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For many children–and particularly young children–the ujjayi breath is very difficult to learn.
Because it passes through the nose, but originates in the base of the throat, it is a very specific, contrived breath that must be learned and will never just come naturally.
Before introducing your students to full ujjayi, consider what I call “half-ujjayi”: inhaling through the nose and exhaling in a sigh through the mouth.
The inhale in this simple, accessible breathing technique will still be just an inhale–nasal, rather than guttural.
The exhale, however, is half of a real ujjayi exhale. So I guess my half-ujjayi is really quarter-ujjayi, but enough with the semantics.
By teaching the action of sighing and familiarizing your kids with the sensations and intentions of the breath, you are actually putting them well on the path to ujjayi exhales. As once this sigh is completely second nature to them, the only thing required to create a full ujjayi exhale is to close the mouth and breathe in exactly the same manner.
That’s all ujjayi exhale is, afterall. A sigh done with your mouth closed.
And that’s the mini yogis minute tip of the week. Check back every week to learn something new!
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