Ocean Breath is not a translation of Ujjayi Breath (that would be Victorious Breath). What it is, is an interpretation based on the sound the breath creates when it is mastered. Its sound reminiscent of the sound a wave makes rolling gently up and back down a beach. It is a breath created when a person constricts the base of their throat, controlling the movement of breath into and back out of the body. Where the breath, for the majority of people has become a spontaneous occurrence that happens without thought, Ocean Breath reconnects us to the strength and health benefits of our body's abilities truly experienced.
The unconcious breathing we do on a daily basis draws oxygen into just the top 1/3 of our lungs. Ocean Breath allows us to fully expand and utilize the power of our lungs and their capacity to carry oxygen molecules to our blood stream and deep into our bodies. It works our diaphragm and thus the areas which our diaphragms are connected to facially and muscularly. (heart, T12, L1,2 and 3 and an effect on the Psoas to name some)
The exhale when done with awareness then carries toxins (methane, carbon and water vapour) from our bodies.
It is thought that 20 minutes of Ocean Breath can equate to 20 minutes of aerobic activity and it's benefits to the body without the stress.
One of my favourite teachers, Max Strom describes our normal breath as a breath to survive but not to "Live". His simple steps:
- Sit or stand with the spine straight
- Relax the shoulder blades downward
- Broaden the chest and remember to breathe into the sides of your ribs
- Make the sound of fogging the mirror with your breath.
Initially it is easier to practice Ocean Breath with the mouth open because it is easier to relax the jaw and connect to that gentle fogging quality of the breath we have all used before when steaming a window or to clean eye glasses. It is also easier to hear the quality of the breath. Once the mouth open technique is mastered he recommends moving on to the traditional mouth closed breathing practice.
Some of the benefits of Ocean Breath (Ujjayi) can be:
Connection to the Para Sympathetic Nervous System, stimulation of the metabolic system, better blood circulation to the body, more oxygen to the lungs, lowered anxiety and ability to have a deeper sleep. You can read more online or in Max Strom's book "A Life Worth Breathing". Many different areas of research on the breath can be found online and in bookstores. You can also see my own story and how it has affected my life.