According to Central Michigan University, ujjayi breathing is a technique that allows you to calm your mind by focusing on your breath.

This helps you override thoughts that could possibly distract you from your meditative state.

Used in the practice of yoga, it also creates a sound that assists you in synchronizing your movements with your breath.

It’s the most common form of pranayama (breath control) used during asana (body posture/pose) practices.

In yoga, breath is equally important — sometimes even more important — as the physical pose.

Ujjayi breathing is also referred to as:

  • victorious breath
  • ocean breathing
  • snake breathing
  • whispering breathing
  • snoring breathing
  • ujjayi pranayama

According to the National Library of Medicine, in ujjayi breathing, both inhalation and exhalation are done through the nose.

As you inhale and exhale:

  • Keep your mouth closed.
  • Constrict your throat to the point that your breathing makes a rushing noise, almost like snoring.
  • Control your breath with your diaphragm.
  • Keep your inhalations and exhalations equal in duration.

This can be calming and balancing.

At first, it may feel like you’re not getting enough air, but the technique should become easier with practice.

According to the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability, ujjayi breathing may:

  • improve your concentration
  • release tension throughout the body
  • regulate heating and cooling of the body, warming the core from the inside

For cancer and chemotherapy treatment

A 2012 study indicated that yoga breathing may improve sleep disturbance, anxiety, and mental quality of life for people with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy.

The researchers concluded that these positive findings need to be confirmed in a larger study.

For depression

A 2017 study indicated that symptoms significantly declined for people who have major depressive disorder when participating in a yoga program including coherent breathing.

For hypothyroidism

A small 2010 study involved training people who have hypothyroidism in yoga breathing exercises. The results showed a beneficial effect on their pulmonary functions.

Although there’s no clinical research to support the claim, many yoga practitioners believe that practicing yoga focused on ujjayi breathing can balance the entire endocrine system, thus benefiting people with thyroid conditions.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that yoga, which would include ujjayi breathing, can yield lifestyle benefits, such as:

  • improved sleep
  • reduced stress
  • motivation to exercise more regularly
  • motivation to eat healthier

Ujjayi breathing is the most common form of breath control used in yoga.

It’s a technique that focuses on breathing through your nose and tightening your throat to make a sound similar to a light snore.

There are a number of benefits that can be realized by ujjayi breathing, including:

  • improved concentration
  • tension release
  • regulated body temperature