.
With the forward bend and the complete relaxation in the posture it is a perfect pose for reducing high blood pressure.

Focus Points

The main focus of this posture is to relax. So be calm, listen to your breath and make a journey inside you. It is as if you are only by your own, nothing from the outside to reach to you.

Tips and Help

If you cannot place your forehead on the floor, you can use a cushion or a pillow under your forehead to let it relax.


It is a pose that can be done whenever you are stressed or tired. If you integrate it into your yoga practice, it is the perfect yoga pose to do to relax in between the poses.