The beautiful sound of the ocean that we are so connected to and helps keep us present can be created within...
Our number one tool to be present and connect, is- BREATH!
Without our breath, we lack oxygen which is literally our life force… and then how can we surf?! We can’t. Soooo, our breath is our tool to keep our shit together when we are on and off our yoga mats and surfboards. Would you like to achieve greater focus, mental clarity, strength, flexibility, balance, and peace of mind? Yes? I thought you would say so! IT ALL COMES DOWN TO OUR BREATH.
Ujjayi breath which means victorious breath, also known sometimes as “the ocean breath,” is balancing and calming which increases oxygenation and builds internal heat in the body. It is a diaphragmatic breath, which first fills the upper abdomen, rises to the lower rib cage, and finally moves into the upper chest and throat. Ujjayi breath creates full expansion of the lungs which is important as you know for breath holds in the event of a wave hold down…or multiple wave hold downs.
Inhalation and exhalation are equal in duration and both are done through the nose. The "ocean sound" is created by the vibration against the back of the throat as the air is being restricted by the one of the main vocal folds as it passes in and out. The restriction creates a regulation of the volume of air going in and out which is slower, smoother and has a quieting effect on the mind and calming effect on the body.
HOW TO: Open your mouth and create a HHHHHA sound as if you were fogging up a mirror. Now close the mouth and create that same fog sound, slow and controlled, without creating tension in other parts of the body. Jaw and tongue are relaxed in the mouth.
Now, for a full breath- close the mouth, inhale slowly and deeply through the nose, feeling the abdomen expand, the chest rises as the lungs expand completely…then, slow and controlled, begin to exhale through the nose feeling the breath vibrate against the back of the throat as if you were fogging a mirror. Feel the abdomen contract completely and then naturally fill up again. Continue this rhythm, feeling the length, depth and consistency to the breath whilst creating an audible sound, like the ocean, which helps to steady the mind by giving it a focal point.
Our breath not only gives us life, but, mindful and purposeful breathing is our foundation to feel most alive!
Go give it a shot now, and holler with any questions!