Ujjayi breathing creates a sound using contraction of laryngeal muscles with Yoga poses for 4th chakra partial closure of the glottis, permitting fine regulation of the respiratory rate while increasing airway resistance Yoga poses for 4th chakra , intrathoracic pressure, baroreceptor stimulation, HRV, RSA Calabrese, Perrault, Dinh, Eberhard, & Benchetrit, 2000, and stimulation of somatosensory afferents in the pharynx, lungs, chest wall, and diaphragm. When done at a slow rate 2-6 breaths per minute with expiration longer than inspiration, Ujjayi is physically and emotionally calming.
Slow yoga breathing including Ujjayi increases RSA, HRV, PNS activity Cappo & Holmes, 1984; Song & Lehrer, 2003, arterial baroreflex sensitivity, and oxygenation. Advanced forms of Ujjayi using breath holds further increase PNS activity Telles & Desiraju, 1992. Bhastrika uses rapid 30 breaths per minute forceful breaths for short bursts less than one minute leading to SNS activation and CNS excitation followed by emotional calming with mental alertness. It is similar to Kapalabhati. Omkar, chanting Om or AUM, may increase vagal tone and decrease SNS activation. Sudarshan Kriya consists of sets of cyclical breathing no pause between inhalation and exhalation at three rates slow, medium, and fast.
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