Pranayama: Master the Art of Pranayama Breathing and the Ujjayi Breath
This breathing technique urges you to make ocean like sound from behind your throat while you inhale and exhale. Make sure that you are breathing through the nose and not through mouth. All the face muscles should be relaxed.
The endless hours at the desk, back pain, stress, and complete chaos. Sounds familiar? Well it is not just that you spend hours sitting that does the damage, it is how you sit that really matters. Sitting on the chair is not always bad. You could do some good as well.
Heard about chair yoga? It is doing some yoga exercises to unwind the tight body and relax. It could be simple and there are advanced poses also. Let us concentrate on those simple chair poses that are practical to do in an office.
Before me move along let us know also about the ujjayi breathing. The breathing technique which is also known as ocean breath is used to both warm up the body and to relax the mind by relieving stress. Let us combine these stress relieving yoga techniques to have better work environment for you.
Let’s start with ujjayi breathing
This breathing technique urges you to make ocean like sound from behind your throat while you inhale and exhale. Make sure that you are breathing through the nose and not through mouth. All the face muscles should be relaxed. Take deep breath through the nose while making the sound. Inhale for about 5 seconds and if that is not possible try to make it at least 3 seconds. The throat should constrict while you inhale and the diaphragm expands.
While exhaling, empty the lungs completely before you inhale. Keep up the rhythm by concentrating on the ocean waves like sound. This helps the tight muscles to relax the spine. All the toughness that is caused by sitting for long would be eased with this technique.
Chair Yoga with Ujjayi breathing
Ujjayi breathing could be practiced alone or in combination with the relaxing chair poses. This breathing technique could be used as a warm up for the chair poses and can get along well with these poses. The chair yoga is designed to unwind the entire body in short time. It can motivate, inspire, and elevate your spirit to do more and better work. Here are some easy to do chair yoga poses that can be done at office. Please note that for all chair poses, keep your back straight and perpendicular to the floor.
- Chair pigeon – chair yoga with Ujjayi breathing: Sit in a straight line, towards the edge of the chair and keep the feet firmly on the floor. Now bend one leg and bring the ankle to place over the other knee. Keep the bent knee in line and hold the pose for 5 complete breaths. Concentrate on the ocean waves you make. Hold the pose for a maximum of 10 breaths. Now bring the leg back on to the floor and repeat the same with the other leg.
- Chair spinal twist – chair yoga with Ujjayi breathing: For this pose, sit sideways on the chair, with the feet firmly on the floor. Turn towards the back of the chair; hold your hand son to the back. Twist the body and torso to your back. Stretch the spine with each inhale and twist further with the exhale for a good 5 breaths. Now move to the other side of the chair and repeat the pose with your other side.
Seated cat/cow pose requires you to sit straight, keeping the hands on the legs. Now stretch the spine with each breath and bob the head back and forth slowly. While the head moves back, arch your back as well. When the head beds forward, round your back and stretch. Do not arch the back if you have any neck problems. In this case keep the head in alignment with the spine all the time.
- Seated eagle arms – chair yoga with Ujjayi breathing: Sit straight on the chair with the spine straight but relaxed. Extend the arm out and twist the wrist to bring the palms together. Now bend the elbows to bring the joined hands upwards and towards the torso. Do not exert and bring only as much as you can. Now bring the chin to the chest and concentrate on breathing.
- Seated forward fold – chair yoga with Ujjayi breathing: While sitting on the chair with the feet firmly on floor. Bend or fold the body to bring the head below the knees and the palms on the floor next to the feet. This pose has calming effect. Keep the head between the legs. Pull the stomach to the spine and get enough stretch. This relaxing pose could be held for 5 breaths.
- Seated neck rolls – chair yoga with Ujjayi breathing: This is the simplest of all. Sit on the chair with the spine in line. Relax the shoulders and roll the neck all around as well as back and forth. Also move the neck from side to side to allow the ear touch the shoulder. Extending the arm downwards can make the stretched deeper.
Practice these moves every day. Choose the 2-3 moves that are easy for you. Do not put pressure at any point. If you are not able to reach the poses properly, never mind, do only as much as you can. Yoga is not compulsive, it should be comforting.