My earliest knowledge of yogis came from a TV show or movie. A group of folks were sitting with their legs crossed, eyes closed, finger and thumb connected, saying, “Oooomm.” For years, that was the totality of my knowledge of yoga. Although I have learned much about yoga in the past few years, it wasn’t until today that I learned the name for this “Om” breath–Udgeeth pranayama.
Benefits of Udgeeth
Much like the other forms of pranayama that we’ve explored, Udgeeth has many of the same benefits. For example, it:
- reduces anxiety,
- encourages relaxation,
- reduces insomnia,
- oxygenates your blood,
- reduces stress,
- promotes clear thinking,
- reduces anger, and
- lowers your blood pressure.
One main difference between Udgeeth pranayama and the other pranayama practices that we’ve explored is that an audible sound is produced. Personally, I use the breathing practice in my yoga classes as a way to balance the throat chakra. Sure, there are other ways to open the throat chakra in a yoga class, but this is quick and easy.
Plus, there is a belief that the vibrations from the sound you produce help to clear your head and sinuses. Also, this vibration could align other chakras within your body. Another theory says that the vibration from the “Om” helps to connect us to a naturally occurring vibration in nature. Although these benefits are not proven, I think that if you practice Udgeeth, you will find them to be true.
This breathing method is appropriate for everyone, so there are no cautions.
- Begin in a comfortable seated position like Sukhasana.
- Take a deep inhale.
- As you exhale, say, “Ooooom.” Try to match your instructors pitch, but it’s okay to pick your own note and go with it. Make sure that the “m” sound only happens at the end of your exhale.
- An “Om” can last any amount of time. However, most last 5-20 seconds. You should complete several rounds. Since this breathing style is appropriate for everyone, you can practice for any length of time.
Do you have any other tips for practicing Udgeeth? Please let us know in the comments below.