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 is reminiscent of the sound a wave creates as it rolls gently up and back down a beach. It is created when a person gently constricts the base of their throat, controlling the movement of breath into and back out of the body. While the breath, for the majority of people has become a spontaneous occurrence that happens without thought (autonomous), Ocean Breath can realign us with the ability to truly experience a strong, healthy body and quiet mind.

[The unconscious 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 increase their capacity to carry oxygen molecules to the bloodstream and deep into the body. It brings mobility and strength to the diaphragm and thus the areas which our diaphragms are connected to fascially and muscularly. (heart, lungs, T12, L1,2 and 3, the Psoas and Vagus Nerve to name some)
The exhale when done with awareness can then cleanse the lungs of the used and stale sources (methane, carbon and water vapour) from our bodies. 

20 minutes of Ocean Breath can have a similar effect as 20 minutes of aerobic activity for the lungs. It can benefit the physical body without undue stress while increase energy and calming the mind.]

 

One of my favourite and most significant 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 eyeglasses. Once the mouth open technique is mastered he recommends moving on to the traditional mouth closed breathing practice.

 


More oxygen to the lungs
Lowered anxiety and ability to have a deeper sleep
Conserves energy by slowing the heart rate

Some possible benefits of Ocean Breath (Ujjayi): (but not all)
Stimulating of the ParaSympathetic Nervous System (rest and digest),
Stimulation of the metabolic system
Better blood circulation to the body

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. 

To see a short talk on breath by Max go to: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NGZFdKxOzmw


Breath is the bridge which connects life to conciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.
— Thich Nhat Hahn
Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life. 
— Gregory Maguire