“Possibly the most basic and necessary feature of any living process is the fact that it goes gradually.”
Christopher ALexander

The Nature of Order Book 2: The Process of Creating Life

Pratiloma Ujjayi

n

Pratiloma Ujjayi is a longer cycle of breathing that weaves together the Anuloma & Viloma techniques

The breathing cycle in Pratiloma Ujjayi is:

  1. Inhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).
  2. Exhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  3. Inhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  4. Exhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  5. Inhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  6. Exhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  7. Inhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  8. Exhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).

A single Pratiloma breathing cycle is made up of 4 breaths! Though it may seem a bit more complicated and difficult to remember then the other techniques it is actually a very simple pattern – here is a way to remember it:

  1. Inhale using the same path you used for the previous exhale. For example: if you exhale using ujjayi and both nostrils open, then the following inhale will also be ujjayi with both nostrils open; if you exhale using nostril control through the left nostril, then you inhale through the left nostril using nostril control.
  2. Switch from left-nostril to right-nostril by passing through ujjayi (both nostrils open).

IMPORTANT: never use two breath control techniques at the same time. In this case when you exhale using Ujjayi, both nostrils are open; when you inhale using nostril control you release the Ujjayi – DO NOT use Ujjayi when using nostril control. This is true for all Pranayama techniques. Ujjayi and nostril control both act as valves to affect the flow of breath – only use one at any given time.

If your practice includes holds then add them where necessary. Please remember that one round of Pratiloma breathing is made up of four breaths. When practicing, you should always do an even number of breaths – so that the practice remains symmetrical (unless you’ve been given other specific instructions by a qualified teacher).

Here is a practice to get acquainted with Pratiloma Ujjayi. It begins and ends with regular Ujjayi breathing and in the middle the technique is changed to Pratiloma Ujjayi. Find yourself a comfortable seated position and do the following practice sequence :

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Ujjayi)

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x8 = 2 rounds Viloma Ujjayi)

1   –   0   – 1.5 –   0   (x8 = 2 rounds  Viloma Ujjayi)

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Ujjayi)

This entry was posted in Breath, Pranayama, Yoga. You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours